Amazonian Future Forest Project
Iyarina actively manages 600 hectares of forest on the Rio Napo and collaborates in the management of Waorani forests on the Río Curaray.
Kawsarik Sacha, the name of our pilot restoration project, is a Kichwa term for forest revival. We envision it as an incubator of the future where volunteers can come to live sustainably from the forest. Iyarina (Ee-ya-ree-nah) has successfully 600 hectares of forest on the Rio Napo for 30 years. We propose to scale our proven strategy for protecting forest by making strategic purchases radiating outward from the current forest toward the Waorani reservation. These purchases will be opportunistic but prioritize watersheds and corridors between existing private reserves.
From long experience, we are convinced that the forest can only be preserved if its flourishing provides a viable option to migration for the indigenous people who live here. If the social cohesion of the communities breaks, and young people are forced to migrate, other actors move in. In this area of weak state control, forests are at risk of being cut to extract hardwoods, gold, and petroleum and then replaced with environmentally destructive agribusiness. A key part of preserving forest is to strengthening the cohesion of the local indigenous communities who defend them. We seek to manage the forest so as to produce both abundant foods and green employment for our indigenous community. In doing so we integrate respected traditional knowledge with evidence based science. Where possible we carry out our work in the indigenous languages combining a living wage with traditional forms of convivial labor with traditional forms of convivial labor that sustain social cohesion.
Our plan includes the following provisions:
Restore by moving seeds and seedlings from undisturbed nearby areas by our Waorani campus to upgrade the productivity and biodiversity more depleted forests.
Maintain a living seed bank and nursery for trees on the endangered species list
Aspirational: In time we plan to establish a wild animal rehabilitation and release center to repopulate areas where species have been lost.
Where? This forest is located in the Amazonian headwater region between the Napo and Pastaza Rivers just west of the Waorani Reservation in the area around 1°05’00”S 77°38’00”W with two extension campuses in the Waorani Territory at Gomatan 1.16618°S 77.06535°W on the Rio Nushino and Geyepare on the Rio Curaray 1.28585°S 77.16754°W. The Waorani reservation, in turn, overlaps with Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park, home to as yet un-contacted tribes living in voluntary isolation near the porous Peruvian border.