Bijagós, Bemba Di Vida! Civic Action to Recover and Enhance a World Heritage

Guinea-Bissau Bijagós, Urok Islands

Considering that cultural identities are in continuous reconstruction, the community management bring different generations together and stimulates dialogue, which simultaneously fosters preservation and innovation accordingly with new trends in a globalised world.

This was the challenge of the project “Bijagós, Bemba di Vida! Civic Action to Recover and Enhance a World Heritage”.



contribute to greater ownership by local communities of the process of preservation and durable development of BRBBA, and to attract sustainable investments to the archipelago.

enhancement of the BRBBA heritage as a way to promote integrated and long-term development in this region and in the country.


200 producers involved in the production unit of the brand “Produtos da Terra e do Mar”; 200 producers engaged in activities to support the local economy; 8 organisations are members of the working group on the enhancement of local products; governance structures of the Community-based Marine Protected Area (CMPA), covering 100 people; 300 young people engaged in cultural and knowledge production activities; and 200 students from CMPAs and from the CMPAs’ communities in the Urok islands, with approximately 3.080 residents.

34.000 residents in the Biosphere Reserve of the Bolama-Bijagós Archipelago (BRBBA), in Portuguese).



Global Activities:

Support to initiatives of the Urok Houses of Environment and Culture, which are centres for promoting the Bijagó culture and for interlinking the diverse cultural expressions of local communities;

4 cultural djumbais held in the tabankas of Abu, Acoco, Caminhate and Ambo;

Organisation of the “Competition of Bijagó gastronomy” in the 3 Urok islands, in which 7 traditional dishes of the bijagó cuisine were presented;

Organisation of 3 Urok carnivals, in Chediã, Nago and Botai, including the presentation of 4 traditional costumes and bijagó dance by the Kampuni, Kadeni and Kamabi groups;

VI Girls Forum and X Youth Forum, in 2015;

Organisation of the 1st Youth Cultural Forum “Separados pelo Mar, Unidos pela Cultura”, in March 2016;

Organisation of the debate-cinema session about the film “Mortu Nega”, from the Guinean film-maker Flora Gomes, at Casa Ambiente e Cultura, in December 2016;

Publication of the studies “Inventário sobre Artesanato, Dança e Cantiga Bijagó” (about Bijagó handicraft, dance and songs), “Os Sítios Sagrados no Arquipélago dos Bijagós”(about the sacred places of the islands) and “Viabilidade comercial de produtos de Urok”(about commercial viability of Urok products);

Publication of the study “Bijagós, Património Arquitetónico”, which resulted in a book published by Tinta da China, authored by Rodrigo Rebelo de Andrade and Duarte Pape, photographs by Francisco Nogueira, launched on 27th October 2016 at CPLP headquarters, in Lisbon;

10 workshops of cultural revival in the Formosa community schools, with the participation of 106 students and 9 artisans;

Construction of a Processing Unit for Land and Sea Products, for transformation and processing of honey, salt flower and chilli, including the packaging, labelling, storage and sales area;

Creation of the brand “Produtos da Terra e do Mar” and establishment of a participatory certification scheme that involved 6 local organisms, and development of new labels for the honey, salt flower and minced chilli packs;

Organisation of a Meeting with 50 young women on governance issues, namely their role in the management and enhancement of resources and services of community forests, behavioural issues (juvenile crime), family planning and STD;


Tiniguena – Esta Terra é Nossa!