(News!) Amazon Dams Network, TCD Program & UF Law School Awarded a Faculty Interdisciplinary Seed Grant from the University of Florida Biodiversity Institute
The newly created UF Biodiversity Institute (UFBI) awarded a Faculty Interdisciplinary Seed Grant to a joint effort by UF faculty, students and Brazilian collaborators of the Amazon Dams Network (Rede Barragens Amazônicas -ADN/RBA), hosted in the Tropical Conservation and Development Program (TCD) in the Center for Latin American Studies, in partnership with the UF Levin College of Law, and the Department of Geography.
The project “Incorporating traditional ecological knowledge and biocultural diversity into policy-making for infrastructure development across the Amazon” aims to develop an innovative approach to translate biocultural diversity into development policy and decision-making, through the creation of a transdisciplinary pilot training program for indigenous “paralegals” – providing indigenous communities with sufficient capacity to participate in large infrastructure planning processes across the Amazon. Conceptually, this term is similar to “para-taxonomist” and “para-ecologist” terms already used to support community-based and citizen science programs for biodiversity assessment and conservation in the region. The framework and tools resulting from this project can serve as a model to inform UFBI strategies and programs for documenting and monitoring human and cultural dimensions of biodiversity, as well as to translate research on biocultural diversity into natural resource management, protection and sustainability.