Yaigojé Apaporis is the local name for a one million hectare stretch of Amazon forest, and the traditional territory of the Makuna, Tanimuka, Tuyuca, Cabiyari and Letuama who live there. It is a haven for jaguars, giant ant-eaters, squirrel monkeys and pink dolphins, and is dotted with sacred sites such as, Yuisi, where the river cascades over rocks, forming rapids. And until recently it was untouched by the industrial world!
When Colombia opened the floodgates to mining concessions in the Amazon, in the last decade, the local indigenous communities asked for a National Park to be established – to stop mining in their territory. Now part of the national system of protected areas, Yaigojé Apaporis is managed by the indigenous communities and the work of young community researchers - guided by the elders, documenting, mapping and recording - ensures the continuance of traditional practices for safeguarding the forest. In the words of one community leader, their goal is to: "transmit traditional knowledge to the younger generations and to protect our ancestral territory."
In this short video we see the challenges – especially the threat from gold-mining – and the local communities’ response, researching and strengthening their traditional knowledge, to protect Yaigojé Apaporis – for future generations and for the global community.