Our work at the local level has had a unique impact due to the fact that we do not “take answers to the communities”, but rather listen to their answers or build those answers with them. In doing so, both indigenous and non-indigenous cultures and ecological knowledge systems are creatively brought together in an intercultural effort for joint solution-building and local development strategies. This results in truly innovative local development and governance strategies that belong to the communities from their inception, as well as their contents and implementation.
At the national and international level, Gaia Amazona’s success has been product of important, consistent, and innovative work in the Amazon, and has a unique track and success record. Despite the many challenges in logistical, political and security issues, for over a quarter of a century we have been pioneering differentiated and suitable development strategies in the Amazon that are culturally and environmentally pertinent. Our local, national and international partners and allies know this, thus making our expertise and voice one that is heard and trusted by public and private stakeholders alike.
The vision and tenacity of Gaia Amazonas, and our long-term program, known as COAMA (Consolidation of the Amazon), as well as the personal achievements of our founding Director, Martín von Hildebrand, have been honored with national and international awards. These include:
- Right Livelihood Award (Sweden). “Alternative Nobel Prize” (1999)
- National Environmental Award. Ministry of the Environment (Colombia) (1999)
- “Official of the Golden Arch” (Holland). Highest distinction for the conservation of nature. (2004)
- Premio Nacional de Ecología “Simón Rodríguez” “Simon Rordriguez” National Ecology Award, VIBB VAFF-Luna Roja Program ad Fondo Mangl (Colombia) (2004)
- Creation of the permanent “Martín von Hildebrand¨ Chair, for community initiatives on the Colombian Pacific coast. (2004)
- Man of the Year “Operation of Hope” (U.S.A) (2006)
- Guanea Coonarpaz y Asoguanea Prize (Pasto, Colombia) (2008)
- “Social Entrepreneur”. Skoll Foundation (U.S.A) (2009)
- Latin American Social Entrepreneur. World Economic Forum (Río de Janeiro, Brasil) (2009)
- Ranked as #40 on the Top 100 NGOs of the world, Global Journal (Estados Unidos) (2011)
- One of Colombia’s Top 10 Leaders for 2013, Revista Semana. (Colombia) (2013)
- Tallberg Global Leadership Prize, Tallberg Foundation, (Sweden) (2015)