Territorial Justice

What is Territorial Justice?

Past and ongoing colonization has stolen and decimated indigenous territory and all that is connected with it. Helping our partner communities take back territory and redressing this destruction is ACT’s central priority—a fight we call territorial justice. Territorial justice is the reclamation of access, stewardship, and decision-making over ancestral lands, waters, and resources for indigenous peoples.

Why is territorial justice important?

For indigenous peoples of Amazonia, their territory is fundamental to physical health, cultural identity and knowledge, and spirituality. For many indigenous communities, the forest is their primary source of food, clean water, shelter, and plant medicines. The uninhibited expansion of unsustainable and oftentimes illegal logging, ranching, monoculture, gold mining, and development projects threatens the physical permanence and very survival of indigenous communities in the Amazon.

Territorial justice also helps protect against cultural erasure of indigenous peoples. We promote territorial permanence and self-determination over their land, which helps ensure the living place-based biocultural knowledge and cosmological worldviews of indigenous peoples are better maintained.

Crucially, indigenous peoples are the original and most effect stewards of the Amazon rainforest. Numerous studies have demonstrated that tropical forests in Amazonia are better protected when under formally recognized indigenous management, oftentimes having lower rates of deforestation than national parks. Moreover, approximately 80% of the world's remaining terrestrial biodiversity is found within the territories of indigenous peoples.

How Do We Work Toward
Territorial Justice?

Advocating

Securing

Upholding

By The Numbers

Acres Protected:

0

Acres
Expanded

0

Existing Reserves
Created

0

New Reserves
Benefitting

0

People
Totaling

0

Acres of new indigenous reserve land for 14 indigenous ethnic groups
  • INGA
  • KAMENTSÁ
  • UITOTO
  • SENÚ
  • EMBERÁ CHAMÍ
  • EMBERÁ KATÍO
  • MAPAYERRI
  • MISAK
  • ANDOQUE
  • TULE
  • KOGUI
  • MALAYO
  • ARHUACO
  • KANKUAMO
ACT has purchased

0

Acres of privately-held land and returned it to the rightful indigenous ethnic group
ACT was directly involved in establishing

0

Acres of formally protected areas, including new categories in Colombia such as:
  • National park co-managed by indigenous people

  • Medicinal plant sanctuary co-created with indigenous people

  • National cultural monument of sacred site

  • Civil society nature reserve run by indigenous people

Success Stories

Colombian National Land Agency formalizes fourth expansion of the Kogui-Malayo-Arhuaco Indigenous Reserve 

Dibulla, June 8, 2022 / @AgenciaTierras @AmazonTeamOrg  The ceremonial act was held at the Jaba Tañiwashkaka sacred site, with the ...
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Approaching Land Rights for Maroon Peoples of Suriname

Recent momentum toward collective land tenure for Suriname's afro-descendant groups In the country of Suriname, legislation that has been drafted ...
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Wuta, Trio man from the indigenous village of Kwamalasamutu in southern Suriname.

The Road to Indigenous Land Rights in Suriname

The last country in tropical South America yet to guarantee collective land tenure for its indigenous peoples Recent years have ...
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