The FSC and The CFS

Fundación Sobrevivencia Cofán (FSC)

Founded in 1999, the Fundación Sobrevivencia Cofán (FSC) is an organization with Cofán leadership dedicated to the survival of the Cofán indigenous culture and its Amazonian rainforest environment.

FSC was founded as a vehicle to reclaim and protect Cofán territory, primarily driven by the need to respond to oil exploitation in the region and the colonists who followed in the oil companies’ wake. Born from this very concrete “fight for our rights or disappear” mindset, FSC focuses on finding practical, on-the-ground solutions that contribute to the survival of the Cofán Nation and our forest home on which we depend, and managing the natural resources in Cofán ancestral territory in northeastern Ecuador for the long term.

Cofán Survival Fund (CFS)

The Cofán Survival Fund (CFS) is an independent U.S.-based supporting organization for the FSC.  It is an incorporated 501(c)(3) non-profit organized to raise charitable donations from North America and elsewhere in the world to support the work of FSC. The administrative costs for both FSC & CSF are extremely low, and every effort is made to channel all funding directly into our projects, whether that be training and supplies for the Cofán Ranger Program, or tuition and fees for a young Cofán studying in Quito. The Board of Directors of CFS is chaired by Kendall Clark Baker of Seattle, WA.

Mission

We are committed to biodiversity conservation and research, protecting our ancestral territory and its natural resources, developing environmentally sound income alternatives, and educating our youngest generation. FSC has received and managed grants from both government and private sources for activities directed to the conservation and management of Cofán ancestral territories in northeastern Ecuador, and for the development of strategies that will allow the Cofán people to maintain cultural and economic stability. We work closely with FEINCE, the Ecuadorian Cofán Indigenous Federation.

Leadership

Randy Borman was born in the Cofán village of Dureno and grew up hunting, fishing, speaking Cofán and living as any young Cofán does. Simultaneously, he learned English and “western” values from his American missionary parents. His education has been a mix of ancient Cofán knowledge of the forest and jungle life with a western academic education.  

Randy is considered one of the Cofán nation’s most important and respected leaders by the Cofán themselves. He is also a recognized leader of Ecuadorian environmental and conservation related issues, and continues to work closely with various national and international non-governmental organizations.  Randy represents a new model for Cofán leaders—centered in Cofán culture and the rainforest, and reaching out to form relationships that protect the culture, honor the Cofán's role as stewards of the rainforest, and ultimately to save the natural environment for us all.

In 1995, Randy received the Friends of the UN 50th Anniversary Award in Forestry and Renewable Resources. In 1997, he followed that up with a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Conservation Merit Award. In 1998, Randy accepted the Parker-Gentry Award from the Field Museum of Natural History of Chicago in recognition of his efforts to protect Cofán lands and culture. In 2001 Randy won the award Presea al Mérito Turístico José Tobar for his work in ecotourism.

Prestigious groups of international scientists have worked with the FSC and the Cofán.  In 2001, 2007 and 2008 Randy coordinated and helped lead four Rapid Biological Inventories with Chicago Field Museum biologists and local scientists participating in month-long analyses that led to the protection of more territory.