Peru’s first autonomous Indigenous government fights to protect forest

3 May 2019

Photo credit: A flower of the Amazon. CIFOR/Marlon del Aguila Guerrero

Representatives of 27 communities belonging to Wampis Indigenous group – comprised of some 15,000 members whose ancestors have lived in the Amazon rainforest of northern Peru for centuries – are fighting back against resource extraction and deforestation in their territory.

The Wampis became alarmed at increasing incursions by loggers, miners and oil prospectors, fearing for the future of their traditional lands. So in 2015, the communities invoked international recognition of the rights of indigenous people and declared an autonomous territorial government called the Wampis Nation, to defend its land and resources from the growing pressures of extractive industries.

Leaders say their newfound autonomy and authority has allowed them to directly expel illegal deforestation activities from their land, according to an article by Marcio Pimenta in Mongabay. The new government is also working with the Peruvian military and other authorities to control illegal resource extraction, the article says.

Read the full article on Mongabay by clicking here.

Learn more about this topic at the Global Landscapes Forum conference in Bonn, Germany, 22-23 June 2019.

Read Landscape News stories from the 18th session of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues here

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