Theory, policy and practice perspectives from Royal Holloway

Using technology to promote and share community-owned solutions to sustainable resource use

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The COBRA Project – Local Solutions to Future Challenges: Community Owned Best Practice for Sustainable Resource Adaptive Management in the Guiana Shield – is a three-year, multinational project funded by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme. The aim of COBRA is to document, promote and share local community-owned solutions that address escalating social, economic and environmental crises through accessible communication technologies. The main goal of the project is to help strengthen local community institutions while encouraging policy makers and civil society organisations to work with communities to promote local solutions.

Filming the Parishara Dance, Amerindian Heritage Celebration, Surama Village, September 2013. Photo credit: Deirdre Jaferally.

Filming the Parishara Dance, Amerindian Heritage Celebration, Surama Village, September 2013. Photo credit: Deirdre Jaferally.

The COBRA project uses a participatory action research approach to engaging communities while using participatory video and participatory photostories to disseminate information. The project is carried out at three levels – local, national and international. There are six work packages which are led by various project partners. Work Package 1 and 6 are overarching as they relate to project management and dissemination of information. Work package 2 is an analysis of current community conditions, Work package 3 explores future scenarios for drivers of change, Work package 4 looks at identifying and documenting community best practices, while work package 5 looks at the mechanism for sharing and adopting local best practices by other communities. Further details about the project, the work packages and results can be found at the COBRA website at www.projectcobra.org.

Deirdre Jaferally, COBRA Team Member & PhD student, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway.

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