News

Colombian Government Signs Decree Recognizing the Ancestral Territory of the Indigenous Communities of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

Sierra Nevada Mountain View

On August 6, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed a decree that recognizes the ancestral territory of the indigenous communities of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (SNSM), as defined by the sacred sites of the Linea Negra (Black Line), a ring of sacred sites around the base of the SNSM that forms the boundary…

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To Take Care of Your Garden, First Get Your House in Order

Carolina Gil El Espectador

Carolina Gil is among the women who have dedicated themselves protecting the forests of the Amazon. The challenge that Colombia has ahead can only be met with many hands. She believes in collective work, for a rainforest without heroes. Before the Amazon became a hot topic in the media because of the 144,417 hectares razed in that region of Colombia, the mining threats and the science that began to explain the Amazon’s importance in the regulation of global climate.

Carolina Gil, program director of the NGO the Amazon Conservation Team, knew the other face of conservation, which few others were emphasizing: to try to conserve a territory without taking into account the people who live in it was a formula for failure.
“It is the communities that can ensure that a forest is healthy, with the means of living that they require.”

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Colombian Government Approves Decree for the Protection of Isolated Indigenous Groups

National parkland

On July 17, 2018, the Colombian government approved a landmark national public policy for the protection of isolated indigenous groups. The policy was developed in a collaboration led by the Colombian Ministry of the Interior with the participation of governmental entities and local and regional indigenous organizations, supported by technical and legal assistance from the nonprofit Amazon Conservation Team (ACT). his groundbreaking national public policy was the first in the Amazon region directly led by the grassroots efforts of neighboring indigenous communities and indigenous organizations undergoing a process of free prior informed consent according to international regulations, thus resulting in an unprecedented integration of traditional spiritual worldviews in modern environmental protection strategies.

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Amazon Conservation Team Congratulates Colombia On Creation of Amazon’s Largest National Park

Chiribiquete National Park

  The Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) enthusiastically congratulates Colombia on the announcement of a 1.5-million-hectare expansion of Chiribiquete National Park, the country’s largest protected area. Increasing Chiribiquete’s area by over 50%, this protective measure will help stave off the extensive deforestation moving in from the northwest. Surrounding the park lie two of the most deforested…

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ACT and Opiac Participate in Second International Meeting on “Perspectives on Protection Policies for Indigenous Peoples in Isolation and Initial Contact”

The second international meeting on “Perspectives on Protection Policies for Indigenous Peoples in Isolation and Initial Contact”, held in Brazil, was successfully completed. The Colombia delegation consisted of Robinson Lopez, Human Rights and Peace Coordinator for the National Organization of the Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon (OPIAC); Oswaldo Silva, a leader of the Curare – Los Ingleses Indigenous Reserve of the Amazonas department; and Daniel Aristizábal of the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT), who presented a paper on the prior consultation process for a proposed decree for the prevention of risks to and the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples in isolation of Colombia.

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Breaking News: Final steps for the Issuance of a Decree for the Prevention of Threats to and the Protection of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Isolation in Colombia

Indigenous peoples, through their national organizations, reached an agreement with the government of Colombia on the development of a public policy and a regulatory framework for the prevention of threats to and the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples in isolation of Colombia. The spirit of the decree seeks to ensure the prevention of threats to and the protection of rights and the permanence of the condition of isolation of these peoples through territorial intangibility, which manifests through the no-contact principle.

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ACT partakes in Ruby for Good 2018 to develop offline geostorytelling app Terrastories for remote communities

At Ruby For Good 2018, a team of programmers in the Ruby language worked to develop the open-source and offline-compatible Terrastories application, designed for remote communities to map their place-based storytelling traditions. ACT will be using this application for oral histories projects with the Matawai Maroons in Suriname and other indigenous communities elsewhere in the Amazon.

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President Santos Announces a Decision Today

Members of indigenous community in Caqueta, Colombia work on a community map

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.

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A Light in The Forest

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!”

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