Educating Amazon peoples to defend own territories

Strengthening the capacity of Indigenous Peoples in the Colombian Amazon to engage in policy processes on forest and territorial management.


Organisation of the Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon / Organización de los Pueblos Indígenas de la Amazonia Colombiana (OPIAC)

Deforestation in the Colombian Amazon has traditionally been low due to efforts by Indigenous Peoples in these territories to protect and safeguard the rainforest.

As Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon are confronted with new challenges, they require political and technical tools to exercise their autonomy, safeguard territorial rights and influence the construction of REDD+ Policy at different levels in Colombia.

OPIAC will help provide this knowledge through training, monitoring and research.


In Colombia, the peace process and the advancement of REDD+ policies at different levels afford important opportunities to Indigenous Peoples in the Colombian Amazon in terms of increased access to public funds.

However, they also represent new challenges, as external actors exert pressure on the territories of the Indigenous Peoples, which might intensify further with increased stability and disarmament in the Amazon region.

Hence, there is a need to strengthen Indigenous Peoples’ capacity and knowledge on how to protect their territories. 


Norad intends to offer NOK 8 million in total for the period 2016-2017.


OPIAC will establish a school to provide knowledge about territorial management and advocacy for Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon.

Given the significance of the Indigenous Peoples' role in protecting the Amazon forests and management, the project will map Indigenous Peoples’ own knowledge systems regarding management of ecosystems.

Such knowledge will form an important part of the courses offered by OPIAC to address forests' deforestation and degradation. 

The Project's contribution to the REDD+ Colombian Policy also focuses on defining differential indicators to be used by Indigenous Peoples for monitoring and tracking of Amazon forests' situation.

OPIAC considers that these elements are key to engaging effectively in REDD+ policy processes both at the national and local levels.

Expected results 

  • Indigenous Peoples gain capacity for negotiation and implementation of REDD+ Policy in Colombia.
  • Colombian REDD+ National Policy includes recommendations and lineaments proposed by the Amazon Indigenous Peoples.


Published 14.07.2016
Last updated 13.07.2016