Kwamalasamutu - In Pursuit of Human Wellbeing

ACT is pleased to share Kwamalasamutu - In Pursuit of Human Wellbeing, a short documentary film that highlights nearly two years of participatory research in the Trio indigenous village of Kwamalasamutu, Suriname conducted by ACT-trained indigenous Amazon Conservation Rangers together with students from the University of Utrecht and local partners, such as the Center for Agricultural Research in Suriname, Suriname’s National Herbarium, as well as Suriname’s National Forest Management Agency and its Nature Conservation Division.

Through the project, student and indigenous researchers analyzed biomass and carbon provision of forest plots, calculated from measured trees and soil samplings. The project also supported the measurement of tasi (a palm species whose leaves are frequently used by villagers as roofing materials), which should lead to the drafting of harvesting guidelines for the community. An inventory of common macro-fungi and fungi-like bromeliads (epiphytes) in the plots provided a picture of the current health of the forest and organic matter breakdown. In addition, wildlife recordings were conducted within a 5km and 10km radius from Kwamalasamutu. These measurements yielded long-term insights into the availability of protein for food security.

Click here to see the film.

Sarayaku People’s Struggle for Justice in Ecuador Presented in Interactive Digital Map

San José, December 2nd, 2016 – On the occasion of a public compliance hearing at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights today, members of the indigenous Kichwa community in Sarayaku exposed the Ecuadorian State’s failure to comply with the 2012 judgment issues by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, using a new interactive digital story map to demonstrate how the Ecuadorian State parceled off even more of their territory to oil companies.

“The story map clearly shows how Ecuador has sold off concessions without respecting our rights, as we have regularly denounced,” said Félix Santi, president of the Sarayaku people.

Despite the fact that the aforementioned judgement ordered the State to consult with the Sarayaku people before selling new concessions, Ecuador concluded a new round of bidding on oil blocks, resulting in the concession of three new blocks that affect almost 91.18% of Sarayaku territory.

The story map – developed by CEJIL and Amazon Conservation Team (ACT), with support from Carlos Mazabanda, Geographer for Terra Mater; the Sarayaku community; and Amazon Watch – aims to strengthen the struggle for justice of the Sarayaku. Its publication coincides with a period of closer examination at a regional level of the impact that extractive industries and lack of free, prior and informed consultation have on indigenous communities and the environment at the national and regional level.

Read more or view the story map

 

ACT Field Notes

By: João Carlos Nunes Batista
Date: Friday, September 30, 2016
The Waurá of the Ulupuene village in the Xingu, Brazil came to us with a problem: their water supply had become contaminated by soybean crop pesticides. These pesticides are carried annually to the rivers of midwestern Brazil, often rendering the water unsuitable for human consumption. The Waurá had one request: clean water drawn from an open deep well with the support of the Amazon Conservation Team.
By: João Carlos Nunes Batista
Date: Thursday, September 15, 2016
An important piece of this effort is allowing Waurá youth to experience sacred sites that, until now, have only existed in their imaginations and the stories of their elders. Because of this effort, we were thrilled when we were given the opportunity for ACT to visit Kamukuaká Cave, one of these sacred sites, with several Waurá villagers from multiple generations.
By: Liliana Madrigal, co-founder of ACT
Date: Thursday, September 1, 2016
In 1987, my friend Dr. Rob Peters and I were having dinner somewhere in Woodley Park on a temperate June evening. Although I had been involved in tropical forest conservation in Costa Rica, climate change was not a hot topic at the time. Rob, a biologist , began talking about his research. I remember his agitation at the fact that people were not paying attention to what he felt was a looming catastrophe for humanity: the rising temperature of our atmosphere.

ACT in the Press

By: Mateo Guerrero Guerrero
Publication: El Espectador (January 2017)

The Amazon Conservation Team produced a virtual tour documenting the legacy and journeys of the biologist Richard Evans Schultes in Colombia. The project celebrates the 20th anniversary of the organization.

By: Rick Kearns
Publication: Indian Country Today (January 2017)
Kichwa activists in Ecuador have a new tool for showing the oil-related theft of their territory: an interactive digital story map with details of how the land has been stolen — sold mostly to oil companies— and is still dangerous because of leftover explosives.
By: Alex McAnarney
Publication: El Pais (December 2016)
Gracias a la utilización de mapas disponibles aquí—, la Corte IDH pudo ver con claridad el impacto provocado por la actitud pasiva del Estado a la hora de retirar la pentolita, como la sentencia así indica, y las nuevas concesiones que afectarán a Sarayaku.