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NCI, Indigenous Communities, and Pastaza Government Collaborate to Conserve Amazon


Strategic Area: People
Content Type: Blog
Country: Ecuador

pastaza-amazonFebruary 15, 2014 | We are working with several indigenous communities and the government of Pastaza, Ecuador to establish conservation areas in two highly biodiverse areas of Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest. One of the areas is located adjacent to the world-famous Yasuní National Park, and proposes to protect 250,000 acres of Amazon rainforest that is important both biologically and culturally.

The province of Pastaza is located in the Napo ecoregion, one of the world’s most diverse regions with the greatest potential for declaration of large Amazon forest conservation areas. Unfortunately, the area also faces significant threats, as it is under consideration for oil and gas exploitation. The construction of roads by oil companies has resulted in deforestation and colonization of the interior, such as from cattle ranching and logging.

Pastaza is also home to many indigenous peoples, including the Sapara, which are one of the most culturally threatened, with a total population of only 300 individuals. In partnership with the governments of Pastaza and with the technical support of Nature and Culture International, the Sapara people have expressed their desire to declare approximately 250,000 acres of their territory as a Provincial Reserve. The Sapara’s decision to establish a conservation reserve is important because development and logging activities will not be allowed in the area. The conservation area will provide greater protection of the Sapara territory and create a new collaborative model for land conservation in Ecuador.