After more than a decade of field and legal work by community leaders and Ucayali’s titling agency, the Tomajao Indigenous Community has finally received title to their ancestral lands. The process began 2006 and UAC and ProPurús joined the struggle over the last few years when we successfully raised funding for and led the fieldwork.
Despite collecting all the necessary socio-economic, legal, and geo-referenced boundary data, our efforts were hindered by legally recognized overlapping logging concessions which needed to be removed before titling was possible. Further complicating the situation was the recent construction of a new logging road through their lands. The loggers have agreed to pay an annual use fee to the community. The new land rights allow the community to sustainably harvest wood and other forest resources.
The Tomajao community pertains to the Asháninka ethnic group and is located in the Tamaya watershed, a hotspot for illegal logging. This is an emphatic victory in the Asháninka’s fight for legal recognition of their homelands.