Fundación para el Etnodesarrollo de los Llanos Orientales de Colombia

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Public Statement 2016

Title Collaboration between indigenous organizations and local government for the strengthening of governance and environmental conservation of indigenous lands
Type of organization NGO
Country Colombia
Duration  One year
IAF Funding   $50,000
Counterpart Committed $10,525
Number of direct &
indirect beneficiaries
Direct: 4,500
Primary program areas Education/Training

Fundación para el Etnodesarrollo de los Llanos Orientales de Colombia (Etnollano) was founded in 1984 and gained legal status in 1985. Its mission is to help improve the standard of living for low-income indigenous rural and urban communities in the forested and savannah lands of eastern Colombia, by recognizing their cultural patrimony as a development resource and promoting models of sustainable development in the Amazon basin. It is a member of the Bolsa Amazonia, a network of NGOs and indigenous associations promoting ecologically and socially responsible business within the Amazonian regions of Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil.

Etnollano’s executive director and project coordinator are assisted by health practitioners, program coordinators, lawyers, economists and anthropologists. The organization has offices and museum shops marketing crafts from participating communities in Bogotá and in the town of Puerto Carreño where it also has a cultural center.

Etnollano has distinguished itself by working with indigenous teachers to promote primary school reform, and also with practitioners of traditional medicine and indigenous health agents in southern Vichada. It has developed grassroots strategies for accessing fair-trade markets in Europe and the United States and for training women for greater market participation and community leadership.

Project Description
Etnollano is one of a cohort of IAF Grantees that will support peace-building efforts at the grassroots level. Etnollano will work with members of indigenous communities located in the municipalities of Puerto Carreño, Paz de Ariporo and Hato Corozal in the departments of Vichada and Casanare, to strengthen governance and the environmental sustainability of indigenous territories through visits to the communities, workshops, meetings with local government officials, and the production of audio-visual materials and publications. The project will reach 4,500 direct beneficiaries and 25,000 inhabitants of non-indigenous communities.

Rationale for Funding

Grassroots organizations and nongovernmental organizations have an important role in building peace in Colombia. As Colombians begin to imagine a future without conflict, these organizations and their members must have their voices and proposals heard. To do this, they must have tools and spaces for learning and sharing, in this way building trust and relationships of mutual support among each other and with other actors in the country.

Learning Opportunity
This grant adds to a cohort of projects that support peace-building efforts at the grassroots level. The grant will give IAF the opportunity to learn about how building trust and relationships of mutual support between grantee partners and other actors in the country can be a first step towards national reconciliation. These grants will also help the IAF to learn how to more effectively respond at scale to challenging opportunities such as the peace process in Colombia.