ESE EJA CULTURAL LANDSCAPES AND LAND RIGHTS (Bolivia and Peru)
The Project for the Reconstruction of the Ese Eja Ancestral Territory Proyecto de Reconstrucción del Territorio Ancestral Ese Eja) was developed by the regional indigenous federation of Madre de Dios, Peru (FENAMAD, Federación Nativa del Madre de Dios) in close collaboration with PPI, in order to help the Ese Eja document their history within their ancestral lands--most of which now fall under three natural protected areas in Peru (Parque Nacional Bahuaja-Sonene, Reserva Nacional Tambopata-Candamo) and Bolivia (Parque Nacional Madidi).
Using a wide range of approaches, including social cartography and community video, the project seeks to actively engage Ese Eja from different generations and communities in processes of recovery, dialogue and exchange, both internally, and with environmental managers and external agents linked to the national parks and to Ese Eja ancestral lands.
Since 2005 PPI has helped developed capacities among the Ese Eja and their representative organization in Peru, FENAMAD, to produce and edit their own video materials and community maps.
PPI is also helping the Ese Eja re-establish and consolidate links among displaced and fragmented groups across the international border between Peru and Bolivia. A workshop, held in Cobija (Bolivia), for example, brought together Ese Eja delegates from Peru and Bolivia to discuss issues relating to their ancestral territory and to exchange experiences in community video and mapping of cultural landscapes. As part of this process the Ese Eja and their representative organisations have embarked on a campaign to regain legal rights to an area of land on the Bolivian side of the border, adjacent to Peruvian communities, and within ancestrally occupied lands, ultimately seeking to create bi-national indigenous territory adjacent to the aforementioned national parks.