Shifting Strategies: The Myth of Wanamei and the Amazon Indigenous REDD+ Programme in Madre de Dios, Peru

  • Chantelle Murtagh
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Anthropology of Sustainability book series (PSAS)


The Harakmbut myth of Wanamei tells of a time of great climate change; floods and fire ravaged the earth. It also tells of salvation and the transition from a bad state of affairs to a more prosperous and productive one. I discuss the myth to highlight how the Harakmbut people’s understanding of their environment has motivated them to negotiate the terms of their engagement with the United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Environment Degradation (REDD+) programme. I outline the initial discussions surrounding the REDD+ programme in Peru and how indigenous cosmovision was used as a justification for their involvement in the design of an alternative project. The Amazon Indigenous REDD+ Programme is to be piloted in the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve. I argue for the agency of indigenous peoples whereby sometimes it becomes necessary to change strategy to continue the indigenous struggle.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chantelle Murtagh
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ManchesterManchesterUK

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