It is important to know the vision of the communities to have a more profound about what they represent forests, and what they provide to the families that inhabit them.
Through REDD+ projects, whose general objective is to help the Reduction of carbon Dioxide emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, ethnic families in Colombia have also been found within its implementation of actions aimed at improving their living conditions and quality of life, as well as ensuring the tenure of land, to strengthen the territorial governance and promote gender equity.
Currently BIOFIX has seven projects with the participation of 24 communities who care for and protect the forests in which they live. These communities are divided into 16 Guards Indigenous peoples sikuani, piapoco, puinave and curripaco located in the departments of Vichada, Guainía, and the Guaviare and 8 Tips Community located in the departments of Chocó, Cauca and Valle del Cauca. As well as a mitigation initiative developed by the owners of a private nature.
The leaders of these communities are committed to the conservation of the territories in which they live, in the form of gratitude for all the benefits that can be obtained from the forests.
For Felipa Murillo, president of the Community Council, Most of Juradó, The Marlin, and part of the community belonging to the Project COCOMAN BORDER REDD+ located in Novita and Juradó, Chocó, the forests are an ecosystem beautiful and meaningful for your community.
“There are many trees which are home to varieties of species of animals and also serve to the subsistence of the human being. That's why we are committed to the care, protection and the reasonable use”.
Tulio Antonio, Legal Representative of the Community Council of Nóvita, Chocó, are also part of this project, and for him, “The forest is protected, is health, it is a source of life that allows us to breathe fresh air, to keep our rivers and live in a pleasant climate. The forest really is everything.”
Other REDD+ project developed in Chocó, specifically in Bahía Solano and Juradó, is DOLPHINS CUPICA REDD+; Gustavo Palace, one of the members of this project and Coordinator of the Bureau of the Territory of the Community Council Dolphins, says that forests are life, because: “In him live many species, from which we extract a few of them for our food. In the forest we get firewood to cook our food and took out all the materials to build our homes. In the forest we do cultural activities and whale species. The forest for us, it means everything.”
The Legal Representative of the Community Council Cupica, Isaac Lozano, and which are also part of this project, says that for him, the forests have a cultural meaning deep. “For us, the forest, life, health, survival, and culture. The forest means natural and economic resources”.
For Felipe Angulo Sanclemente, the Legal Representative of the community Council of the Naya River belonging to the Project NAYA REDD+ in Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca, the forest goes beyond the area to take wood and make use of other resources. “It's the living space, it's part of the joy and freedom of communities”.
Fernando Suarez, Cabildo Governor and the Legal Representative of the Indigenous reservation Saracure, River Cadá, and a member of the Project KALIAWIRI REDD+ in Cumaribo, Vichada, says that: “The forest is an important ecosystem and is a source where the man uses the resources according to their needs”.
In the project BANAKALE REDD+ in Tuparro and Plain, Vichada, Ruth Zuluaga, who in addition to being part of this project belongs to the Receipt Saint Thérèse of the ethnic Piratupuyo, on behalf of his community, he says:
“For us, the forests are important because they generate oxygen, generate life, because from here we can extract some medicinal plants, fruit trees and timber that we use for the betterment of our homes.”
For this reason, this indigenous people help the conservation, recovery and restoration of these forests.
Philip Wilson Arias, Cabildo Governor of the Indigenous reserve The Plain, an autonomous community belonging to this project ensures that: “The forests mean a means of subsistence, because they produce oxygen and are interacting with the mother earth”. In addition, he says: “why, as indigenous peoples, we are part of nature and we are forests”.
Anderson Lozano Gaitán Shelter River Muco and Guarrojo, the community of White Ground, belonging to ethnic Sikuani and a member of the project PALAMEKU KUWEI REDD+ in Cumaribo, Vichada, he says his community to defend and protect the forests in their territory because it is what they learned from their ancestors:
“It's a legacy that we have left our shamans, parents and grandparents, and for this reason we follow with the protection of the forests, because they are the sustaining of the earth and because there are no forests and without water we cannot live.”
Finally, to Esau Ramirez Castro, the Legal Representative of the Indigenous reservation Morichal Viejo, Santa Rosa, among others, where the project is YAAWI IIPANNA REDD+ forests represent the territory where they live and how they relate to the nature:
“This is what we have inherited for millennia, our ancestors. For us are very important forests because that is where we find the traditional medicine and food”.