The Amazon rainforest in Ecuador gains a brand-new reserve spanning more than a million hectares, and local Indigenous communities played a key role in developing the area, to help protect the well-being of every living thing within the region.
“This is an initiative that will not only allow us to preserve, but also enjoy our forests and climate, to offer the world a healthy environment,” explains Governor of the province of Morona Santiago, Rafael Antuni. “For the future of our forests, rivers, animals and the well-being of our people and nationalities. Together we can succeed.”
The Tarímiat Pujutaí Nuṉka Reserve, which spans 1,237,395 hectares in Morona Santiago, eastern Ecuador, will act as a corridor since it is connected to other protected areas in Ecuador and in northern Peru. More than a thousand species of birds – dozens being endemic to the region – large mammals, plants, and close to 200,000 inhabitants call the province home, including indigenous communities. The latter have long expressed concern about harmful activities such as mining, logging, and cattle ranging ravaging the region which has the highest deforestation rate in the country. To address the situation, members of the Shuar and Achuar Indigenous communities have been invited to the table to better understand their different visions for the reserve and take part in the planning process. Today, the Tarímiat Pujutaí Nuṉka Reserve is one of the largest in the region.