We seek to create a natural and cultural sanctuary in the Gran Chaco Ecoregion where the knowledge and cultural traditions of indigenous peoples can thrive in a protected and sustainably managed territory. We want the young generations of indigenous families to be proud of their cultural heritage and to be included in the global society.
Why do we need a sanctuary
We aim to create a sanctuary in the Gran Chaco because we see the emergency to protect biodiversity and cultural diversity in this strategic ecoregion.
Indigenous people are chased from their native lands. Without the Forest, they are condemned to live in extreme poverty in city suburbs.
Cultural diversity is key for humanity and for enhancing and protecting ecosystems and its biodiversity. The cultural inheritances of these indigenous groups have been seriously altered and their knowledge is not being transmitted to the new generations.
We intend to start to protect these territories, empower communities to regain their relationship with the natural world and their territories by securing it and collaborating with them to develop reforestation and biodiversity. This is why we intended to promote and create spaces of their traditional knowledge preservation and wisdom. As an elderly man told us some time ago: “Any culture, as any star, no matter how small this is, becomes essential to the universe”.
Logging within the Gran Chaco, driven by the industries that, just like in the Amazon, seek to acquire land for agricultural and livestock activities has decreased somewhat in recent years, but is far from stopping.
The Argentine Gran Chaco suffers from a wide variety of issues, but deforestation is considered its most severe problem. The risks of its deforestation include the destruction of habitats, changes to the natural characteristics of the soil, alterations in the forest’s hydrological and climatic dynamics, and even the social and economic collapse of communities around the forest (that need the Forest to satisfy basic needs like food or medicinal plants). Current trends suggest that these risks to ecosystems will continue as the agricultural and livestock frontier expands.
“Without forests, there is no wichi...”
Said Juan de Dios Lopez, a member of the Wichi indigenous community in Salta province.
Malnutrition, illness, displacements and environmental disasters are the aboriginal experiences of the advancing agrarian frontier.
Recover a collective ownership of the lands
Alianza Wichi’s main mission consists of supporting indigenous organizations to recover the collective ownership of their lands, and possibly expanding this area to a significant area in Argentina.
We intend to create a natural and cultural sanctuary a refuge for local cultures and a natural reserve where biodiversity can thrive again.
Collective land ownership is central to the indigenous struggle against deforestation and to social and environmental sustainability. Wichí and more than fifteen other cultural groups (Chorote, Nivacle, Guaraní, Qom, Pilagá, Chané, Mocoví, Weenhayek) of the Argentinean Chaco region struggle for collective land ownership undermines the individualistic mantra of ‘private property’ of capitalist social relations.
Through land acquisition and collective management according to indigenous principles, we believe we can quickly rewild and regenerate lands that have been spoiled by years of extractive agriculture using pesticides.
“Any culture, as any star, no matter how small this is,
becomes essential to the universe”
We will begin the regeneration process of the community’s territory, exploring the diverse techniques of reforesting the destroyed areas and biodiversity. Using agroforestry techniques, we want to plant edible forests and bio intensive crops, as well as recovering medicinal plants. Other projects will be launched in the benefit of all communities such as: a seed bank of endangered specimens, a tree nursery, drinking water supply or crop irrigation.
By supporting Alianza Wichi, you join a global community of solidarity who believe Culture and Nature can thrive together. But above all, you will participate in the active regeneration of the Gran Chaco Region, a key Ecoregion in the heart of Latin America.