Protecting the Source: Highlights from South America
Building International Solidarity through Dissolution of Fundación Pachamama
The forced closing of our sister organization in Ecuador, Fundación Pachamama, brought together an international outpouring of condemnation of efforts within Ecuador to repress civil liberties, for the good of all civil society organizations that are at risk in Ecuador. Our work to support indigenous nationalities and defend the Amazon continues despite the loss of our legal entity on the ground.
Protecting Indigenous Lands is Protecting the Source
Supporting special assemblies where indigenous nationalities come together to discuss their constitutional rights and define their work to defend their territories is a fundamental part of our work to protect the source—the most bio-diverse part of the entire Amazon basin. We provided such support to five indigenous nationalities in Ecuador. We also began a thorough social and environmental baseline analysis of the two blocks of land currently leased by the government for oil exploration.
Naku Ecotourism Project Reduces Dependence on Fossil Fuel Industry
Finding alternative income sources to provide local self-sufficiency is critical to saving the Amazon. We continue our work with the Sápara people to establish the Naku Ecolodge and offer trainings to strengthen administrative, accounting and customer service skills.
Jungle Mamas Works to Protect Future Generations
The number of Maternal Health Promoters has increased to a total of 42 throughout Achuar territory and 170 clean birth kits were distributed to support the healthy births of a new generation of rainforest guardians. The team is implementing a pilot project with health education videos in collaboration with the Global Health Media Project to see how technology and visual aids can be used to improve learning and knowledge retention.
Defending The Rights of Nature Is An Ongoing Issue
We led legal actions in national and international courts to enforce rights of nature and collective rights of indigenous peoples. This included cases in Ecuador involving the Condor Mirador mining project, Sarayaku community, Peoples Living in Voluntary Isolation, and Yasuní Park.
The Threat Of Climate Change
We are contributing to the civil society debate within Ecuador on mechanisms for the conservation of tropical forests to mitigate and adapt to climate change and are in discussions with the Ministry of Environment on public policy in this arena.
Inspiring the Future: Highlights from Around the World
"Up to Us" Engagement Pathway in Full Swing
This engagement pathway is designed to awaken, educate, connect and engage a critical mass of "pro-activist" leaders committed to bringing forth a thriving, just and sustainable world. The pathway has various steps:
- Awakening the Dreamer Symposium – A half-day transformative, educational, awakening workshop. Thanks to more than 4500 trained volunteer Facilitators, the Symposium now has been presented in 82 countries worldwide. Provides a great foundation.
- Game Changer Intensive – This new online course was piloted to more than 830 people. Picking up where the Symposium leaves off, the Intensive catalyzes the inner work of transformation and inspires and equips people to engage in effective collective action.
- Communities – These provide a structure and an opportunity for people to connect with like-minded people at the local level, to continue to learn together about the key social and ecological concerns of the day, and to engage and work together on local, national and global issues.
- Movement Partners – We supported two key game changing movements aimed at addressing the root causes of the most pressing issues today in the United States: our unrepresentative Democracy and Climate Change. We partner with organizations that are central players in building these movements and that guide people to get involved at the grass-roots level through their local chapters.
Speaker Series Engages People on Key Issues
We hosted 7 live video conversations with key thought leaders of our time, on topics ranging from Indigenous Perspectives on the State of Our Planet, to GMOs. More than 3200 registered for these events.
Heart Opening Trips to the Amazon and New Mexico
Over 150 people participated in 12 life-changing immersions to the Ecuadorian Amazon at the invitation of our indigenous partners, the Achuar, Sápara, Shuar, and Sarayaku community. We also continued our Journeys in the North with two powerful offerings to the high desert of New Mexico in collaboration with ceremonial leader and wisdom keeper, Arkan Lushwala, and the Arawaka community.
2013 in South America
As the government of Ecuador continues with its plans to develop millions of acres of pristine Amazon rainforest for oil production, the success of our Ecuadorian partnerships in forwarding an alternative development model based on well being, human rights, and the Rights of Nature has become more crucial than ever.
Indigenous Voices Speak Up for Preservation
Fundación Pachamama (FP) provided funding for numerous workshops and assemblies so that indigenous communities of the Ecuadorian Amazon were fully informed about plans for oil development in their lands, and so that their voices calling for territorial preservation were clearly heard. This was all part of FP’s overall effort to find common ground between the need to protect the environmental and cultural richness of the Amazon and a commitment to help the Ecuadorian government achieve its legitimate and necessary long-term social development and poverty reduction goals for its people.
People of Sarayaku Receive Restitution Payment
With guidance from FP’s lawyers, the people of Sarayaku asserted their right to bind the government of Ecuador to comply with the 2012 favorable ruling by the Inter-American Court for Human Rights. The government paid reparations of more than one million dollars for damage to their land and people, and has committed to cleaning up the more than 3000 pounds of explosives left in their territory.
Fundación Pachamama Informs Environmental Public Policy and Actions
FP continued as president of CEDENMA, Ecuador’s largest network of environmental NGOs, and made great progress by forming important legal suits, participating in the creation of environmental public policy, and successfully using research, mobilization, and lobbying to halt destructive projects in indigenous territories.
Jungle Mamas Takes Huge Steps in Advancing Safe Motherhood
In a new collaboration with One Heart World-Wide, Jungle Mamas trained 20 Achuar women in a community empowerment workshop. The 20 women will provide prenatal coverage to 47 Achuar communities. To date, Jungle Mamas has distributed 100 safe birth kits to women in approximately 30 communities.
Impact Analysis Begins for the Southeastern Amazon
FP provided financial support for a major scholarly study to research the impact of two divergent future scenarios in the southeastern Amazon—one of oil development and one of conservation. The research, evaluating economic, social, political, ecological, and cultural dimensions, is being carried out by respected universities in Ecuador and the United Kingdom, and will be used to inform FP’s future work.
FP Brings Together Allies for International Workshop on Indigenous Rights
Organizations from Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador who work to defend human and environmental rights, came together for an international workshop organized by FP to explore key issues around prior consultation, right to compensation and socio-environmental monitoring. They also toured environmentally toxic areas polluted by oil spills.
Amazon’s First Solar-Powered Transportation Network is Almost Ready
After a year of preparation, a groundbreaking system of solar-powered boats and recharge stations covering over 40 miles of rivers in Achuar territory is soon to be put to use. The project is in collaboration with the government of Finland, MIT, Ecuador’s most renowned engineering university, and multiple Ecuadorian government agencies, as well as the Achuar people, who will be the owners of the system.
2013 Around The World
The world has changed since the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium debuted in 2005, and the need for conscious, committed change agents is more urgent than ever. In 2013 we designed and piloted a brand new transformational pathway to social action for people after they have taken a Symposium: the Up to Us engagement pathway.
Awakening the Dreamer Symposium Reaches 76 Countries
Pachamama Alliance’s flagship workshop, the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium, has now been delivered in 76 countries—in least 13 languages—to more than 4000 trained volunteer Facilitators worldwide who are bringing the Symposium to their local communities and allied organizations.
Up to Us is Developed
Relying on input from experts on movement building and feedback from our volunteer community, Pachamama Alliance has developed the Up to Us engagement pathway for people after they have taken a Symposium.
Up to Us Pilot Programs Underway
We are piloting several new programs within Up to Us in advance of a full launch in early 2014:
- Game Changer Intensive — An eight-part webinar series that builds citizen leadership by deepening participants’ experience of their sacred connection to the Earth community and sense of responsibility for its future; empowering them to engage with the root causes holding our current systems in place.
- Community Action Circles — Intimate local circles of people who meet regularly to educate themselves and put into action the principles of collective citizen leadership.
- Speaker Series — Live video conversations that engage people deeply with key issues of our time. We piloted three such conferences with a range of speakers on topics of social activism, climate change, and women's leadership.
- Media Engagement — Media tools to empower our community volunteers to be published in their local media on broad issues of sustainability and social justice.
Game Changing Partnerships Formed
We are partnering with organizations that are aiming at the root causes of two of the most pressing issues confronting the U.S. today—the corruption of our democracy and climate change. We encourage people to engage with these movements by joining with our game changing partners, currently: Move to Amend, doing grassroots organizing around democracy; and Citizens Climate Lobby, organizing around climate change. Both are effectively pushing for concrete achievable political solutions.
High-impact Pachamama Journeys Bring Allies from the Modern World
140 people participated in 10 separate deep-immersion journeys to connect with our indigenous partners in the Ecuadorian Amazon and the spirit of the rainforest itself. In addition to visiting Achuar territory, our journey offerings included visits to Karanqui, Kichwa and Zapara communities. We also piloted a new Journeys to the North program, which visits the high desert of New Mexico in collaboration with spiritual leader and Pachamama Alliance advisor, Arkan Lushwala, and the Arawaka community.