Friday, July 15, 2011

Amazonian Indigenous Conservation Campaign Stops Deforestation

Cofan tribal instruments

Recently, a fundraising campaign called the Campaign for 5000 was launched by the Fundacion para la Sobrevivencia del Pueblo Cofan (FSC) and its branch the Cofan Survival Fund in order to support a Cofan Ranger Park Guard program. This program, established by the indigenous Cofan people of northern Ecuador, has successfully protected over one million acres of the world's most biodiverse forests in the world. Many of the Cofan ancestral territories, which range from 300 to 14,000 feet above sea level, had been targets for illegal logging, oil extraction, and poaching. In response to these threats, the Cofan Ranger Park Guard Program was established in 2002.

Currently, the program consists of sixty members who patrol and maintain hundreds of miles within these territories. In addition to that, the men and women perform duties such as monitoring and recording presence of endangered species such as the jaguar, tapir, and spectacled bear. They also maintain tabs on the health and integrity of the ecosystem. Interestingly, satellite imagery from the last decade has clearly shown that the rainforests under Cofan protection were fully intact. This maintenance has also prevented the release of CO2 emissions. In fact, a recent study sponsored by the Nature Conservancy estimated that the program has kept over 90,000 metric tons of carbon from being released into the atmosphere each year. The Cofan people have now set up a fundraising campaign called Campaign for 5000. This model's purpose is to create a partnership of 5000 members worldwide, who would contribute $10 or more per month to the program. This donation will sustain the conservation work by covering ranger salaries, food, transportation, training building, and field equipment. However, it will also help in reduction of CO2 emissions by 60 % and preservation of 2,000 acres of forests.
Spectacled bear

I'm extremely happy and proud to see what the indigenous people of Ecuador have been doing in order to help preserve the biodiverse forests. Not only do these habitats serve as places of rich diversity of wildlife, but are also an ancestral heritage to the Cofan people. I personally think that this is a clear example of how an indigenous group of people works together, in order to help the global environment. The Cofan people are a good example of indigenous people, who are helping make a difference in this world. However, there are also other indigenous people who live in biodiverse hotspots. These include various tribes in Africa. It is hard to tell which ones are conducting a similar strategy, but there are also those who live up to their traditional beliefs and commit acts which cannot be beneficial for either the local wildlife or the environment. For example, in the case of the Masai, killing a lion is perceived as an act of bravery but can also affect the wildlife significantly. In addition to that, they raise their livestock in areas which could have a significant number of wildlife. This is why I believe that indigenous people in other biodiverse places should follow the example of the Cofan, in order help protect their land, their local wildlife, and most importantly, the global environment.

View article here  

No comments:

Post a Comment