Strengthening Indigenous Territorial Management through Women-led Mapping Initiatives in Amazonia

Training women monitors to use Mapeo to document evidence of illegalities. Image credit: Courtesy of Digital Democracy

Strengthening Indigenous Territorial Management through Women-led Mapping Initiatives in Amazonia

Organization
Category Nature Conservation

Our project categories represent one of three core solutions pathways to solving climate change. Energy Transition focuses on renewable energy access and energy efficiency. Nature Conservation includes wildlife habitat protection and ecosystem restoration, as well as Indigenous land rights. Regenerative Agriculture supports farmers, ranchers, and community agriculture.

Realm Southern America

The Project Marketplace is organized by the major terrestrial realms divided into 14 biogeographical regions – N. America, Subarctic America, C. America, S. America, Afrotropics, Indomalaya, Australasia, Oceania, Antarctica, and the Palearctic realm, which coincides with Eurasia and is divided into Subarctic, Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern regions.

Status active

Seed indicates an early stage project that needs some level of support to develop into a larger funding proposal. Ongoing indicates any project that needs core programmatic funding. Urgent indicates a short-term project initiated in response to a natural disaster or other impending risk.

Funding Level $$

$$ indicates a project with a funding need between $50,000-$250,000.

Timeframe 9 months
Partner Digital Democracy

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Indigenous led-environmental monitoring and mapping is one of the most effective strategies for protecting the climate, yet Indigenous women are too often marginalized in this process. They may be sidelined by male-led Indigenous People Organizations (IPOs) and by monitoring workflows that interfere with family commitments.

Where Indigenous women monitors exist, they are usually in the minority and have to adapt to male-oriented projects. However, women hold unique territorial knowledge, and their participation in community monitoring and subsequent decision-making is key to ultimately protecting the Amazon.

Pits dug to bury waste products from oil extraction activities are common on Indigenous lands and frequently lead to soil and water contamination. Image credit: Courtesy of Digital Democracy

It is well known that Amazonia is a cultural and biodiversity hotspot and an essential region to the health of the whole planet. For almost ten years, Digital Democracy has worked closely with Indigenous-led groups in the Amazon to support their critical efforts to protect their ancestral territories and defend vital ecosystems.

In supporting Indigenous mapping and monitoring teams, Digital Democracy has seen firsthand how important women are to these processes. Still, due to the patriarchal forces of colonization, women are often left out, especially processes using digital technologies. However, when women lead, such as the Waorani of the Pastaza, incredible results and victories can be achieved.

Capturing evidence of illegal poaching within community lands of Siona Territory, Ecuador. Image credit: Courtesy of Digital Democracy

This project aims to acquire seed funding to gather an inaugural group of Indigenous women leaders from Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and possibly other countries to connect, strategize and learn from one another. The gathering will strengthen participants’ roles as leaders in their communities and plant the seeds for future collaborations and cross-nation solidarity.

Specifically, the project will create a peer-supported network for 12 Indigenous Women Land defenders from at least six different communities or Indigenous Nations, thereby helping protect more than two million acres of land.

Digital Democracy will work closely with existing partners to invite women leaders from at least six Indigenous nations together in person in the cloud forest of Tarapoto, Peru, where previous international gatherings have been hosted. The team will work with women participants before the in-person meeting to design a curriculum optimized to their interests and the threats they face and bring them together for a week of learning and cross-cultural collaboration.

Documenting evidence of illegalities in Siona Territory, Ecuador. Image credit: Courtesy of Digital Democracy

This project is inspired by and co-designed with the many Indigenous women Digital Democracy has worked with before, including Quechua, Kofán, Kukama, Yine, Siona, Kichwa, and Waorani. These women have expressed their desire to take more active roles in leading mapping and monitoring work in their communities to ultimately protect the Amazon for future generations.

Following the first gathering, the participants will be encouraged to take on more leadership in their communities and inform the outside world how they can continue to support this network and individual projects.

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