ABSTRACT

The Amazon rainforests and their biological diversity are being lost rapidly by the onslaught of extractive industries, large-scale agriculture and infrastructure development, which also undermines the integrity of indigenous territories and ethnicities, threatening the tremendous cultural diversity of the Amazon. The loss of forest, the disintegration of local communities and the increase of the market economy erode indigenous ecological knowledges that is intricately tied to the territory and the forest itself, with all that is contained within it. This chapter draws on collaborative research with an indigenous knowledge holder in the Colombian Amazon and presents insights into the wealth of indigenous ecological knowledges that still exist and that is of tremendous importance for understanding the different ways of seeing and relating to the social-ecological systems still present in the Amazon region. Based on these insights, we argue for more inclusive approaches to forest governance, that includes indigenous ecological knowledges, particularly relating to forest fauna. In more particular, indigenous knowledges on hunting must be included in future forest governance in order to ensure the continuous existence and practice of the wealth of this knowledge that has been accumulated by indigenous peoples over many generations.