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Recent News

Indigenous Shuar Communities Legally Recognized
July 2008

Nine communities received protection on the part of the State

The Shuar people have inhabited a large part of Southern Ecuador for the past 600 years. Ancestrally these people have been strongly tied to the forests, rivers, and waterfalls, and possess an extraordinary knowledge of the biodiversity and the management of the territory. In the past 60 years, the Shuar have suffered the pressure of an economic system that has encouraged the colonization of their territories, with the consequential problems of deforestation and degradation of their culture. After the recognition of a large part of the Shuar territories as a Biosphere Reserve in 2007, NCI signed cooperation agreements with the Shuar Federation of Zamora-Chinchipe (FEPNASH-ZCh) to claim territorial rights and maintain their culture. This joint work has begun to show its initial results.

Thanks to the support of NCI, the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment on May 19, 2008 declared three Protected Forest and Vegetation Areas with a total surface of 37,500 acres in Yacuambi, Zamora Chinchipe province.

The Council for Development of the Nationalities and Peoples of Ecuador (Codenpe), has just officially recognized 9 additional Shuar indigenous communities in the watershed of the River Nangaritza. This measure legally accredits the existence of these communities and guarantees them a series of rights, benefits, and protection on the part of the State. The territories of these communities total nearly 40,000 acres of space for the survival of the Shuar and ecosystems rich in biological diversity.

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