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Training Program in Indigenous Territorial Governance in Loreto ends successfully

In Latin America, indigenous peoples continue fighting their ownership right over their communal land. Also, the demand for titling and recognition of their territories in the Amazon States exceeds 100 million hectares (COICA, 2018). Problem that increases threats such as deforestation and challenges them to govern ancestral territories in a world that changes at a dizzying pace.

On the other hand, it has been shown that the titling of indigenous territories significantly reduces these risks and allows better control and surveillance, improving forest management and conservation. With this goal, the initiative to design and promote the Indigenous Territorial Governance Training Program (PFGTI) was born, which seeks to recover ancestral knowledge and strengthen its governance through dialogue between indigenous knowledge and Western knowledge.


After a pause of almost 4 years, due to the pandemic, a group made up of 32 indigenous students from Loreto, from 8 native communities, successfully completed the program. In the selection of this group of students, gender equity and intergenerationality were taken into account to train leaders and future decision makers.


“In each module the students learned significant topics for their community and upon returning to their territories they applied community practices to propose actions that strengthen indigenous territorial governance,” highlights Alonso Córdova, forestry and indigenous affairs specialist at WWF.


“It has been very important to learn from other indigenous leaders who have been in their roles for years. Also knowing their problems and how they face them has been very enriching, they reminded us of very valuable knowledge throughout these 4 years. I would like them to continue teaching new topics in the future to continue updating us on governance,” says Zaira Rodriguez Lopez, coordinator of the indigenous youth of the Yagua native community.


Some of the topics seen in the program were territorial governance, development and full life, life plans, gender, legal framework and rights. In the last module, the students learned about cultural revaluation, in order to achieve an understanding of the worldview of the people, the deepening and transmission of knowledge of their languages, the development of their own practices and guiding the care of resources through the proper management of relationships with the different beings of the forest that express spirituality in each of the indigenous peoples.


Córdova also mentions that rescuing and valuing cultural practices, ancestral wisdom and the relationship with the territory beyond productivity is important to achieve strengthened Indigenous Territorial Governance. “It is essential to promote the protection and conservation of the territory, not only from the acquisition of technical and legal knowledge, but also from the strengthening of cultural identity.”


Another important topic that was developed in this last meeting was the biodiversity conservation module. The students developed skills for recognition of biological diversity, the components of the forest, their interactions, aspects of conservation and the importance of its management as a resource in the sociocultural and economic context, reflecting on the preservation of biodiversity as a key of food security and health. Likewise, alerting students about the growing loss of biodiversity and the need to safeguard it.


Training Program on Indigenous Territorial Governance (TPITGI) 


Since 2017, more than 100 indigenous students have successfully completed this program and have implemented what they learned, demonstrating that sustainable forest management is possible and that it offers better opportunities to the indigenous communities that live in it.


The training Program on Indigenous Territorial Governance (TPITGI) is a joint effort of the Regional Organization of the Indigenous Peoples of the East (ORPIO), the Bilingual Teacher Training Program of the Peruvian Amazon (Formabiap), the Public Pedagogical Higher Education School of Loreto and WWF Peru.



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