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April 15, 2020

Tajimat Pujut: Wellbeing and development


When it comes to wellbeing and development, all too often it’s one or the other, at the expense of both indigenous rights and rainforest.

But there is a way for them to go hand in hand.

A community-led approach to conservation embraces and learns from local traditions, while scaling up and supporting sustainable development. By utilising the latest forest monitoring technology, Cool Earth is helping local people progress in a way that reduces pressure on the forest and to be aware of the threats that unsustainable development may pose.

The inextricable link between forest and wellbeing is regarded by many as the Awajún secret weapon to counter repeated threats faced throughout their history.

It’s why the Awajún have held on fast to the concept of Tajimat Pujut. Loosely translated as wellbeing, Tajimat Pujut is key for those of us who want to protect the future of our planet.

Newly constructed roads are bringing consumerism and unsustainable development to the doorstep of the Awajún, not only threatening local culture but also placing pressure on the vital ecosystems they have been protecting for years. With social, cultural and environmental sustainability often ignored when it comes to infrastructure, indigenous wellbeing and how communities use their land now needs to be an equal part of any plan in the forest.

“Putting wellbeing above economic growth is something we may never understand. It could even cost us the fight against climate change. There’s a lot for us to learn from the Awajún.”

– Martin Simonneau, Programme Manager

Alongside reports from the Awajún, Cool Earth is able to identify increased levels of deforestation occurring near roads using data and satellite technology. By calculating the likelihood of deforestation as a result of transport infrastructure, Cool Earth can support local people with the knowledge needed to keep forest standing.

Understanding the context and needs of local communities not only helps to preserve culture, but is also essential if we are to find the best ways of protecting rainforest long term.

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