“The leading worldwide example for continuous and high impact work for environmental governance”

Gaia Amazonas is committed to the protection of biological and cultural diversity, and the future of the Amazon rainforest. Since 1990, we have worked hand in hand with Indigenous communities of the Northwest Amazon for the recognition of their rightsterritories and local governance systems, as the most viable and dignified strategy for forest conservation.

As a result of our efforts Colombia now has the largest continuous indigenous territory in the world, with 26 million hectares of Amazon forest legally recognized as indigenous territories.

Our community-based work in the Colombian Amazon has empowered and enabled 26,000 indigenous people belonging to 100 communities to establish inter-cultural education and health programs, and to exercise local governance over their territories through setting up their own indigenous organizations (known as AATIs – associations of indigenous traditional authorities). It is a unique model of shared responsibility for protecting the Amazon rainforest.

But despite many achievements, the current challenges and threats to the Northwest Amazon and its people require ever more ambitious plans for the coming decade. Mining and extractive industries, state weakness in monitoring and enforcement of forest conservation policies and indigenous rights, and a lack of prior consultation with indigenous communities, could undo the progress made.


  • How we work

    The most effective way to sustain an ecosystem is by supporting those who call it home. That is precisely what we do, building capacity and confidence from the community level upwards, and ensuring vibrant cultures and forest biodiversity for future generations.

  • The status of the Northwest Amazon & its indigenous peoples

    Reviving traditional knowledge is at the heart of our approach. Community research and mapping provide raw and up-to-date information provide a full picture of the Northwest Amazon, its rich bio-cultural diversity. Learn more about what is at stake.

  • Strategy - Towards 2020

    With your help, we can ensure that a mosaic of indigenous territories and protected areas stand strong in the wake of threats to the Northwest Amazon. We plan to expand on the safeguarding of a remarkable, trans-boundary expanse of tropical rainforest and scale-up local indigenous governance.



“This experiment is so outrageous that we have to support it. It is absolutely pertinent to the present ecological crisis.”  ~European Community Official

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