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Open AccessArticle

Sharing Multiple Perspectives on Burning: Towards a Participatory and Intercultural Fire Management Policy in Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana

1
Departamento de Estudios Ambientales, Universidad Simón Bolívar (USB), Caracas 1080, Venezuela
2
Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL), London TW20 0EX, UK
3
Centro de Investigación y Transferencia Rafaela, Universidad Nacional de Rafaela (CONICET), Rafaela S2300, Argentina
4
School of Engineering and Innovation, The Open University (OU), Milton Keynes MK6 7AA, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 28 June 2019 / Published: 5 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land-Use and Fire around the World from the Past to the Present)
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Abstract

Although there is convincing scientific research for the role of Indigenous fire practices in sustainable land management, Indigenous peoples’ involvement in policy-making is limited. This paper presents findings from a fire management workshop where experiences and perspectives were shared among 60 academic, government, and Indigenous representatives from 27 organizations from Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana. The data, in the form of small group discussions, participatory drawings, whole group reflections, and videos, showed that although there was general acceptance about the central role of fire in traditional Indigenous livelihoods and its importance for protecting the biological and cultural diversity of ecosystems, there were also tensions around the past imposition of a dominant fire exclusion discourse of governmental institutions in Indigenous territories. Overcoming the gaps derived from different experiences and historical worldviews, and building mutual trust and respect were the main challenges when integrating multiple perspectives through the “intercultural interface” of institutions working on environmental management and governance. The elaboration of a common declaration and next steps in the framework of a “Participatory and Intercultural Fire Management Network”, created during the workshop to enhance a sustainable fire policy, revealed the conviction of working together for Indigenous fire management legitimization and strengthening from all participants of the three countries. View Full-Text
Keywords: fire management; fire governance; Indigenous; traditional knowledge; intercultural; participatory; Venezuela; Brazil; Guyana fire management; fire governance; Indigenous; traditional knowledge; intercultural; participatory; Venezuela; Brazil; Guyana
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bilbao, B.; Mistry, J.; Millán, A.; Berardi, A. Sharing Multiple Perspectives on Burning: Towards a Participatory and Intercultural Fire Management Policy in Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana. Fire 2019, 2, 39.

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