We have begun working on a new initiative with a committee of interested people in the Shipibo community of Paoyhan to develop a community-managed medicinal forest garden in their territory. The goals are for the garden to be able to provide plant medicines to supplement the local health post, to revitalize traditional knowledge about medicinal plants and forest management, as well as to provide opportunities for ecotourism and sustainable enterprise.
This project has been in the works since last year, and was inspired from dialogue during a climate change workshop that we held in the community. This is the community's response to some of the environmental changes they are seeing in their territories, especially regarding forest degradation, which also leads to loss of traditional knowledge.
So far the committee, with support from Alianza Arkana, has been actively planning, organizing, demarcating the land for the forest garden, labeling and placing plaques on medicinal plants and trees, and have just begun construction of a visitor's center made from locally harvested wood. We have a team from Alianza Arkana out there this week to help the committee do a big push on some of the work involved with getting the garden and visitor's center set up. It is amazing to see how much everyone is learning as we work together to implement a project of this sort - so we consider it to be a success already!
This project would not be possible without the continued support of our donors! We are so grateful to all of you who have contributed to helping the people of Paoyhan move toward their goals of conserving their forest and strengthening their community solidarity and health. If you are excited about the forest garden, please continue to support this project, and help us spread the word!
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