Indigenous-led Rainforest Protection and Cultural Survival in the Amazon
Impact Projects

Indigenous-led Rainforest Protection and Cultural Survival in the Amazon

World Centric + Amazon Frontlines for Alianza Ceibo and OWAP

$90,000 from profits from fiscal year 2021

This project supports these U.N. Sustainable Development goals

Indigenous peoples in the Upper Amazon are fighting to protect their right to land, life, and cultural survival.

Amazon Frontlines works hand-in-hand with Indigenous-led groups to create a model of indigenous resistance and international solidarity rooted in the defense of indigenous territory, cultural survival, and the building of viable solutions-based alternatives to rainforest destruction. Amazon Frontlines staff support indigenous-led and designed projects with on-the-ground technical and operational support. They also connect their partners with allies and donors, like World Centric.

This year World Centric is supporting two of Amazon Frontlines partners: Alianza Ceibo and OWAP.

Alianza Ceibo

Located in the Waorani, Kofan, Siona and Siekopai Indigenous territories in the Upper Amazon across Ecuador, Colombia and Peru.

The Upper Amazon region is one of the most biodiverse rainforests on Earth and home to dozens of Indigenous nations - ancestral guardians of millions of acres of territory. Oil and mining in the region are degrading their forests at an alarming rate and putting thousands of Indigenous lives at risk. Almost all untapped reserves are in Indigenous territories. At the same time, colonization is gradually eroding Indigenous cultural identity, critical to the protection of rainforests.

Over the past eight years, Alianza Ceibo has forged a model that builds power with communities in the Upper Amazon by providing the tools, resources and networks people need to thrive in their lands and protect their forests. In 2022, they plan to scale this model by focusing on three interrelated strategies:

  • Carry out hard-hitting advocacy and legal strategies to ensure communities can exercise their collective rights to decide the future of their territories
  • Combine cutting-edge technology with bottom-up organizing to halt illegal activities through real-time forest monitoring and secure land titles for millions of acres of forest
  • Incubate initiatives, ranging from intercultural education to food sovereignty, that ensure cultural survival and create a future where Indigenous people can thrive on their lands.

With a grant of $50,000, World Centric is funding 3.9% of the organizations funding needs for these programs.

OWAP (Organización Waorani de Pastaza)

Working with the communities of Akaro, Daimontaro, Tarangaro, Yeyeyapre, Toñampare, Nemompare, Daipare, Obepare, and Teweno in Waorani Indigenous territory, Pastaza Province, Ecuador.

Decades of resource extraction and colonization threaten the wellbeing of Waorani Indigenous communities and their ancestral role as guardians of biodiverse rainforest territory in the following ways:

  • Deforestation and contamination are rapidly eroding livelihoods of Waorani families dependent on the forest's resources for their physical and cultural survival;
  • Colonization and cultural assimilation have caused deep loss of traditional agrobiodiversity knowledge and cropping practices, ignited dependence on industrial foods, spread of health issues linked to poor nutrition, and weakened community resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

OWAP is working to recover sustainable forest practices and build resilient livelihoods to strengthen the communities’ autonomy in the face of mounting threats.

In 2021, OWAP launched a pilot initiative to boost food sovereignty across 12 Waorani communities by establishingnative food crop gardens and training food sovereignty promoters to educate families about dietary health and traditional cropping practices. This model secures sustained and diversified nutrition while revitalizing use of local products, all while building long-term capacity to maintain gardens. In 2022, OWAP will scale this project to 5 new communities (120 people) by establishing 20 more gardens. They will also update training to promoters to accompany new beneficiaries in the implementation of gardens. Finally, they are establishing gardens in 5 Waorani schools to teach youth about the importance of rescuing local plants and food for community resiliency and cultural identity.

World Centric is funding 72% of this program with a grant of $40,000.

About Amazon Frontlines

A World Centric partner since 2021.

Amazon Frontlines is a U.S. 501c3 organization based in the Ecuadorian Amazon that works alongside Indigenous peoples to advance indigenous rights and autonomy, defend indigenous rainforest territories and cultures, and protect some of the most biodiverse rainforest on Earth. Learn more.


Written by

World Centric


Read time

1 minutes


Published on

May 19, 2022


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