Saving Indigenous Lands in the Amazon

Amazonia is the world’s largest tropical forest and spans nine countries in South America. After Brazil, Peru has the greatest extension of this biome which represents more than half of the surface of the country. The Loreto and Ucayali Regions are the two largest Amazon regions in Peru and are traditionally occupied and protected by indigenous groups. Unfortunately, hundreds of indigenous communities have no recognized ownership rights and their lands are under tremendous pressure from logging, agro-industries and colonists. Without the titles to their territories, native communities have no legal instrument to defend these lands from activities like logging and agricultural expansion. Together with the help of Rainforest Trust, we can make a difference.

All the money raised by Kati Kaia will be donated to Rainforest Trust's project to save indigenous land rights in the Peruvian Amazon. This project will enable over 220 indigenous communities to gain legal rights to their ancestral lands and provide protection for over 6 million acres of prime rainforest. This will also provide safe habitat for numerous endangered species such as the Jaguar, White-faced Spider Monkey and the Giant Otter, and store over a billion tonnes of CO2, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change around the world!

For every yoga mat we sell, Kati Kaia makes a donation to Rainforest Trust UK that will protect five acres of threatened rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon. This will provide land titling for indigenous communities, provide safe habitat for numerous endangered species and store large quantities of carbon to help fight climate change.

All donations to Rainforest Trust - and its UK affiliate, Rainforest Trust UK - are doubled by a generous friend of the charity, and donations to Rainforest Trust UK are eligible for Gift Aid as well, we couldn’t think of a worthier cause as we face a climate challenge no generation has really experienced.

As I write this, it is near 40 degrees in the South East, England today! Certainly in my childhood, we never saw such temperatures like we do now, that is how much accelerated the battle of climate change has become. With the population explosion, something that is not going to stop, we must all look at what effect our choices have on the planet and start to take responsibility for having large families and the footprint on earth that creates. We must all do our part to help and offset as much CO2 as a priority. The way most people live on earth, is not eco-conscious or sustainable, we need to help heal the rainforests and protect them for years to come. Yoga is such a transforming lifestyle, beyond the physical practice, it really brings you closer to the earth, grounding you in mother nature and the connection to what we have in our lives and what we do with it. Our presence on this beautiful planet and the footprints we leave behind.

The Amazion Rainforest; Photo Credit: CEDIA

The Amazion Rainforest; Photo Credit: CEDIA

Fast Facts

Loreto and Ucayali Regions, Peru

6,102,946 acres

Key Species (Based on IUCN Red List):
Black-faced Black Spider Monkey (EN), Giant Otter (EN), White-bellied Spider Monkey (EN)

5 ecoregions of moist forest (Ucayali, Napo, Southwest Amazon, Iquitos Varzea and Solimoes Japurá)

Lack of land titles promotes the idea of “free land”, logging, mining, oil and gas extraction and colonization for agriculture.

Help title land for 220 communities

Local Partner:

Financial Need:

Total Carbon Storage (Mt Co2):

Rainforest Trust and local partner Center for the Development of an Indigenous Amazon (CEDIA) are raising $4,583,920 to title 220 communities covering more than six million acres in order to legally protect indigenous lands. It is crucial to close the unprotected gaps between indigenous territories to prevent colonists and industries from negatively affecting the integrity of the ecosystems. In addition to granting communities the rights to their land, this will provide protection for Endangered species such as the White-bellied Spider Monkey, Giant Otter and Black-faced Black Spider Monkey.

The Red Uakari Monkey, Photo Credit CEDIA, the most amazing monkey I have ever seen!

The Red Uakari Monkey, Photo Credit CEDIA, the most amazing monkey I have ever seen!

Many threatened species are dependent on the project site, including primates such as the Endangered White-bellied Spider Monkey and Black-faced Black Spider Monkey, large mammals such as the Endangered Giant Otter and Vulnerable Lowland Tapir, and reptiles such as the Vulnerable Yellow-footed Tortoise and Yellow-spotted River Turtle. Roughly 600 bird species, 140 amphibian species and more than 60 large mammal species are dependent on the Amazon landscape. There are thousands of plant species in this region; inventories in the Matsés National Reserve and the Sierra del Divisor National Park estimate between 3,000-4,000 plant species. In the area located between the Ucayali and Tapiche rivers, there is a large wetland that includes a number of different ecosystems such as white sand forests, peat deposits, savannas and some islands of upland forests.

The Tamandua, Photo Credit; Rainforest Trust

The Tamandua, Photo Credit; Rainforest Trust

The major threats to these areas are logging, mining, oil and gas extraction and colonization for agriculture. These activities are closely related to the lack of land property legalization or usage rights in areas occupied by indigenous groups. Land titles will give the rights for legal management of the territories and resources to communities, and also the responsibility for their care in accordance to the law.

rainforest 1 c Rainforest Trust.jpg

The cornerstone of Rainforest Trust’s work in the Amazon is empowering local communities. They have partnered with CEDIA for over 25 years to do so, and have helped title numerous lands and supported the declaration of strategic protected areas.

To continue this endeavour, we aim to secure legally recognized land titles for 220 communities from dozens of indigenous tribes. This will ensure that they become the rightful owners of their territories and legal guardians of the natural resources. As part of this, we will help develop “life plans” — legally recognized instruments — for communities, which consist of self-diagnoses divided into seven dimensions of community life (such as culture, economic resources and natural resource use), sustainable activities and a monitoring plan to ensure lasting protection.

Photo Credit: Rainforest Trust

Photo Credit: Rainforest Trust

Rainforest Trust and local partner seek $4,583,920 to title 220 communities covering more than six million acres in order to legally protect indigenous lands.

It is urgent to initiate the property legalization actions for native communities and prevent the selling mining and timber concessions to companies wanting to exploit these lands. Titling these lands to indigenous communities will provide them the right for sustainable natural resource administration, as well as grant them the legal responsibility to safeguard it against illegal activities. Through agreements with regional authorities, our partner will conduct a comprehensive survey to identify the native communities that still lack land titles. Rainforest Trust will then support all of the mandated legal and technical procedures required to ensure that indigenous lands can be titled and recognized. Once titled, we will ensure that communities are empowered to be stewards of their land through the implementation of management plans that regulate land use and allocate communal land sections for strict protection. Supporting indigenous communities in the management of their natural resources not only leads to long-term habitat protection, but ensures that they do not have to relocate due to the pressures of colonization.

Thank you for your support, we hope to donate many acres more as we ourselves grow. To make your own donations please follow the link here.

To read more about the wonderful and various projects Rainforest Trust are working on, you can follow them also on instagram, facebook or their very informative website here.