Click on VIDEO below to see part of our work.
The contribution made by indigenous peoples to the conservation and preservation of nature's bio-diversity is important. Thankfully, more people are now understanding how traditional peoples use preservation skills to protect our natural environment. Traditional indigenous peoples have proven that the environment provides everything needed to make life comfortable and that it is possible to live without destroying our forests.
Rain-forests have been saved for centuries by the intelligence of indigenous peoples. Even with new challenges, in Moraro, we still believe that our forests can continue, if we use traditional techniques to keep them. But we also believe that more modern sustainable systems are important too.
Issues such as climate change and population growth are now affecting our forests. We believe it's important that everyone understands how to preserve them and support each other in doing so.
Example of how using an old practice can address new problems - Wood Foraging
Rain-forest wood foraging is new to Moraro, yet indigenous people have been practising it on a small scale for ages.
With traditional practice, if a usable fallen tree or old log is found in the forest, it is taken — be it Wallaba (Eperua) for shingles or Mora (Mora excelsa) for an adisa (a wooden sink)
In Moraro, we are going one step further. We want a sustainable forest for the present and the future, so we use trees that can be converted to usable timber.
Timber is reaped from unused, felled trees. Many are cut down by farmers, to make way for new farms and would have been left to rot. Some may have fallen naturally, showed signs of falling or could have been unappealing for use because of their specie, structure, hardness or their small size. In addition, it might have been difficult to get a chainsaw, to convert the wood into proper building material.
After looking at current trends, we see how important it is, to harvest timber from such trees, apart from the fact that it is a waste to allow good wood to rot. Sustaining forests is very important if small indigenous rain-forest communities are to survive.
Deforestation, population growth, demand for timber products are all good reasons for forest care ... then, there is the threat of dispossessing indigenous peoples of traditional lands by those in positions of power. Wood foraging is sustainable.
We believe that the practice can help in maintaining our forests for the future. Foraged wood is helping us. It is excellent. It is supplying our need for finished timber and is a good example of how an old practice can be built upon, to solve current problems, while addressing future needs.
Traditional conservation works by using traditional knowledge accumulated by living with the natural environment for centuries. With rain-forest living, certain sustainable practices have developed … practices that support conservation like eating local cassava bread and forest-fruits. Traditional activities such as bathing in natural bodies of water does not require imported, manufactured resources.
There must be an appreciating for the uniqueness of the environment so as to use its resources wisely. In order to preserve a forest and its surroundings, traditional indigenous people who use the area would understand how important the resources are to their well being.
Experts would consider how to use resources without destroying them. One example is the reaping of plant material for craft-work. The mother plant would not be up-rooted , but just the mature, growing part would be harvested. In this way, the user can return, time and time again, to reap from the same plant. Overused plants are normally left to recover if they show signs of distress.
Wisdom of Indigenous Knowledge
Many times, indigenous cultures are seen as ‘stone age’ and 'less progressive' by western eyes. However now, with the destruction of our natural environment, the wisdom of indigenous technologies and systems are seen in a more appreciative and graspable way.
This is an interesting time in the history of indigenous peoples - their culture can be much more understood and be an inspiration. Hopefully they can enlighten, on how 'living with nature' can be in the interest of a healthy life-style as well as in keeping the natural environment.