Community-based management strategies for biocultural diversity conservation


COMBIOSERVE Conference: Call for Contributions

Call for contributions for the international conference on Community-based conservation in Latin America: innovations in research and practice.


The call for abstracts for an international conference organised by COMBIOSERVE is now open. The conference will take place in Xalapa, Mexico, 6-9 November 2014, and will be hosted locally by the Instituto de Ecología (INECOL) and Global Diversity Foundation (GDF).


Fieldwork in Mexico and Bolivia

In between COMBIOSERVE's planned field workshops, which are moments of intensive collective work, our local and international researchers continue to carry out day-to-day fieldwork among participating communities. As part of this process, in October and November 2012 we began our study of local use and dependence on natural resources and adaptive capacity to changing conditions in agricultural, livestock and forestry systems.


Pre-workshop meeting in Tsimane communities

In contrast with communities in Campeche and Bahia, the remote and isolated T'simane communities involved in the project (San Luis Chico and Alto Colorado in Pilon Lajas, Bolivia) have no previous experience of participatory methodologies. With the aim of introducing them to the collaborative work of the COMBIOSERVE team, the Universidad Mayor de San Simón and the Centro Boliviano de Investigación y Desarrollo Socio Integral organised 'pre-sowkrhop' meetings in both communities.


Field Workshop I in Calakmul

In Calakmul, the two communities – El Sacrificio and Once de Mayo – each organised their own workshops, which followed similar patterns and processes. Following the introductions and the presentation of the project, the local team leader described the objective of the workshop: to establish co-inquiry as a research process with the aim of collaboratively exploring how resources could be better managed for community wellbeing.


Field Workshop I in Jaqueira

The research methodology adopted in work package 3 (WP3) of the COMBIOSERVE project in the Jaqueira Reserve and Pé do Monte Brazilian study sites involves the construction of research by groups of student researchers in a training process whose format alternates between a series of village times and workshops. The entire co-investigation process will be coordinated by indigenous community researchers under the guidance of project researchers and two indigenous supervisors.


Community Exchanges

One of the important elements of the COMBIOSERVE project is the development of active communication between the communities involved in the project. Currently, field site leaders are discussing the possibility of organising letter exchanges between communities in Campeche (Mexico), Bahia (Brazil) and Bolivia. In the third year of the project (2014), more structured exchanges between the communities are planned. These will principally take the shape of video exchanges between communities in Brazil, Bolivia and Mexico.


Field Workshop I

After obtaining Free Prior and Informed Consent and signing of community agreements (details available here), the COMBIOSERVE consortium began planning the first Field Workshops in the three field sites. Field Workshop 1 (FWS1) provided the first opportunity for the COMBIOSERVE research team to come together to explore collaborative approaches and processes for the implementation of the field research aspect of the project. The workshop also specifically sought to introduce researchers to the communities involved, support members of the latter in their election of their local research teams, and decide upon the specific themes the research teams would focus on. Although the research elements of all Work Packages (details available here) were touched upon during this workshop, in order to maintain a certain coherence and simplicity to the workshop, its focus was on Work Packages 2 (biological diversity monitoring) and 3 (land use change and participatory mapping). Following FWS1, community research teams, with the support of the local CSOs involved in the project, take over the research process and begin collecting data.


Consortium meetings

The COMBIOSERVE consortium is composed of individuals and institutions from Mexico, Brazil, Bolivia, Spain, Austra, The Netherlands and the UK. Our challenge is therefore to maintain a vibrant and constant communication despite our distance. We do this by - throughout the project's duration - organising both official meetings, in which all consortium members participate, informal meetings that take place at public events in which certain consortium members are participating, and organised Skype sessions.