II Meeting of community monitoring experiences of the Amazon region

With the objective of exchanging experiences in community territorial monitoring in the Amazon region, in order to strengthen collective knowledge in governance, management and rights in defense of the territories, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (Confeniae) and EcoCiencia, together with several indigenous organizations of the Amazon region, met on October 13 and 14, 2022, in the community of San Juan de Piatúa - Santa Clara.

During the meeting, the Waorani, PSHA, Shuar, Sapara and Kichwa indigenous organizations shared experiences in territorial monitoring, identified results and lessons learned in monitoring processes, as inputs for strengthening the monitoring system - GIS Confeniae, in order to promote knowledge networks to strengthen their management processes and territorial rights.

Regarding the actions needed to develop effective monitoring processes for good governance, Nanki Wampankit, Confeniae's Territories, Natural Resources and Environment Leader, commented: "In order to sustain the work team of the monitors, what is needed is administrative will, political will, will of the people and will of the person or representative who is in charge and above all, in order to ensure that the monitors can be recognized, the government must accept the things that are being done in the territory".

Nanki emphasized the factors that must be taken into consideration to give continuity to the work of community monitoring: "We will continue even if there are no resources, if there is political, organizational and administrative will from the state and the government it would be very important to be able to maintain the work of the nationalities with the community monitors. The community must be solid to be able to maintain and continue working, only in this way the territorial monitoring will be alive and active".

The development of the meeting was based on facilitation methodologies aimed at stimulating exchange and encouraging reflection and questioning.

On the first day of work, after the technical teams of the indigenous organizations present focused their presentation on the monitoring experiences developed, the dialogue was oriented towards the ways in which the monitoring mechanisms have contributed to better governance and the conditions that have improved thanks to the monitoring mechanisms, to end with a review of the progress or setbacks detected during their implementation.

Regarding the work of monitoring, Ruth Mónica Toquiton, Sapara monitoring technician, indicated that "the communities benefit from monitoring to protect our territory, so that outsiders do not take advantage of the timber, hunting and mining". For her part, Aurelia Ahua, monitoring technician for the Waorani Nationality, said, "the organizations have joined with our allies to be able to know what is happening in our territories. We are monitoring our forest to defend it”.

Likewise, Marco Martínez, commented on the guarantee that a control and monitoring unit implies for his communities, "As a result of the territorial defense, we have a trained team with technological equipment, a platform with its applications to be able to register information in critical sites where biodiversity is affected and this has guaranteed the activism to create the Shuar guard".

The second day of the meeting focused on the construction of elements for the articulation of community monitoring experiences, with the proposal to support the procedures and protocols manuals that will make the Confeniae GIS operational, as well as a proposal from the organizations to articulate monitoring strategies.

In this regard, Mario Vargas, monitoring coordinator of Confeniae, commented: "Our communities have managed to have data, photographs, geographic points and monitors working with drones, GPS and maps, which have allowed us to make the communities visible and thus see impacts in our territories".

The meeting was held within the framework of the Amazonia 2.0 project, a collaborative initiative led by IUCN-South America and supported by the European Union in six partner countries of the project, and Actions for the Amazon, thanks to the support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation NORAD.