TGER "Video Voices" Indigenous Youth Workshop, Gran Chaco, Bolivia

21 May 2010 | News story

TGER continues to lead CEESP "Video Voices" work encouraging rural people to take advantage of new opportunities of modern technologies and communications media to bring their voices and ideas about biodiversity and sustainable development to global debates via videos posted on the internet. A training workshop was held in Villa Montes, Bolivia, in the Gran Chaco-- a high biodiversity region that includes the world´s largest dry forest.

The purpose of the Villa Montes video training was to encourage Bolivian Chaqueño youth to participate in constructing the new Bolivian society through the use of new tools to express their visions, worries, and alternative proposals for natural resources management, particularly important in light of Global Climate Change in the arid Gran Chaco environment.

Weenhayek and Tapiete indigenous youth from southeastern Bolivia were trained in use of Flip video cameras and editing videos, using the facilities of Fundacion Yangareko in Villa Montes, December 2009. The Tapiete are an "endangered people" managing their 25,000 hectare territory that is habitat to endangered species along the Pilcomayo River. The Weenhayek (known as Wichi in Argentina) are fisher people living along the Pilcomayo River, and actively involved in radio and press coverage of fisheries issues. Video offers them a new medium for raising public awareness of Gran Chaco issues.

The Bolivian NGO Fundación Yangareko will follow up and assist these youth as they explore this new technology. For more information, please visit www.cuencadelplata-granchaco.org and www.yangareko.org . For information about the TGER Video Voices initiative, please contact Alonzo Zarzycki, Fundacion Urundei, CEESP TGER secretariat, (urundei@gmail.com).

Photo: Bolivian Indigenous Youth learning to interview with a Flip video camera. Flip cameras are inexpensive, create YouTube ready video, and use AA batteries. Therefore they are ideal for field work. Flip offers discounts to NGOs.