Indigenous Initiatives: Planning Lessons

Partners meet to define new project strategies for Indigenous people in Southern Amazonas

April, 2024 – The  Instituto Internacional de Educação do Brasil  (IEB) met in early April with Indigenous associations from Southern Amazonas and the Operação Amazônia Nativa (OPAN). They met in Humaitá (Amazonas) to plan the first year of their new project named Nossa Terra, Nossa Mãe – Gestão Territorial Indígena Integrada*. The initiative is supported by USAID and was launched April 24, during the 2024 Free Land Camp (ATL, or Acampamento Terra Livre) in Brasília.

Discussions ranged from developing Indigenous territorial management strategies for biodiversity conservation and the well-being of Indigenous Peoples to reinforcing the need to strengthen and institutionalize the associations.

“We must not act thinking only about today: everything we do has to consider the future. Because if you do something thinking only about today, you get stuck. We are here because of our past actions," says Zé Bajaga Apurinã, chief of the Idecorá Village in the Caititu Land, and executive coordinator of the Federação das Organizações e Comunidades Indígenas do Médio Purus.

The planning exercise involved nine Indigenous partner associations and provided an opportunity for learning and knowledge sharing. “Thanks to our accumulated experiences over more than 15 years of partnership, it was possible to engage in mature collective planning, where Indigenous representatives led the discussions on the actions under the Our Land, Our Mother project”, said Cloude Correa, an indigenist anthropologist and collegiate coordinator of the IEB Indigenous Peoples Program.

The project will be developed over the course of five years, which improves the chances of achieving consistent and lasting results. “Participatory planning is fundamental to the good governance of the activities developed by Indigenous associations throughout the project,” says Cloude.

The discussions fostered the institutional strengthening of Indigenous organizations for the protection of Indigenous territories, the conservation of biodiversity, and the expansion of other processes, including job and income creation, communications, and climate change.

*Nossa Terra, Nossa Mãe – Gestão Territorial Indígena Integrada in English is Our Land, Our Mother—Integrated Indigenous Territorial Management

Find out more about the project on the IEB website.