Pueblo Originario Kichwa de Sarayaku
Deep in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest, the Kichwa people of Sarayaku are leading Indigenous rights advocacy, protecting their ancestral territory and forest, and pursuing a sustainable lifestyle that sees nature not merely as resource but is in line with Indigenous wisdom. The group has won legal battles to shield their 133,000-hectare territory from oil exploitation, logging, and road construction. Facing further industrial development pressures, the group is promoting the concept of “Kawsak Sacha” (“Living Forest”) as a new category of protected area under Indigenous leadership, which also assigns legal rights to the forest. Kawsak Sacha guides forest management policies like sustainable hunting and fishing, crop production, housing, transportation, and traditional medicine.
Equator Prize Winner: 2021
Year of establishment: 2014
Location: Puyo, Pastaza, Ecuador