The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Experts will discuss the Central American territory to define, through an update of an existing map, the location of indigenous peoples and protected areas in the region.

The American anthropologist Mac Chapin created a map in 2002, which was published by National Geographic, and now will be responsible for updating the information of indigenous peoples and including protected areas in Central America.

“Since we made the first study there have been many changes. One must consult again with the Indians. Ecosystems have suffered enough, plus protected areas and mega projects such as hydroelectric dams, mining and oil, which did not exist before, are included,” explained Chapin.

According to the anthropologist, who will visit the countries of the region with other experts, the main purpose of ‘mapping’ is to help indigenous peoples to claim and defend their ancestral lands and natural resources.

Chapin is visiting Costa Rica from Thursday until Saturday to lead a participatory workshop with scientific, technical and indigenous representatives from Central America, organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The American expert is one of the pioneers in the methodology of participatory ‘mapping’ of indigenous territories in Latin America, in countries such as Honduras, Panama, Bolivia, Guyana, Brazil, Guatemala and Nicaragua, as well as in other regions such as Cameroon and New Guinea.

In addition, the map is intended to show that there is a relationship between protected areas and indigenous populations.

“Part of the interest is to show the percentage of protected areas of indigenous peoples. An estimated 40% of the indigenous areas of the region overlaps and we want to investigate this information,” informed the regional representative of indigenous peoples of the IUCN, the Honduran Adalberto Padilla.

Padilla added that this situation also raises the need to talk about land rights, participation and management development of Central American indigenous peoples.

The regional director for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean of IUCN, Grettel Aguilar, said she intends to have the information ready for next November, in order to show at the World Parks Congress to be held in the Australian city Sydney this month.

The map that was created in 2002 shows the relationship between natural ecosystems and indigenous material used by indigenous organizations, governments and environmental organizations territories.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica


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