Pemon perspectives of fire management in Canaima National Park, Venezuela

Rodriguez Fernandez, Iokine (2007) Pemon perspectives of fire management in Canaima National Park, Venezuela. Human Ecology, 35. pp. 331-343. ISSN 0300-7839

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Abstract

Recent research on the ecology of fire has challenged the view that the use of fire by indigenous peoples is detrimental to ecosystems and wildlife in protected areas. However, in Canaima National Park and World Heritage Site in southeastern Venezuela, since 1981 managers have employed a costly fire control program to eliminate savanna burning by the Pemon indigenous people. Here I present the results of the first study on Pemon perspectives of fire management in the park. I show that savanna burning is an important tool in indigenous land management and plays a key role in preventing large catastrophic fires. Pemon knowledge of fire also raises questions about conventional interpretations of environmental change in the park. Lastly, I recommend a fire management policy that seeks to integrate local ecological knowledge. This will require: (a) greater openness from scientists and resource managers to understanding Pemon rationale for the use of fire, (b) clarification among the Pemon themselves of their own views of fire, and (c) research partnerships among scientists, resource managers and the Pemon in order to encourage understanding of Pemon ecological knowledge of fire, and to assess its true impact in the Canaima National Park.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 15 - life on land ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/life_on_land
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2021 01:52
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2021 01:57
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/81047
DOI: 10.1007/s10745-006-9064-7

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