USAID has an overarching Policy on Promoting the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (PRO-IP) which guides our work to consistently engage Indigenous Peoples in the design, implementation, and monitoring of projects. USAID believes partnerships and consultation processes allow communities to play an active role and ensures that those benefits are in line with the communities’ self-determined development objectives. Indigenous Peoples' knowledge systems hold the potential to contribute solutions to global health and food security challenges, and Indigenous Peoples’ support for climate change mitigation and adaptation is already well documented. USAID will focus on enhancing Indigenous Peoples capabilities on risk management for both natural and man-made disasters, and providing technical and soft skill training programs for Indigenous women-led entrepreneurships;
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES PROFILE
The Amazon biome is home to the world's largest rainforest. It is an extensive area covering 7 million sq kilometers (2.7 sq miles) in Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Guyana, Suriname, and France’s Guyane (French Guiana). The Amazon plays a vital role in regulating the planet’s climate as it stores around 140 billion metric tons of carbon in its forests and soils, and plays a massive role in the fight against climate change. Amazon rivers carry an estimated 16 percent of all the freshwater discharged globally by rivers to the ocean. The Amazon is home to perhaps the largest diversity of flora and fauna in the world, as well as 30 million people, including 1.6 million Indigenous People and 400 different tribal groups. Well over 100 of those groups live in voluntary isolation from the outside world and depend on the forests and waters of the Amazon for their survival.
Protected areas and indigenous territories are the best preserved lands in the Amazon, which is why USAID believes that Indigenous Peoples are the best stewards to conserve these irreplaceable lands and waters and to preserve indigenous cultures. Indigenous Peoples’ active and meaningful participation in planning the development and decisions affecting the Amazon is critical to conserving this vital ecosystem in the long term. Safeguarding their rights and resources is essential in conserving the flora and fauna that live in this biome–not only for the region–but for the world.
USAID works to improve the representation of indigenous peoples in governance, so that they can promote their own rights and livelihoods to manage the forests and waters of the Amazon biome in sustainable ways. This commitment builds on a history of collaboration with indigenous peoples through previous regional programs. Our projects are aligned with USAID's Policy to Promote the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Given that Amazonia covers parts of so many countries, many of the projects USAID supports are regional in scope rather than country specific.
A) AMAZON REGIONAL PROJECTS WITH ACTIVITIES IN ECUADOR
INDIGENOUS AMAZON, RIGHTS AND RESOURCES (AIRR)
By strengthening indigenous organizations, the AIRR project empowers indigenous peoples to better exercise their rights in the face of large-scale infrastructure development and extractive activities that may affect their livelihoods. USAID partnered with the World Wildlife Fund to incorporate the rights and interests of indigenous peoples when planning public and private sector development to balance human well-being and environmental conservation. Through a combination of grants, loans and market analyses, the project also provides support to existing indigenous businesses helping them grow and reach national, regional or international markets.
Total Project Investment: $ 1,480,000
Duration: August 2019 – August 2024
STRENGTHENING THE CAPACITIES OF INDIGENOUS ORGANIZATIONS IN THE AMAZON (SCIOA)
Through SCIOA, USAID provides grants and technical assistance to indigenous peoples' organizations in the Amazon region to help them improve the administrative and financial management of their resources and their ability to lead development planning and priorities. The project, implemented by Pact, works across Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, and Suriname.
Total Project Investment: $2.4 million; Investment in Ecuador: $299,947
Duration: February 2018 – September 2023
SERVIR is a joint initiative of USAID and NASA to help Peru, Colombia, Brazil, and Ecuador improve environmental management and resilience to climate change. SERVIR supports sustainable development throughout the Amazon region by strengthening the capacity of governments and other key stakeholders to integrate Earth observation and geospatial technologies into improve decision-making and to better incorporate the voice of women, indigenous peoples and their communities.
Total Project Investment: $923,000
Duration: December 2018 - December 2023
COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO CONSERVATION CRIMES IN THE AMAZON (CRCCA)
CRCC is a joint initiative of USAID and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to foster civil society's engagement in Amazon conservation and in preventing conservation crimes in Peru, Colombia, Brazil, and Ecuador. The five-year project strengthens the capacities of diverse civil society stakeholders–especially Indigenous organizations–to improve and proactively lead efforts to conserve biodiversity and thwart transnational conservation crimes in the Amazon.
Total Project Investment: $19,200,000; In Ecuador: $2,014,000 (estimated; not counting funding to sub awardees to undertake regional work)
Duration: October 2021 - September 2026
B) PROJECTS IN ECUADOR
BUILDING TECHNICAL CAPACITY AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN ECUADOR’S ELECTORAL SYSTEM ACTIVITY
As part of the Building Technical Capacity and Public Confidence in Ecuador’s Electoral System project, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and Fundación Esquel Ecuador launched a training process with women members of four national political parties including indigenous women from the Movimiento de Unidad Plurinacional Pachakutik – Nuevo País (Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement, or Pachakutik) in May 2022. The training component focused on gender parity and political leadership to help enhance women’s political leadership. Women participating in this program expressed their optimism about affecting change, underpinned by practical recommendations and their strong foundations in advocacy. Pachakutik is an Indigenous political movement founded in Ecuador in 1995 with the goal of advancing Indigenous interests, especially in the areas of environmentalism and social justice. It has had among its members historic women figures, such as Dolores Cacuango and Tránsito Amaguaña, who drove important gains in Indigenous Peoples' rights in Ecuador, amongst these, establishing the first bilingual (Spanish-Kichwa) schools in the country.Total Project Investment: $ 2,150,000
Duration: September 2020 - March 2023
INDIGENOUS GOVERNANCE AGAINST RISKS AND THREATS (GIRA)
USAID supports the Federation of Chachi Centers of Esmeraldas (FECCHE) and the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE) to implement indigenous-owned risk management systems to reduce vulnerability to threats and strengthen self-determination.
Total Project Investment: $ 2,180,000
Duration: March 2023 - March 2026
SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT AND LIVELIHOODS FOR A VITAL AMAZON (SELVA)
USAID will work with Indigenous groups and other local communities in the Northern Amazon region to defend their rights and their territories, efficiently manage the natural resources they possess, and develop sustainable livelihoods that will provide people with reliable income and employment sources.
Total Project Investment: $ 6,770,000
Duration: April 2023 - April 2028