Three Amazonian Provinces take the first step to create the largest biological corridor of continuous forest in Ecuador
Nature and Culture International and Governors of central-southern Amazon sign proposal to collaborate with Indigenous organizations committing to manage and protect over 11 million acres of continuous forest.
On December 28, 2021, Nature and Culture International and the governors of Morona Santiago, Pastaza, and Zamora Chinchipe signed an agreement to begin building and implementing the proposed “Amazonian Platform for Forests, Climate and Human Wellbeing.” The idea behind the Amazonian Platform is to form a collaborative agreement between the governors of the Ecuadorian Amazon and indigenous organizations to promote strategies that reduce CO2 emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and conserve biodiversity. While originally conceived in 2017, three governors of the central-southern Amazon have now committed to take up and implement these strategies jointly and in alliance with the native peoples of the Amazon.
By signing this proposal local authorities are committing to manage and protect the Conservation and Sustainable Use Areas (ACUS) of Pastaza, Zamora Chinchipe and Morona Santiago, which in total are around 11 million acres, making up the largest biological corridor of continuous forest in Ecuador. Nature and Culture International is working with the Province of Morona Santiago to declare almost 2.5 million acres as Conservation and Sustainable Use Areas. Last November, the governor of Morona Santiago signed an agreement with the Shuar and Achuar indigenous nationalities and Nature and Culture, which ensured the creation of their Conservation and Sustainable Use Area that will protect biodiverse ecosystems such as the Kutukú and Condor Mountain ranges.
Representing the Shuar Provincial Federation of Zamora Chinchipe, Washinton Tiwi said that it is important to build and implement the proposal of the “Amazonian Platform for Forests, Climate and Human Wellbeing” together with indigenous communities, not only because they have proven to be the best guardians of the forests but also because indigenous communities have been affected by climate change. Tiwi added that it is important to complement this proposal with the life plans that the different nationalities have developed. He added that the exploration of local bioeconomies and the empowerment of women and youth are one of the main contributions the Shuar nationality would like to make to the Amazonian Platform proposal.
“We must give more support to subnational governments and native peoples, and that is what is happening after years of struggle,” said Bruno Paladines, project coordinator for Nature and Culture International-Ecuador. Nature and Culture has been working since 2020 with the Pastaza government to developed its first REDD+ Implementation Plan jointly with the seven Amazonian nationalities of the province. This province is also part of the Governors’ Climate Forum, a forum made up of authorities from 38 states and provinces around the world who protect forests, reduce emissions, and enhance livelihood across one-third of the world’s tropical forests. Nature and Culture is also working to have Morona Santiago and Zamora Chinchipe included in the Governors’ Climate Forum.
Local governments and indigenous nationalities have committed to reduce the carbon emission from deforestation and degradation of their forest by restoring degraded areas, implementing bioeconomy projects, promoting environmental education, enhancing sustainable livelihood projects, incorporating sustainable mobility, and managing conservation areas, among other initiatives. The governor of Pastaza, Jaime Guevara, emphasized during his speech that the agreement signed between the three provinces on December 28 is only the first stage. “The provinces of Sucumbios, Orellana, and Napo are expected to join the agreement at a later date”, he added.
These achievements have been made possible thanks to the support of the Norwegian cooperation and donors like you.