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Indigenous Rainforest Keepers
Indigenous Rainforest Keepers
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Moraro, Koria Creek, Wakapoa, GY
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Preserve Rainforest Fruits Trees and Preserve the Forest

Project: Indigenous Rainforest Keepers

Posted by Claudette Fleming over 11 years ago

It is time that these trees are given recognition and value for their contribution to the preservation of our rainforests.

If we preserve rainforest fruit trees  then we would be preserving our forests as well. It appears to be due to  lack of awareness that forests are depleted of their trees.  With proper management techniques  we can use these bio resources and still have our forests for the future.  Indigenous peoples use their knowledge, expertise and skills to manage forest fruit trees which is one reason why forests are still intact.

How do forest fruits contribute to life in the rainforest? The answer is to look closely at how the fruits are used. Most obvious contributors  would be trees that are used by local people as well as birds and animals. One such example are trees belonging to the Inga family.

Inga trees can be found growing among other trees in different areas of the forest, most noticeably near to water. One specie grows  so huge and tall in virgin forest  that the wood  is used by local people to make canoes. On the other hand, other species growing  in secondary forest are so many that it can be tricky to identify them. One species of Inga traditionally have been left to grow around houses where they seem to prefer.  In Indigenous  forest communities they become communal fruit trees.

One certainty is the value of the fruits. They  are consumed by local people, animals such as monkeys - the sakawinki  (Saimiri sciureus) and white face (Cebus capucinus), acouri ( Dasyprocta leporina ) and birds like the toucan (Ramphastidae) that have the beak type to get at the inner goodness. Some insects wait until the fruit pod splits open to reveal the ripe inner sweetness. Though the fruit tastes sweet, that sweetness varies according to species. One has the distinct sweetness of raw sugarcane juice. Fruits are called Ice-cream by some people.  It is also called Whitie by some because of the inner colour.

Fruits are so desirable that people have to compete with cheeky monkeys to get their share. Inga trees can live with leaf cutter ants, and even if stripped of all its leaves will eventually grow new ones.

Bees are attracted to the blossoms. When in bloom the tree is normally covered in flowers. The Inga family  is nitrogen fixing and so brings much needed nutrients to the forest soil.

The importance of Inga trees then is obvious. Many species of this special family contribute as an all important food source that enables members of the local population including threatened species  to survive. They provide habitat as well as shade and recyclable material.

Inga trees, people, animals, birds,  and the environment  all work hand in hand.

In Moraro four species have been identified according to their leaves and fruits. These species not only are beneficial to local Lokono, Warrau and Carib people but to wildlife and the soil too. 



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