« Eyá Pavara » – Restauration of ancestral forests
Duration of the partnership
In 2013, a group of approximately fifteen Emberà young people created an association (Ejua Wadra) to initiate the restoration, reforestation and protection of the forest and its natural resources on their collective lands which had suffered excessive deforestation.
With the support of the Emberà traditional authorities and McGill University in Canada, this association has already replanted, on a volunteer basis, 2500 trees in the Piriati area. It has created a community plant nursery and reintroduced several endangered plant species by organising a collection of seeds and seedlings in the Darien province forests with original biodiversity.
Having met with Candido Mezua Salazar, a leader of the Emberà community, the French association « If Not Us Then Who » supports, develops and finances this initiative to create a restoration of Emberà ancestral forests.
The direct beneficiaries of the project are the indigenous communities, consisting of 1670 inhabitants of the Emberà villages of Ipeti and Piriati.
Indigenous people are the first guardians of the forests: their traditional lifestyle allows them to preserve their forest resources. Unfortunately, these peoples are now the first to be affected by the consequences of deforestation on their territories.
The association If Not Us Then Who France wishes to support the local initiatives of the Emberà community because their scope of their action is threefold:
As our ancestors used to say, if the peoples of the forest disappear, the forests will disappear as wellCándido Mezúa Salazar