An Overview of Cofán Territory and Communities
To date, the Cofán have secured the rights to approximately one million acres of our ancestral territory (about the size of the U.S. state of Delaware) that we now protect through agreements with the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment and within the National System of Protected Areas. We live in 13 communities in northeastern Ecuador, scattered from high cloud and montane forests down to tropical rain forests. Cofán communities are legally organized according to Ecuadorian laws under “centros” or “comunas,” however Cofán villages maintain leadership structures very similar to their traditional forms.
Cofán Conservation Efforts
The Cofán have fought since the 1970s for the legal right to manage their historical ancestral territories.
The transfer of 136,000 (55,000 hectares) acres to the Cofan Bermejo Ecological Reserve in 2002, home to the Bermejo, Chandia Na’e, Soquié, and Tayosu Canqque Cofán communities, is the first example in Ecuador of federally-protected lands being placed in the official custody of the resident indigenous people. This reserve represents a significant victory for conservation and now serves as an innovative model for science-based land stewardship by indigenous people.
We successfully negotiated a co-management and cooperation agreement in 2002 with the Ecuadorian Ministry of Enivronment to directly protect and manage more than 250,000 acres within the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve, home to the Sinangoe Cofán community and a region rich with tradition for all the Cofán in Ecuador.
In 2004 we gained the rights to the use and management of the 370,600-acre Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, where the Zábalo Cofán community is located and an area of extremely high biodiversity.
Our most recent success in the recovery of ancient land has been gaining the title to 30,000 hectares in the Rio Cofanes Territory in September 2007, despite severe opposition from many other groups interested in the great wealth that this pristine forest area has to offer, especially in terms of minerals and gold. Click here to view camera trap photos of the endangered mountain tapir in Rio Cofanes.
Cofán Cultural Centers
Currently, two Cofán community centers, Dureno and Dovuno, remain outside of protected areas. Dureno is the largest Cofán population center and comprises four subcommunities: Dureno, Pisorie Ccanque, Baboroé, and Totoa Nai´qui. Dovuno is a smaller community with its own land base.
The Cofan Survival Fund 509(a)1 and the Fundación para la Sobrevivencia del Pueblo Cofán are both non-profit organizations in their respective countries.
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Copyright 2013 - Cofan Survival Fund 501(c)3 nonprofit in the USA
Fundación para la Sobreviviencia del Pueblo Cofán in Ecuador