Titling and strengthening of indigenous ancestral territories in protected areas of the Ecuadorian Amazon
Amazon Frontlines (AF)
The Confederation of Indigenous Nations of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE)
The Confederation of Indigenous Nations of Ecuador (CONAIE)
Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition (MAATE)
30 communities involved, plus an undetermined number of communities to be included in additional requests
Sinangoe community, AI'COFAN Nation
For decades, Ecuadorian law has provided no mechanism for indigenous communities to receive title to their ancestral territories within nationally protected areas, with the exception of few titled tracts of land where communities could negotiate weak and temporary land use agreements, with limited capacities for self-management.
This project will thus work towards guaranteeing the right to adjudication and titling of indigenous ancestral territories in Ecuador, providing legal security and strengthening tenure, control and governance. It is expected that at the end of the three years of the project, at least 122,141.03 hectares will be titled for the benefit of 30 indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon, with the long-term aspiration of titling around 1 million hectares, which would include all of the ancestral territories overlapping protected areas.
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The indigenous peoples’ organisations of Ecuador, with technical supportfrom Amazon Frontlines, possess the knowledge, territorial vision and technical experience towards the management of their rights and self-governance. These organisations will coordinate and collaborate with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition (MAATE), to jointly develop effective administrative procedures that respect their right to self-determination.
The opportunities that this project will appoint are twofold. The first consists of the favourable constitutional framework existing in Ecuador already, for the indigenous communes, communities, peoples and nationalities to realise their right to obtain formal titles to their ancestral territories. The second is linked to the current political moment where agreements regarding the strengthening of collective and territorial rights were reached in dialogues between the Ecuadorian government and the indigenous peoples’ movement in the end of 2022. Thus, the possibility of protecting ancestral territories reveals the capacity of the regulatory framework and the great potential to strengthen these capacities through this project.
Guarantee the right to the adjudication and titling of indigenous ancestral territories, providing legal security and strengthening tenure, control and governance.
- A diagnostic phase, aiming to confirm the selection of several pilot cases to be initially implemented
- Generating a baseline of the state of the Amazonian communities, which will allow the submission of subsequent titling requests.
- Providing communities with necessary tools and capacities that will enable them to map their territories for titling, strengthening planning, management and defence, and strengthening the material and spiritual/symbolic ties that bind them together.
- Formulation of procedural norm for titling territories in protected areas
- Information, feedback, and technical capacity building activities with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition.
- Promote discussions on other public policies that, in a broad sense, favor the exercise of the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples and nationalities.
- Strengthened capacity of indigenous organizations and communities to formulate petitions for the titling of their ancestral territories
- Titling of at least 122,141.03 hectares of indigenous ancestral territories within the National System of Protected Areas
- Strengthened administrative and financial management capacities of indigenous organizations
- Strengthened public policy, procedures, and institutional capacity of MAATE for the titling of indigenous territories within protected areas
122,141.03 hectares titled for the benefit of 30 indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon, with the long-term aspiration of titling around 1 million hectares, that is, all of the ancestral territories overlapping protected areas.