Waorani Case Study

South America

The Waorani people live in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Five years ago they started to make a territory map, part of a strategy to defend their lands, all the material and non-material resources that live within it, and the futures of their children from the impacts of new oil developments. The Waorani mapping team, working with Alianza Ceibo and Amazon Frontlines, tried a variety of existing mapping applications, but none of these were a good fit for the offline environment and highly collaborative workflow the Waorani villagers demanded. They partnered with Digital Democracy in the early stages of Mapeo development, and have been using Mapeo and contributing to its design since 2015.

The Waorani mapping process

ECA-RCA monitors like Mapeo because it is simple to use and to teach monitors to use, and collects actionable evidence. They have control over the data, and can choose what to share with the State. They hope that it will enable their monitors to go on patrols without the State park guards, and are looking for recognition of their land defense system to ensure its long term sustainability and in order to share their learnings with indigenous peoples in other co-managed areas in Peru.

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