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Jennifer Silva – From Cenarium Magazine
MANAUS – Planting trees is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to care for the planet. For this reason, in the Ecuadorian Amazon region, a partnership between the NGO One Tree Planted, which promotes reforestation projects, and the Sapara Women Association is a way to strengthen communities and empower people.
The Sapara nation is one of several indigenous groups that live in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Today with less than 600 members, the Saparas were among the largest indigenous populations before European colonization. With a strong and harmonious connection with nature, these people follow traditions and, like their ancestors, respect and protect forests.
Fight for rights
Led by activist Gloria Hilda Ushigua Santi, the Sapara Women’s Association was created in 2009 to protect the rights of women threatened by violence and intimidation. The nation is one of several indigenous groups that live in the Ecuadorian Amazon and has already corresponded to one of the largest populations in the region, but today it has less than 600 members.
In recent years, oil exploration in the area has threatened the way of life of the inhabitants of the Sapara Indigenous Land and has compromised one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. For this flag, of preserving traditional customs and environmental conversation, the residents of the region are struggling to have a better future.
Eight years ago, the Ecuadorian government signed contracts with the Andes Petroleum consortium, composed of the Spanish Repsol-YPF, the Brazilian Petrobras, the Chinese Andes Petroleum consortium and the Italian Eni are among the largest investors in the country. The fact that encouraged the exploitation of natural resources in the indigenous lands of the region.
In 2015, Ushigua and other indigenous leaders testified against environmental and indigenous crimes committed by the government at the 156th session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which was a major step forward in bringing justice to their communities.
According to the non-profit organization based in Vermont (USA), planting trees will help prevent soil erosion and keep rivers clean. The reforestation of the area will also allow maintaining the temperature and soil fertility over time, facilitating the regeneration of the tropical forest.