Kichwa People of Sarayaku (Ecuador) - Living Forest Proposal
On November 6-17, 2017, a delegation of Indigenous Kichwa leaders from the community of Sarayaku, deep in Ecuadorian Amazon, accompanied by Amazon Watch, traveled to the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany, to promote their Kawsak Sacha (“Living Forest”) proposal – a comprehensive vision for living in harmony with the natural world based upon their ancestral practices.
The opening paragraph states:
Kawsak Sacha (The Living Forest) is a proposal for living together with the natural world that grows out of the millennial knowledge of the Indigenous Peoples who inhabit the Amazonian rainforest, and it is one that is also buttressed by recent scientific studies. Whereas the western world treats nature as an undemanding source of raw materials destined exclusively for human use, Kawsak Sacha recognizes that the forest is made up entirely of living selves and the communicative relations they have with each other. These selves, from the smallest plants to the supreme beings who protect the forest, are persons (runa) who inhabit the waterfalls, lagoons, swamps, mountains, and rivers, and who, in turn, compose the Living Forest as a whole. These persons live together in community (llakta) and carry out their lives in a manner that is similar to human beings. To summarize, in the Living Forest the economic system is an ecological web; the natural world is also a social world.
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