Pachamama’s Blood

Indigenous Sápara Territory in Ecuadorian Amazon is a vast and rich biocultural landscape that, unlike the famous Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, remains mostly unmolested by roads and oil development.

Ecuador’s Sápara people are developing strategies to fend off the dual threats of oil development and climate change. Tropical forests store carbon, regulate water cycles, have profound influences on weather patterns, mitigate natural disasters, support biodiversity, provide food, and ensure human health and well-being. Most of the world’s intact and biodiversity-rich tropical forests remain on the traditional territories of Indigenous peoples. For the Sapara people of Ecuador, adapting to climate change means strengthening their relationship with the forest, or Sasha, by restoring the traditional land-based practices that sustained their ancestors before slavery, disease, and Christianization all but destroyed their culture. But to rely on their rainforest for climate change adaptation, the Sapara must save Sasha from destruction caused by oil development.