As part of the Encounter of Researchers at the National University of San Martín in Tarapoto, within the framework of the VIII Panamazonic Social Forum (FOSPA), today two tables were held in the morning in which specialists from the Center for the Development of Indigenous People participated. Amazonian (CEDIA). The first on "Territoriality: capitalist model, threats and struggles in the Amazon" and the second covered "State policies: consequences for the Amazon."
Luis Trevejo, North Regional Director of CEDIA, presented his presentation "Territorial security and local governance as inputs for the adaptive management of natural resources in native communities" at the first table. He indicated the importance of natural resource management with an adaptive approach as a management instrument that aims at the sustainable use of natural resources, collecting local knowledge. However, he pointed out that its effectiveness is related to aspects related to territorial security -through a property title- and good local governance -the ability of people to agree on issues of interest to their lives, such as natural resources.
He presented the case of 16 native communities located in the Tapiche and Blanco river basin in Loreto, with whom CEDIA has worked. At the beginning of his intervention, CEDIA made a diagnosis; Among the results, it was obtained that there are populations without territorial legal security and that they do not manage their natural resources or have the capacity to defend them from illegal extractors, oil activities or others because their social and political capital are not very strong. For this reason, CEDIA worked on plans for the adaptive management of natural resources, strengthening of local governance and land titling.
He also made known the progress obtained after 4 years of intervention regarding the titling of communities, community organizational strengthening, work that was carried out under a gender and intergenerational approach, and the management of forest resources; Likewise, he indicated that the natural resources in greatest demand - wood, fish and fruits of wild palm trees - are recovering.
For his part, Lelis Rivera, Executive Director of CEDIA, participated in table two and presented his presentation entitled “Regional Competences and National obstacles; new ways to evade the Law that recognizes customary rights over communal territories ”. In which he explained the almost null attention given to native communities in the cleaning up of their land property. He indicated that the Regional Governments (GORE) do not budget or are not granted resources to hire specialized technical personnel, equipment, or to go out into the field to carry out the work. He also indicated that the national State has placed obstacles that prevent this activity from being carried out, that they imply more budget and that they can only be carried out from Lima.
Likewise, it indicated that the General Directorate of Agricultural Environmental Affairs (DGAAA) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MINAGRI); intends to apply the Land Classification Regulation (DS.017-2009-AG) and the Regulation for the execution of the Soil survey (DS. 013-2010-AG) to the process of Titling of Territories to Native Communities. However, the Law of Native Communities determines the mandate for the State to recognize the right of ownership over the territories that the communities occupy, especially when there are norms applied to native communities that protect the interest of the State for the commercial use and exploitation of the natural resources of forest, soil and inland waters; with the addition that there are no precedents for communities to have made changes in land use.
In addition to the above, it seems that Lima officials do not know that the owner of native communities is not granted property rights over lands that belong to the State; rather, it is recognized that the lands they occupy are their property. The Law Orders the State to recognize the ownership of its territories and deliver the property title so that it can obtain legal security for its territory.
Another difficulty for the titling of communal territories is the superposition of the Permanent Production Forests (BPP) in them. This prevents communities from registering their titles in the Public Registries, since there is no legal, rapid and regional procedure to resize the BPP.
This whole situation is putting obstacles to the Regional Governments to meet the demands of the native communities, since trying to incorporate into the titling procedure of their territories new steps that require millionaire budgets and that only depend on the DGAA that only has offices in Lima, they prevent the communities and the GORE from obtaining property titles, thus denying the communities the indisputable right of ownership of their communal territory.
These and other contributions generated in the Meeting of Researchers, and that are extremely important for the lives of indigenous peoples and the Amazon, will be included in the Final Declaration of the VIII Pan-Amazon Social Forum on May 1 of this year.