In the second part of this book I present a case study of the Trio indigenous people as they are facing climate change and participating in the national REDD+ development efforts in Suriname, South America. With this case study based on 12 years of fieldwork, I demonstrate how to unravel, group and present information by means of the VIEW framework to better understand the lens through which the community sees their future. The case study is presented in three chapters— 5, 6 and 7— in which I describe the Trio values, meaning- making and sustainable decision- making process, respectively. The present chapter describes the values held by the Trios, which are the point of departure for the construction of their view.
The Trio Indigenous People
Indigenous people live in the Amazon forest, the largest remaining tropical forest today, which houses about one- fifth of the world's mammal, fish, bird and tree species. Trees of up to 50 meters in height reach out over the rivers. These rivers, along with the replenishment of water by the forest, make up roughly one- quarter of the freshwater resources available globally today (Hall 2012). More than 380 groups of indigenous peoples, who speak various languages and have greatly varying appearances, live along these Amazonian rivers. Their lands cover approximately 7.8 million hectares, of which 45 percent falls under some form of protection, primarily officially declared indigenous territories and protected areas (RAISG 2012).
The Amazonian groups domesticate food crops and hunt animals and fish to feed their families. Each group has developed a certain pattern of forest use, and their adaptation is largely dependent on locally available resources. Resource strategies are developed out of past experiences. Failure dictates which strategies indigenous peoples will use going forward. The longer an indigenous group lives in a specific location, the more the traditional knowledge base is developed and the better prepared the group is for challenges arising from the surrounding environment (Moran 1993).