In 2007, the Ecuadorian government signed a deed granting the Cofán indigenous peoples title to the more than 30,000-hectare (75,000-acre) Rio Cofanes Territory. These lands shelter one of the most ecologically significant montane forests in the world and are important for the survival of the Cofán.
The effort to protect the Cofán's ancestral land has been led by the Federación de Indígenas de la Nacionalidad Cofán del Ecuador (FEINCE) and the Fundación para la Sobrevivencia Cofán, with assistance from The Nature Conservancy. It has received more than $650,000 in critical financial backing from CI’s Global Conservation Fund (GCF) that supports the creation, expansion and long-term management of protected areas, including indigenous lands such as the Rio Cofanes Territory.
EXPLORE: Chocó-Manabí Corridor Project, Ecuador.
GCF also has earmarked an additional $1.5 million for the Cofán, including $1 million to help create a protected areas trust.
LEARN: Read more stories of community partnerships and successes.