indigenous rights (peru)

Around the world, indigenous peoples are fighting for recognition of their right to own, manage and develop their traditional lands and resources. Indigenous peoples’ relationship with their traditional lands is said to form a core part of their identity and spirituality and to be deeply rooted in their culture and history. 

Ema Tapullima, the community leader of the Kukama Kukamila people of Puerto Prado, Brazil, stands amidst the Amazonian forest that she works to protect.  After witnessing the destruction of her neighbors' forests along the Marañon River, she reached out to a local NGO to protect the forest as a private conservation area -- the first of its kind in Peru.

Tapullima's son, Hernando, leads eco-tours through the protected rain forest, showing how to extract the sap from a tree that serves as medicinal plant.

The community created a unique "map" of the area, showing Puerto Prado's location along tributaries of the Amazon River.

Hernando Tapullima, who leads eco-tours through the Amazonian village of Puerto Prado, demonstrates the process for weaving leaves to use in homes.

Local women display their traditional crafts for sale to eco-tour participants. Such income is critical to the families of Puerto Prado.

A typical home in the Amazonian village of Puerto Prado, Peru. More than 60% of the country's territory is covered by the Amazon rainforest, home to over 300,000 indigenous people who depend on it for their livelihoods. Although Peruvian law recognizes the rights of indigenous people to their land, it still foresees the possibility of granting concessions over these lands, if doing so is deemed in the national interest.