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Historic Creation of the Tarímiat Pujutaí Nunka Reserve


Strategic Area: Wild Places -
Content Type: News
Country: Ecuador -

Indigenous Nationalities and Provincial Government Agree to Protect Over 3 Million Acres in the Ecuadorian Amazon



Macas, 01 February 2023

Tarímiat Pujutaí Nuṉka Reserve declaration

Tarímiat Pujutaí Nuṉka Reserve declaration. Photo: Nature and Culture International

On Wednesday, February 1, 2023, The Provincial Government of Morona Santiago, Ecuador, and four Indigenous nationalities agreed to the creation of the Territorio de Vida y Uso Ancestral “Tarímiat Pujutaí Nunka.”

Located in the Morona Santiago province, in the southern Ecuadorian Amazon, the Tarímiat Pujutaí Nunka Reserve is 3,057,670 acres and includes the communities of Taisha, Morona, Sucúa, Logroño, Méndez, Tiwintza, Limón Indanza, San Juan Bosco and Gualaquiza.

The Tarímiat Pujutaí Nunka Reserve was created through an inclusive process, facilitated by Nature and Culture International, that began on November 9, 2021, with the signing of an agreement between the Provincial Government, and the four Indigenous nationalities that live within the Tarímiat Pujutaí Nunka Reserve: The Interprovincial Federation of Shuar Centers (FICSH), the Shuar Nation of Ecuador (NASHE), the Achuar Nationality of Ecuador (NAE) and the Shuar Arutam People (PSHA).

Rio Yaupi Photo: Nature and Culture International

For the creation of this protected territory, an unprecedented Pre-Legislative Consultation process was carried out through 21 gatherings with different actors from the four Indigenous organizations of the province, with an overall participation of 893 people, collecting the various Indigenous nationalities’ visions and contributions, ensuring the protection of this area aligns with their specific Planes de Vida, or “Life Plans.”

The main purpose of the Tarímiat Pujutaí Nunka Reserve is to ensure the preservation, and ancestral and sustainable use of natural and cultural resources, seeking productive alternatives to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of the area.

In addition, respect for the rights of nature and collective rights, climate and fragile ecosystems regulation, and the protection of biodiversity and ancestral cultures, environmental principles, and the water sources that originate from the Kutukú and Cóndor Mountain Ranges will be guaranteed within the Tarímiat Pujutaí Nunka Reserve.

The president of NASHE, Felipe Mashiant, mentioned that the approval of the Tarímiat Pujutaí Nunka ordinance will allow the centers and associations of his organization to continue protecting the forests in an adequate manner.

For his part, Waakiach Kuja, leader of the NAE, explained that after the Pre-Legislative Consultation in Morona Santiago, it is believed that the establishment of the Tarímiat Pujutaí Nunka Reserve will benefit the entire province.

Josefina Tunki, president of the PSHA, pointed out that after many years, and thanks to the participatory work of many, the construction of the Tarímiat Pujutaí Nunka Reserve is a reality. “We, the organizations, had the opportunity to work together, for the first time, thanks to the current administration of Morona Santiago.”

Josefina Tunki. Photo: Nature and Culture International

In the same way, the representative of the FICSH commented that after the Pre-Legislative Consultation that was carried out in his territory, they decided to approve the creation of the Tarímiat Pujutaí Nunka Reserve.

Finally, the Governor of Morona Santiago, Rafael Antuni, commented: “This is an initiative that will not only allow us to preserve, but also enjoy our forests and climate, to offer the world a healthy environment.”

Thanks to the political will of Governor Rafael Antuni, the participation of leaders and other representatives of the Shuar and Achuar Nationalities of Morona Santiago, and the support of Nature and Culture International, the approval of the ordinance for the creation of the Tarímiat Pujutaí Nunka Ancestral Life and Use Territory marks a historical milestone in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

This entire process of collective building was developed thanks to the support of Andes Amazon Fund; Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI); The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD); and Re:wild.


Nature and Culture International is a 501(c)(3) that works to ensure the conservation of biologically and culturally diverse landscapes in Latin America. Its conservation goals are born within local communities, from the protection of natural habitats to the sustainable use of natural resources, and the preservation of native cultures. Nature and Culture works together with Indigenous groups, local communities, as well as national and subnational governments to protect critical ecosystems. This methodology has been highly successful since the organization’s establishment in 1996. Since our founding, we’ve protected over 22 million acres and not a single area has had its protected status reversed. This success is partly attributed to Nature and Culture’s devotion to the long-term management and technical support of a protected area after establishing its protected status. Nature and Culture International has a committed team of local conservationists, environmental lawyers, and mapping experts, working to save critical ecosystems in Latin America. To learn more, visit


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