In the northeast Amazon, Our work focuses on the following areas:
- Indigenous park guards
- Shamans and Apprentices program
- Traditional medicine clinics
- Youth education (ethnoeducation)
- Sustainable income generation
- Ethnographic mapping
Many of our projects in Suriname date back to ACT’s founding in 1996. The program was founded on the ethnobotanical fieldwork of ACT President and co-founder, Dr. Mark Plotkin, who directed his research toward understanding traditional plant uses and healing methods of indigenous healers in the region. ACT’s work emerged from Dr. Plotkin’s desire to meaningfully assist his longtime indigenous partners in retaining their cultural identity and conserving their environmental heritage in the face of modern change.
ACT's work in Suriname commenced with two precedent-setting biocultural conservation initiatives. The first was the establishment of a series of traditional medicine clinics run by members of ACT's Shamans and Apprentices program. They complement existing western healthcare facilities and support the intergenerational transmission of indigenous medical knowledge. The second was the first successful, large-scale participatory ethnographic mapping project conducted in the Amazon using a methodology that ACT subsequently replicated in Brazil and Colombia.
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