Communications to conserve the Amazon | WWF

Communications to conserve the Amazon

Posted on
18 abril 2019
Leaders from campesino and indigenous communities from the Amazon participated in a communications workshop in Bogota, Colombia. They obtained communicational tools to strengthen their territorial governance and our work as allies.
Eleven indigenous and campesino leaders traveled to Bogota in March to participate in a three-day workshop at WWF-Colombia’s headquarters. The group included four women and seven men, both teenagers and adults. Participants arrived from Tarapoto lakes, Inírida’s Estrella Fluvial, the forests of Bajo Caguán, and the Putumayo jungle to learn about strategic, written, audiovisual, and assertive communication.

The objective of the workshop was to strengthen their communication competences, because the support to communities to strengthen their leadership and make decisions in their territory is essential in the work for the conservation of the Amazon.
In the workshop, the leaders learned tools of assertive communication, podcast and video production, photography with cell phone and writing of news texts. Among the workshop facilitators were Óscar Pérez, photographer of the newspaper El Espectador; Ingrid Rodríguez, community documentaries producer, and Diana Giraldo, independent podcaster.

 The participants and some of the workshop trainers at the end of the workshop.

In addition, this type of meetings are an opportunity to exchange experiences and knowledge among the communities and to consolidate the work they do in partnership with WWF-Colombia in their territories. Several of the participants are part of projects such as community monitoring of natural resources in Umancia-Putumayo, the South American Initiative for River Dolphins in the Tarapoto Lakes Complex and the project of forest guardians program in Bajo Caguán, among others.
On the other hand, the participation of several women in the workshop is relevant for gender equity in this type of meetings. It is not common for women to put aside, for a moment, the housework in their own communities to leave their territory and get trained.
These are some of the participants who shared their thoughts about the workshop:

Oscar Qhemag and Rosa Durán showing their diploma for participation in the workshop.

Rosa Durán, indigenous leader from Inírida’s Estrella Fluvial.
“I believe that the workshop was an enriching space, since the lessons on spoken expression and assertive communication will make it easier for me to share the results of the fisheries monitoring project in communities neighboring Inírida. There, with my colleague Manuel, we are in charge of travelling by boat to carry information to other inhabitants. We have carried out this task for more than 10 years.”
Oscar Quemag, indigenous leader from San Jose del Pepino, Putumayo.
“I work in a community radio and form part of a program in which we tell stories about our indigenous tradition. That is why it is exciting to meet colleagues who seek similar goals: the conservation of their culture and their territory. Besides, through these experiences one can learn from others, get inspired by their struggles and the way in which they have solved the issues of their territories. Their enthusiasm is contagious.”

Manuel Rodríguez and Lilia Java showing their diploma for participation in the workshop.
Manuel Rodríguez, indigenous leader from Inírida’s Estrella Fluvial.
“Having learned about strategic communication is something that has made me grow as a leader since I feel better prepared to strengthen the fisheries monitoring process in which I am involved and to make it more visible for the community to understand its importance.”
Lilia Java, indigenous participant from the Tarapoto network of lakes and marshes
“I am part of the work carried out with communities by the South American River Dolphins Initiative in Tarapoto, a territory that forms part of the Department of Amazonas in Colombia. The exercise I liked the most during the workshop was learning to use our body correctly to express ourselves and to strengthen our message. This was one of the lessons that will help me in my community to improve my communication, since there I play an important role spreading information about the projects that take place in the area.”