Centro Lianas
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indigenous legal process

Construction of a dike for a fish pond

Image of poster promoting the protection of water and water rights

Vicki Williams, Seneca from the US, with Shuar friend from Ecuador during a cultural exchange

Secoya canoe on the Aguarico River

Areas of Action

Las Lianas programs address four interlocking areas of interest.

Collective Rights

The collective rights of indigenous peoples are those rights that they have as a people to their shared land, culture, language, traditions, laws, or ways of life. Recognition of these rights by national governments and international bodies is the product of an on-going process of struggle by indigenous peoples worldwide, in response to political and economic exclusion and threats to their cultures by the dominant society. Las Lianas works with and supports indigenous nationalities as they claim, exercise, and apply their collective rights.

Sustainable development

For centuries, indigenous peoples and nationalities have managed their ancestral lands sustainably. Now however, due to the impacts of colonization unsustainable development, and the imposition of neo-liberal economic models, traditional production systems are no longer sufficient to meet the needs of indigenous communities. This is all the more true given the changing requirements of indigenous communities in a modern world. For all these reasons, they seek sustainable alternative models of economic development to assure the wellbeing of their people for the long term. Las Lianas supports this process with scientific and technical assistance.

Environmental protection

Because of their close links with, and dependence on, their land, indigenous peoples suffer disproportionally from the negative impacts of the extraction of non-renewable resources, the introduction of unsustainable industrial agriculture, and other development incompatible with the natural ecosystem. Las Lianas partners with indigenous communities and nationalities to confront threats to the Amazonian environment and promote the sustainable management of the rainforest.

Cultural autonomy

The systems of knowledge, forms of social organization, and all the other manifestations of indigenous culture are continuously evolving. The challenge for indigenous peoples in the modern, global world is to balance the ability to continue to evolve with the protection of their cultural identity. Las Lianas contributes to the creation of opportunities for the exchange of cultural perspectives among indigenous nationalities in Ecuador and in other countries, and between these cultures and occidental society.