We face a pivotal moment in the conservation of this unique rainforest and the Siekopa’ai’s ancestral culture deeply tied to this land. The Siekopa’ai of Ecuador and Peru are working jointly with ClearWater and the Ceibo Alliance to create strategic village sites, map ancestral migration routes and produce video-testimony to support land claims, achieve dual-citizenship for all Siekopa’ai people, and legally and culturally recover more than a million acres of their ancestral rainforest territory.
Indigenous rights defenders
Through the Indigenous Rights Defenders program, Ceibo and ClearWater are training local indigenous advocates on legal skills and strategies that both reduce and protect community members from the impact of harmful infrastructure and resource extraction within their own communities. This year, we have provided eleven week-long training meetings to twelve Indigenous Rights Defenders from nine different communities in order to develop and enhance their capacity to identify and map threats to their lands and livelihoods, document and monitor those threats, and devise community-based legal and advocacy strategies to resolve legal issues in concrete and enduring ways.
Siona from four communities along the Aguarico river meet to discuss territorial defense strategies with Ceibo Indigenous Rights Defenders and ClearWater's legal team
Beyond the training sessions, the Indigenous Rights Defenders program’s aim is to foster and support action in the defense of the Defenders’ indigenous territories. In 2016, the Indigenous Rights Defenders filed 179 complaints, reports, or official requests with government institutions or courts.