The research builds on, and involves members of, the Guyana Darwin Initiative Project.
The context for environmental decision making is provided by the Makushi tribal region,
situated in the Rupununi River catchment, Guyana, which is the size of S.E. England and
contains one of the highest diversity of animal and plant species in the world.
This region is also under intense pressure to expand the exploitation of its natural resources,
including timber, gold, and commercially viable fish species. The Guyana Darwin Initiative Project
is developing geospatial and socio-ecological databases and models as baseline data for monitoring
and planning in the region. The challenge for the Darwin Project is to produce a monitoring and
management plan that will allow the sustainable exploitation of these resources while directly
benefiting the long-term interests of the local Makushi community.
- to develop a distributed computational infrastructure that extends conventional
geographical information systems functionality with support for continued collaborative
sensemaking: analysis, discussion, conceptual modelling and commitment to action on behalf
of vulnerable communities in endangered ecosystems; and
- to develop the capacity for such distributed, spatial decision-support both within
the UK and at international level through training and an on-line distance-learning, open-source
short-course (contributing credit points towards at least two existing OU postgraduate programmes
and similar programmes at the Royal Holloway College, University of London and the University of Guyana).