The role of social memory in natural resource management: insights from participatory video

Mistry, Jayalaxshmi; Berardi, Andrea; Haynes, Lakeram; Davis, Delano; Xavier, Rebecca and Andries, Johnny (2014). The role of social memory in natural resource management: insights from participatory video. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 39(1) pp. 115–127.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12010

Abstract

This research looked at the role of social memory in determining adaptability and resilience within the Makushi social-ecological system (SES) in the Rupununi, Guyana. Secondary data was used to construct a timeline based on different phases of the adaptive cycle and a compendium of narratives was created through participatory video interpreted as coherent social memories. These revealed a range of discourses linked to different aspects of Makushi SES viability over time, indicating that the main constraints to the adaptive capacity of the current Makushi SES include historical evolution of the SES, livelihood/resource dependency and the role of institutions. This suggests that efforts to ensure the sustainability of the Makushi SES need to focus on keeping a balanced repertoire of at least one discourse capturing behaviour in each phase of the adaptive cycle so as to maximise Makushi adaptability and resilience in what are rapidly evolving times, both ecologically and socially.

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