Fundación Natura

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Public Statement 2016

Title Indigenous Participatory Peace-building in the Department of Vaupes, Colombia
Type of organization Non-governmental organization
Country Colombia
Duration  One year
IAF Funding   $50,000
Counterpart Committed $32,101
Number of direct &
indirect beneficiaries
Direct: 300
Primary program areas Education/training

Fundación Natura (Natura) is a nongovernmental organization founded in l984 to promote environmental conservation. It is governed by seven members representing various professions who select the operational team that works with communities to further research, conservation and sustainable development, carry out regional and territorial planning, and support grassroots organizations. Foundation work is divided into three main areas: research and environmental conservation, local development, and environmental services. Natura has received support from the Inter-American Development Bank, World Wildlife Fund, Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the Embassy of the Netherlands and the Colombian Ministry for the Environment. A leader in the environmental field in Colombia, it is active in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Forest Stewardship Council, and the Red Forestal Amazónica (RFA).

Project Description
Natura will work with members of five regional indigenous organizations to strengthen governance and the environmental sustainability of indigenous territories through the creation of a development and peace strategy for the department of Vaupés in the Colombian Amazon. Activities will include local and regional workshops, meetings with local government officials, and the production of audio-visual materials and publications. The project will reach 300 direct beneficiaries and 5,000 inhabitants of 54 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 Foundation to learn how to more effectively respond at scale to challenging opportunities such as the peace process in Colombia.