Peru: Securing the Wampís territory

'Tarimat Pujut' - A life of harmony

The project aims not only to assist the Wampis in securing the legal rights to their ancestral lands but also to gain legal recognition of their rights as a collective identity both in Peru and internationally as well as increase income for the forest community through efficient and sustainable agricultural techniques. This will include resuscitating abandoned farm plots and promoting agroforestry such as the production of cacao.

The Wampis are an organised and proactive indigenous group who are already working tirelessly to conserve their forests, mitigating climate change and fighting illegal logging and mining activities. The Wampis have a profound, historical and spiritual connection to the forest Mt Kampankis in particular, which is believed to be the source of their environment’s biodiversity. The Wampis peoples have a moral relationship to the land. They believe all living things have guardians who live in sacred parts of the forest. Only by acting respectfully and pleasing the spiritual guardians will hunters be able to successfully hunt animals. Equally, farmers will only be able to harvest crops if they have pleased the guardians of the land. These guardians, it is believed, control the abundance of all Wampis resources. It is this belief system that instils respect and connection to the land making the Wampis the best people to conserve the vast forests.

The project will also provide training and funding to enable the Wampis to monitor land-use change and forest loss. In fact, Size of Wales funding is going directly towards training members of the community to use GPS trackers to collate and monitor information about their territory. It will benefit the Wampis settlements across the 1.4m territory in their plight to secure the tenure to their ancestral lands.

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Peru: Securing the Wampís territory

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Threats :

• Agricultural expansion by migrants
• Industrial logging and mining (both legal and illegal)
• Proposed mega-projects such as the Manseriche mega dam which threatens to flood thousands of acres of Wampis lowland territory and a highway running through their territory
• Agro-business such as cattle ranches, gold mining etc
• An old and poorly maintained oil pipeline crossing their territory and causing oil spills
• Diet and health gradually getting worse due to imposed 'villagisation'. Meaning Wampis are having to extract resources from increasingly smaller areas now that they are living non-nomadically

Achievments :

• Boats purchased to link different Wampis communities
• Radio system set up that broadcasts across the entire territory
• A democratic collective has been formed: Autonomous Territorial Government of Wampis (GTA-Wampis)