The Karaawaimin Taawa: Insights from a biocultural assessment led by the Wapichan people in Guyana



  • Karaawaimin Taawa (Blue Mountain) in the Wapichan territory has strong cultural ties to the Wapichan people. It serves as a traditional fishing, hunting, and gathering ground and is a significant watershed for the Essequibo River.
  • Unsustainable land uses, especially irresponsible mining, are posing threats to the ecosystem and its services to the community. Aishalton community members decided to take action to preserve and administer Karaawaimin Taawa according to Wapichan customs.
  • The book presents the results, including insights into various taxonomic groups and the cultural significance of the mountains to the Wapichan people.


Unveiling indigenous wisdom through collaboration


The Karaawaimin Taawa book is a biocultural assessment resulted from the fruitful collaboration between community experts and scientists from the South Rupununi, and the SWM Programme in Guyana and around the world.

It draws attention to the region’s biodiversity and its cultural ties to the Wapichan people. The assessment’s findings will hopefully help highlight the unique role that communities play in safeguarding their lands and resources.

The SWM Programme is a seven-year initiative (2017-2024) implemented in 15 member countries of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), funded by the European Union with co-funding from the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and the French Development Agency (AFD). It is being implemented by a dynamic consortium of four partners with expertise in wildlife conservation and food security: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

The SWM Programme in Guyana is being implemented by the Guyana Wildlife Conservation and Management Commission in coordination with CIFOR.


Take a virtual journey around the SWM Programme 🦓




Publisher: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Language: English

Year: 2023

Ecosystem(s): Forests

Location(s): Guayana, South America

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