Life plans are documents that articulate the indigenous vision with the technical planning of the management of their territory and its resources. To do this, they collect the expectations of indigenous communities about how they see their life, their future, where they want to go, how and for what.
This management instrument "is a letter of presentation of the community to external actors who want to relate or work with a community," says Luis Tayori, representative of the Harakbut and Machiguenga Council of Madre de Dios.
He shared with those present the experience of Life Plans in the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve, which is being developed in three native communities: Shipetiari (machiguenga), Queros and Puerto Azul (harakbut).
To develop the proposal, "we relied on ancestral knowledge that allowed us to recognize problems, reflect on the use of natural resources, identify our aspirations, and think about the future without leaving traditional practices behind," concludes Tayori.
Also present were Segundo Pino from the Native Federation of the Kakataibos Communities (Fenacoka), and Miguel Tangora from the Federation of Native Communities of the Province of Purús (Feconapu), who shared their experiences on the elaboration of their life plans, achievements, mistakes, successes, and lessons learned.
Both highlighted that one of the advantages of having these management instruments is that the population is more organized, that they can govern and develop with autonomy and management capacity.
Advances and challenges
“The Initiative for Conservation in the Andean Amazon (ICAA) is trying to organize the amount of information there is about life plans. The first thing that is said about life plans is that they can be either a document or an encyclopedia ”, says Luis Román, coordinator of Indigenous Peoples of the ICAA Support Unit.
“For this reason, we are trying to learn about the different experiences of life plans in order to propose a guide that can serve them –indigenous peoples- to propose to the State and other social actors, how to make a concrete life plan that collects the expectations of indigenous peoples, that they have a participatory process for the formulation of their development proposals and that they are also articulated with State policies. Let it be a tool for negotiating territorial management with the State ”added Román.
Articulation with the norms and laws of the State
Until today there is no involvement of the State, since these processes of elaboration of life plans belong to the indigenous peoples. The State has its own local, regional and national planning process. They are two processes going in parallel.
"We are trying to involve the sectors of the State at the local level in the process of formulating a life plan so that they know what the expectations are and get involved from the beginning in the public policy proposals", concludes Luis Román.
"For Amazon Indigenous REDD (RIA) projects to be successful, they must adapt to life plans -indigenous vision of community development and management-, in addition to incorporating concepts such as territorial security and holistic territory management," said Klaus Quicque, representative of the Native Federation of the Madre de Dios River and Tributaries (Fenamad).
Initiative for the Conservation of the Andean Amazon (ICAA)