Honoring a Leading Commitment to Conservation in Concert with Indigenous Peoples

On September 21, 2017, in the company of indigenous leaders and ACT staff, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was honored at the National Geographic Society for his special leadership in environmental conservation and his commitment to the preservation of biodiversity. 

The ceremony included a special presentation to President Santos by ACT and leaders from the Murui-Muina, Inga, Kamentsa, Kogi and Arhuaco indigenous communities commemorating the expansion and establishment of reserves in the Amazon, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Putumayo, and Caquetá.  

Learn more about this event here.

 

Better Protection for Chiribiquete, Northwest Amazon’s Most Important Protected Area

On July 12, 2017, the Colombian National Land Agency approved the expansions of the Puerto Sábalo Los Monos Indigenous Reserve by 413,100 hectares and of the Monochoa Indigenous Reserve by 154,790 hectares. The twin expansions effectively connect the largest national park in the country, the Chiribiquete National Park, with the largest reserve, the Predio Putumayo Indigenous Reserve, creating a vast conservation corridor in the Amazon region linking near 10 million hectares of protected lands.  

Learn more about this massive achievement here

 

ACT Field Notes

By: Helena Calle, El Espectador
Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2018

After waiting 27 years, the indigenous governments of non-municipalized areas of the Amazon finally will be able to manage the money from their national government transfers without intermediaries.
In Leticia, the Presidency, the Ministries of the Interior, Finance and Agriculture, DANE (the Colombian national statistics agency and the Colombian National Planning Department recognized the governments of 36 indigenous reserves that occupy 26 million hectares of practically intact territory and that had existed in a state of legal limbo with respect to territorial zoning that prevented them, in effect, from governing what is theirs by law.

By: El Espectador
Date: Thursday, April 5, 2018

Colombia’s Supreme Court issued a historic ruling combating climate change in Latin America. According to the decision, the Amazon region is now subject to rights, similar to those assigned to the Atrato River, and the Presidency and regional entities must act urgently to protect it from deforestation.

By: Amazon Conservation Team
Date: Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Imagine that you live in a rainforest many hours from the nearest city. You are very poor, and life is precarious. A parade of soldiers, drug dealers, gangsters, and fortune hunters comes through the village from time to time. They take what they want. You can’t stop them, and no one comes to help you. One day, a man from the government comes and hands you the keys to your land, and says, “Here’s the forest, here’s the river, here are the animals, the plants, the fruits, the fish, the birds, everything on it - it’s yours. It’s now your job to protect it and manage it. That’s what you wanted, right? Good luck!”

ACT in the Press

By: Nicoletta Lanese
Publication: Mongabay (November 2017)

Indigenous storytelling is a powerful tool for preserving biocultural diversity, says Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares, an environmental researcher at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Having heard stories in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Kenya and Madagascar, he has now proposed that storytelling could transform how conservationists work with native peoples. The Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) embodies this philosophy. ACT partners with South American indigenous communities to preserve rainforests and traditional culture.

By: Yuliya Panfil, Omidyar Network
Publication: Medium (September 2017)

When thinking about where and when to invest, we look closely at windows of opportunity, during which our engagement can have an outsized and catalytic impact. Such a window presented itself to us this spring in Colombia.

By: Mirjam Gommers, Rudo Kemper, Bruce Hoffman
Publication: De Ware Tijd (August 2017)

For generations, indigenous people will talk about 'their' Keeng Kumu. His passion and talent have increased in value, through the enhancement and addition of modern technology. His passion for drawing maps of indigenous areas was supplemented with targeted training and resulted in a professional knowledge exchange.