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Building climate resilience in Mainstay / Whyaka indigenous village

The Canada Fund for Local Initiative [CFLI] operated through the Canadian High Commission in Guyana is a top-down initiative intended to stimulate a bottom-up response of communities.  The REAL change however relies on how communities are stimulated to national and international commitment of provision of resources, human capital and financial. Herein lies the opportunity. How can communities, and in particular, the low-resourced, vulnerable and marginalized ones, be part of this huge opportunity? How can we nudge them to take ownership and responsibility for realizing their full potential given these opportunities? With respect to Indigenous Peoples, it is especially important to apply principles of Free Prior and Informed Consent so that they make informed decisions.

The Mainstay / Whyaka indigenous village responded and was successful in terms of a call for proposal. The village is seeking to “Develop alternative livelihood opportunities through tourism and climate smart agriculture to contribute to national and international demands of climate resilience” The nudging for Mainstay /Whyaka indigenous village was achieved by the application of the CLCprocess with SALT to achieve discrete outcome results where thoughts and roadmaps are more aligned. A local conversation ensued between community leadership who identified the following practices that can lead them to their dream of a resilient society as their contribution to national and international demands of climate resilience:

  1. Better health
  2. SMART Agriculture
  3. Tourism and clean energy opportunities
  4. Improved education
  5. Improved infrastructure
  6. Sports
  7. Culture

This is where we are NOW on a 5-level scale of competence for the seven practices. The seven practices were either at level 2 or level 3, the entry point for the journey. 

A teacher  says what the level 5 of one practice meant  for this community

Illustrating how the levels of competence works. Only Toshao Yvonne is at level 3,  while other participants are at level 1 or 2

Toshao Yvonne ascertaining where we are on the scale of competence for the different practices

The trigger to a paradigm shift towards the journey of climate resilience has started. The specific result of “A climate resilience vision was created by a cross-section of the village leadership whom the villagers trust and strategic objectives to realize the vision, developed.”  A trusted cross section of community leaders  contributing to the dream comprised village councilors, CSOs, Enhancement Workers, Pathway development Workers, Community Development Workers, housewives, former Toshaos, pastor, and teachers. 

In addition to the dream and strategy, the other specific results intended to be achieved, include [1] alternative livelihood opportunities: [a]  a heritage park with nature trail will be rehabilitated and [b]  agriculture production practices tactfully shift to being climate SMART production systems based on market demands; and [2]  The project will additionally increase the population knowledge and understanding of the Amerindian Act [2006], village rules as part of the Free Prior and Informed Concept [FPIC] modalities will be a specific output.

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Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on October 31, 2022 at 8:36am

Hi Autry, how did you apply SALT in this process? Thanks

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on September 28, 2022 at 10:17pm

Thanks. One more thing, in case you discovered any indigenous wisdom in them during the interaction? We have so much to learn from indigenous communities!

Comment by Autry Haynes on September 28, 2022 at 10:15pm

A very ENHTHUSIASTIC group of community members ranging between 18 yrs and greater than 64yrs old. The majority was between the age range 18-34 and then 35-45 age range. They willingly responded to the facilitation process with a common understanding of their context and very rational of where they want to be and to delineate how they can get there. When we have communities with such strengths / qualities, they easily take ownership and responsibility to achieve results that benefit them. They are motivated.

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on September 28, 2022 at 3:30pm

Fabulous! What strengths did you see in this community? Thanks a lot Autry for your work.

Comment by Marie Lamboray on September 27, 2022 at 10:12am

Thank you for sharing, Autry! Happy CLC process to Mainstay/Whyaka!

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