from Colombia to Mexico
Ancestral Tides is an ACT special initiative to protect coastal ecosystems and sea turtles by connecting indigenous-led conservation efforts and revitalizing associated indigenous knowledge. For over 25 years, ACT has partnered with indigenous peoples in the Amazon to co-create novel and holistic conservation projects. During this time, we have also selectively worked by invitation with a handful of indigenous peoples outside of the Amazon. In the last two years, through natural geographic expansion and direct requests from indigenous communities to jointly protect sea turtle habitats, Ancestral Tides was born.
Expanding the scope of indigenous environmental stewardship
Terrestrial and marine ecosystems are often seen as distinct and separate systems. However, ecological connectivity extends from the land down into the ocean and vice versa. Indigenous ecological stewardship also extends into the ocean, despite current official reserve categories that limit their domain to terrestrial management. Indigenous peoples living near the coast have profound relationships with the ocean, which not only provides bountiful food sources, but also holds great cultural and spiritual significance for them.
Sea turtles: connectors
between land and sea
In Latin America, there has been very little focus on indigenous-led biocultural coastal ecosystem efforts. This is also true of efforts to conserve sea turtles, a species emblematic of the connection between the two great biomes. Utilizing both indigenous knowledge and Western scientific traditions, we aim to simultaneously conserve these coastal ecosystems and sea turtles while revitalizing associated cultural traditions. Furthermore, by linking community-led conservation efforts in Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Mexico, we will begin to build regional solidarity in coastal conservation and facilitate cultural dialogues.