Defining Biodiversity: A Local Assessment of the Tahuayo River, Peru Using Self-Directed Photography | Steele | Visual Ethnography
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Defining Biodiversity: A Local Assessment of the Tahuayo River, Peru Using Self-Directed Photography

Rozsika Steele, Jhonatan Erik Rodriguez Macuyama

Abstract


Self-directed photography allows participants the opportunity to direct data collection and empowers them to visually communicate their perceptions. This method was employed in the rural Amazonian communities of
Buena Vista and El Chino on the Tahuayo River in Loreto, Peru, in an effort to interpret local connections to the environment. Thirty-three participants (representing a 47% sample of households) were given cameras and
two weeks, and were asked to photograph the people, places, or things most important to them. The Tahuayo River was chosen for this project because it borders the Área de Conservación Regional Comunal Tamshiyacu Tahuayo (ACRCTT), a reserve recognized for the advocacy and conservation work of resident communities. Participants sorted their photographs in order of relative importance and provided a narrative description of each image. The images identified as being the ten most important, a total of 320 photographs, were considered for analysis. Plants and trees represented 63% of these images, with 74 distinct species identified. This article demonstrates how self-directed photography can be used to access Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and facilitate the development of holistic resource management plans that advocate local stewardship.

Keywords


Self-directed Photography; Ethnography; Community Conservation; Biodiversity; Traditional Ecological Knowledge; Holistic Resource Management; Tahuayo River; Peru

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12835/ve2019.1-0128

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