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Engagement with the Indigenous Community

The proposal of the Reconecta Project is to unite traditional indigenous knowledge with cutting-edge science to protect arboreal species in the Amazon through canopy bridges over the highway BR-174.

The Waimiri-Atroari indigenous community plays a key role in the success of the Reconecta Project, as it actively helped, based on its traditional knowledge, in choosing the design and location of the bridges along the highway BR-174. Furthermore, more than 300 indigenous people participated in the construction and installation of Artificial Canopy Bridges.

The support of this Community makes the project more impactful, as the indigenous people themselves can continue the project in the medium and long term, which represents a sustainable solution for maintaining the local biodiversity.

The communication between the Reconecta team and the Waimiri-Atroari Community was one of the main initial challenges of the project. Some members of the Waimiri-Atroari Community speak Portuguese, but their original language is Kinja Iara, so the members of the field team had to learn indigenous vocabulary to facilitate communication throughout the Project.

Another challenge was communicating the Project’s results to the community, especially the results of the canopy bridges. The Project team holds occasional meetings and takes photographic and video material to the indigenous people to show which species or numbers of individuals are using the canopy bridges.