Maps, Magic, and Medicine explores the importance of indigenous knowledge to protect the environment. Each month we bring you stories about the spiritual, the unexplained, and the unbelievable.

To create innovative strategies that address global climate change, poverty, and land rights, we must understand the interconnectedness of humans and the environment. These stories are the first way to reimagine our relationship to the natural world.

Episode 4: Knowledge for Protection

Deep in the Amazon, there are groups that have made the decision to isolate themselves from the outside world. These isolated or uncontacted groups live under constant threat of incursion from mining, development, and illegal activity. On the final episode of this series, we'll explore the reason why these groups fled into the rainforest, how to protect isolated groups without contacting them, and the late Colombian historian who proved the existence of isolated groups in Colombia. View the interactive transcript.

Special Episode with Julian Lennon: Listen Younger Brother

Julian Lennon, musician, photographer, and founder of the White Feather Foundation hosts this special episode about the Kogi indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Kogi community members discuss the importance of water, sacred sites, and their ancestral territory, while Julian Lennon reflects on his visit to Kogi sacred sites and the lessons it imparted.

Episode 3: Knowledge on the Map

Suriname is the only country in the Western hemisphere that does not recognize the land rights of indigenous groups. Yet, development projects, loggers, and miners have legal contracts allowing them to work on traditional lands. On this episode, we'll hear how indigenous groups are using maps to reclaim their territory. View the interactive transcript.

Special Episode: An Element of the Environment

Taita Luciano, a traditional healer from the Colombian Amazon and coordinator of the Union of Yagé healers of the Colombian Amazon, reflects on the importance of the traditional medicine yagé or ayahuasca for the environment. He responds to the growing interest in yagé how its misuse affects indigenous communities. Listen to this special episode in English and Spanish:

Episode 2: Explorers Turned Apprentices

When Mark Plotkin went down to Suriname, he wanted to study how indigenous peoples use plants. But when he saw his indigenous friend Wuta leave his home in search of a better life in the city, he realized that indigenous knowledge was disappearing faster than anything in the forest. View the interactive transcript

 Episode 1: People First

Over 20 years ago, the conservation world was changing. An unexpected event showed Liliana Madrigal a different way forward that puts people first. On this episode, we talk to Liliana Madrigal, Adrian Forsyth, and Raquel Gomez about its challenges and successes. View the interactive transcript

Introducing: Maps, Magic, and Medicine

You can listen to Maps, Magic, and Medicine on:

You can also copy our RSS feed here: