The Andes mountains and the Amazon rainforest comprise one ecosystem connected for hundreds of millions of years. Protecting this migratory bioregion is vital for maintaining the region’s biodiversity and its capacity to supply regional and global ecosystem services. In the last 60 years, development pressures have created a 2,000-mile-long “development wall” that has threatened migration pathways, put numerous species at risk of extinction, and decreased the region’s productivity and resilience to disturbances. This development wall has devastated Indigenous communities in the region who rely on diverse wildlife to sustain their livelihoods and traditions.
The goal of Andes Amazon Conservancy’s (AAC) Indigenous-led Community Land Use Planning (CLUP) project aims to restore ecological connectivity in the Andes-Amazon basin and foster sovereign Indigenous land stewardship and sustainable land conservation. Through the project, Indigenous communities collaborate with AAC to create and implement community-led conservation land-use plans that help protect the network of eco-cultural corridors connecting the Amazon rainforest with the Andes mountains. AAC’s Edible Forest Initiative is nested within the CLUP project and will contribute to the aforementioned goal by reinvigorating the forest to provide food resources for the Indigenous people in the region so that they no longer need to deforest the land to survive.
With support from Daughters of the Earth, AAC will expand their CLUP project to include collaborations with 38 communities across two Indigenous Nations and, through the Edible Forest Initiative embedded in the CLUP project, will establish two nurseries with 20,000 trees to plant strategically in the eco-cultural corridor and will construct a third nursery to grow the Initiative.