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INDIGENOUS HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE AMAZON

EXAMINING THE SUCCESS OF AMER-INDIAN ECO TOURISM SITES.

INVESTIGATION OF AMERINDIAN AUTONOMY AND OVER LAND TENURE AND TROPICAL FOREST PROTECTION EFFORTS --- THROUGH AN UNDERSTANDING OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS WITHIN THE AMERINDIAN COMMUNITY-LED “ECOTOURISM” MODEL.

THE RESEARCH GOAL WAS TO IDENTIFY THE OBSTACLES AND CHALLENGES TO AMERINDIAN AUTONOMY OVER ANCESTRAL FOREST RESOURCES AND ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT.  THE QUESTION WAS WHETHER ECOTOURISM WAS A MANIFESTATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. INTERNATIONALLY,

THE RESEARCH ALSO INCLUDED THE REALIZATION OF DOMESTIC GUYANESE INDIGENOUS RIGHTS TO LAND TENURE (THE AMERINDIAN ACT) AND WHETHER SELF-DETERMINATION AND SOVEREIGNTY OVER ANCESTRAL RESOURCES HAS BEEN MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH SUCCESSFUL EXAMPLES OF AMERINDIAN COMMUNITY-LED ECOTOURISM.

 

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AMERINDIAN ECOTOURISM MODELS:

ECOTOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE CAN BE A POWERFUL TOOL FOR THE FULFILLMENT OF INDIGENOUS HUMAN RIGHTS- IF IT IS EQUITABLE AND TRULY COMMUNITY OWNED. INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY-LED ECOTOURISM BECOMES A DESIRABLE BUSINESS MODEL FOR INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY AUTONOMY IN SCENARIOS WHERE THERE DIRECT INTERACTIONS WITH ECO-TOURISM BUSINESS PATRONS AND CAPTIVE INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCES.  

THE COMMUNITY HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO INTERACT, COMMUNICATE AND REPRESENT THEMSELVES AND THEIR ISSUES AS EXPERTS IN THE FOREST THEY INHABIT- THROUGH TEACHING TOURISTS LOCAL ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT PRACTICES THAT HAVE PROVEN TO BE SCIENTIFICALLY VALIDATED, SUSTAINABLE AND CENTURIES-OLD. AMERINDIANS CAN ALSO ILLUSTRATE THE CULTURAL IMPORTANCE OF THEIR STANDING NATIVE FORESTS WHEN IT COMES TO LOCAL IDENTITY AND AUTONOMY.

 

 

AMERINDIAN ECOTOURISM IN GUYANA VARIES, BUT THERE ARE MANY TYPE OF INSTRUCTION/ GUIDING INFRASTRUCTURES WHERE AMERINDIANS ARE EMPLOYED IN  GUIDED FOREST CANOPY WALKS THROUGH THE TOPS OF THE TREES, OR RIVER BOAT TOURS OF CAIMAN ALLIGATOR PROTECTION EFFORTS. THESE GUIDED TOURS AND LESSONS ARE TAUGHT ON LARGE RESERVES OF LAND THAT CAN BE PROTECTED AND MANAGED BY AMERINDIANS AND RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS, WITH SUPPORT OF ECOTOURISM PROFITS. NEVERTHELESS, EACH MODEL OF OWNERSHIP IS DIFFERENT, AND IN EACH CASE THE EQUITABLE PROFIT DISTRIBUTION SCHEME DIFFERS AND IS NOT ALWAYS TRANSPARENT.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE CAST STUDY OF AMERINDIAN ECOTOURISM IN COLLABORATION WITH INTERNATIONAL DONORS AND NGO’S, ALLOWS US TO UNDERSTAND HOW AMERINDIANS ARE BUILDING THEIR CAPACITY TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM LAND ENCROACHMENT AND HARVESTING, ILLEGAL HUNTING AND  BOTH LEGAL AND ILLEGAL EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES SUCH AS DESTRUCTIVE GOLD MINING PRACTICES THAT POLLUTE THE RIVERS AND WATERWAYS.

 

AERIAL OF A GOLD MINING SITE: BECAUSE GUYANA HAS NOT TAPPED INTO THE OIL AND GAS ENERGY SECTOR DUE TO ITS NEIGHBORS BEING VENEZUELA, MINING IS ONE OF THE LARGEST EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES WITHIN GUYANA.