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Stories of Hope from Resilient Communities

Stories of hope from indigenous and local communities; resilient communities around the world.

Join us for a special curation of 15 films from Mesoamerica, South America and Indonesia.

Hope

The indigenous people of Sungai Utik, a Dayak Iban community in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, have maintained a strong traditional connection to their forests despite continuous pressure from logging and palm oil companies intent on taking their land. Their forests remain intact and their traditional values are keeping their community together. If we want to keep […]

marine biodiversity conservation panama
Protecting Panama

Guna communities have long been recognised for protecting the #forests along their coastline; despite significant threats from farming and industrial logging, they are proven protectors of their ancestral forests. Today they face uncertainty over the sea that surrounds their island homes. Increasing encroachment by luxury vessels threatens the long term viability of their reefs. Without […]

Girl besides flowers, Environmental tax to maintain forests in Costa Rica - If Not Us Then Who?
A Sustainable Solution

Imagine communities and land-owners being paid by the government to protect their forests & natural resources? Costa Rica is the only tropical country in the world that has reversed the process of deforestation through a unique fuel tax law that impresses the importance of protecting the environment & helping develop communities.

Dayaks and Drones

Even a well-managed, recognised forest faces constant challenges but innovative drone GPS technology, cooperative campaigning, local government support and eco-tourism are helping the Setulang people thrive. They have shown that community rights, the environment and development go hand in hand. Setulang boasts clean water, sustainable fishing and hunting, building materials, fruit and traditional medicine, a […]

Ejidos

Ramón López and other locals from Cruz de Ocote ejido, in the Sierra Norte de Puebla, Mexico, take care, cultivate and manage its forests under the scheme known as Community Forestry Management. It ensures economic benefits for local families as well as biodiversity conservation. However, they struggle daily against illegal logging and require the support […]

Rainforest Alert

A growing number of Indigenous communities in Central and South America are harnessing the power of high-resolution satellite imagery, sophisticated drone equipment, and the latest smart-phone technology to precisely document and act on threats to their lands such as fires, gold-mining, logging, and deforestation for agriculture. But it’s not without its risks: community forest monitors […]

Mapping Riverine Communities

The community of Lago do Mainá have lived with the forest and the river, nature for them is the most fundamental thing they have. However a military training base and increasing incursions by soldiers created tension between the community and the army. Through the use of social mapping the people of Lago do Mainá have […]

Santiago Lacuth, Scarlet Macaw Protection Project, Mabita, La Moskitia, Honduras - If Not Us Then Who?
Pana-Pana

On the 12th September 2013 the Honduran government granted almost 7% of its territory to the indigenous Miskito people who have lived traditionally on this land for centuries. We follow the leadership of the indigenous organisation, MASTA, as they speak to their elders and explore solutions to better govern their land.

Brazil's Warrior Women

The humble babassu palm provides a livelihood for communities of women across North Eastern Brazil. Bread, charcoal, oil and soap are produced from the nut and husk; the surplus is sold on. But production has not always been so peaceful. Babassu: Brazil’s Warrior Women tells the story of the hard battle to maintain these communities’ […]

Being Emberá

Reclaiming and strengthening indigenous culture is vital to maintaining ancestral connections to nature. This must be passed onto future generations by celebrating indigenous traditions. Embera youth are spearheading a cultural revival, after decades of assimilation, through traditional body painting and storytelling. Meanwhile sustainable community forestry initiatives are creating low impact income for communities that rely […]

Communities Combat Coca Growers

Roberto, Teofilo and the Shipibo Conibo communities of Patria Nueva and Nueva Saposoa have been managing their forest for decades. They use an innovative forest monitoring system that incorporates traditional foot patrols and the latest technology-including GPS, smart phone applications, satellite-generated deforestation alerts and drones. These tools have have allowed the community monitors, alongside government officials, […]

Owners of the Forest - Credit Hugo Metz / If Not Us Then Who?
Owners of the Forest

A new model of conservation is emerging. It is one that values the role of local communities and reconciles protecting biodiversity with the use and management of resources. In the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacán, communities play a vital role in conservation efforts and several have been recognised with awards for their work. However, […]

Our Territory

Wildfires may grab headlines but indigenous peoples and local communities who depend the Amazon face many different threats. Not only are their territories targeted for illegal extractive activities such as gold mining and deforestation but without clear land titles their situation remains legally precarious. But more than this – indigenous peoples and local communities offer […]

Burning the Bananal

Wildfires are increasing in their frequency and ferocity worldwide – they consume forests and destroy lives. Is there a more effective way to fight them? Fighting fire with fire Traditional fire management practices hold many answers. Controlled fires, which were widely banned by colonialist authorities, had long been used by indigenous peoples to maintain their […]

Oil Palm Free Islands

From outsiders to political representatives, the indigenous struggle in the Mentawai islands is a 20 year struggle to be heard. We learn through the eyes of Gugen, a future Indigenous leader, as he meets the villagers, shamens, newspaper & radio stations that unify these threatened islands.

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