Members of the Ucayali Regional Government of Ucayali, along withindigenous leaders and members of non-governmental organizations working on both sides of the Ucayali – Acre, Brazil border have signed a document declaring the importance of titling Ashéninka indigenous lands located in the upper Tamaya River. The declaration was signed on August 17th in the city of Pucallpa at the conclusion of ProPurús’ bi-national workshop, “The Role of Titling Indigenous Communities in the Conservation of the Ucayali-Acre border: the Case of the Alto Tamaya.”
The workshop was part of ProPurús’ partnership with the community of Alto Tamaya – Saweto to title their traditional lands and integrate their community into the corridor of conservation areas and indigenous lands that runs along the border region of Ucayali and Acre, Brazil. Key partners in the project include Ucayali’s Office of Natural Resources and the Environmental and the Office of Agriculture, along with the University of Ucayali’s Borderlands Research Center (CIFA) and the University of Richmond.
The borderlands between Ucayali and Acre, including the headwaters of the Tamaya, harbor high levels of biodiversity no longer present in areas closer to population centers. However, the region’s remoteness also results in scarce government support and services to the local indigenous communities whose lands are being invaded by illegal loggers, drug traffickers and landless farmers. Without title, the Ashéninka are unable to exercise legal control over their lands.