What are the objectives of this project?

The Land of Origin project, promoted by Duna – Eco-Conscience Association, aims to collect donations to acquire an area of 100 km2 of land in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, to be recovered, repopulated and reforested by the Arhuaco, one of the four indigenous peoples living in that region.

How can I help?

Through donations, which can be made directly online by clicking this button.

Or if you prefer, by deposit or bank transfer using the following information.

PT50 0018 0003 4721 5405 02014

Frequently asked questions

What is the importance of this particular area?

In addition to being part of an essential region for global biodiversity, classified in 1979 as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and a candidate for a World Heritage Site, this area is crucial to unify and safeguard regional ecological corridors. These corridors have been divided and occupied over the last decades due to commercial and industrial exploitation that have damaged the natural ecosystems of the region. With this acquisition, the area would be reclassified and ecosystems would therefore be protected from irreversible disruption and deterioration – more details here.
Centered in the city of El Copey, department (federal state) of Cesar, it was originally an old indigenous territory of which the autochthonous peoples were progressively deprived and dispossessed. Being acquired, it would be returned to them again.

How will my donation be used?

70% of your donation will be used directly to purchase land in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. The remaining 30% will be used for the management and administration of the project, specifically:

– humanitarian aid and assistance to the Arhuaco indigenous community;
– bureaucratic and administrative land purchase process in Colombia;
– project management, administration and other services (surveying, accounting, communication, website, dislocations, etc.)

Recover, repopulate and reforest?

Recover, because the 100 km2 of land will be returned through the CIT – Tayrona Indigenous Confederation) to the Arhuaco people, who will repopulate 20% of the area with housing and subsistence agriculture. The remaining 80% will be reforested in order to unify ecological corridors and increase the area of the Arhuaca natural reserve.

Who are the local partners?

This project is carried out in partnership with the Arhuaco people (one of the four indigenous peoples that inhabit the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta), in coordination with the CIT – the Tayrona Indigenous Confederation – the only institution with the legal capacity to integrate the purchased lands in the natural reserve, that is, in the area destined for the Arhuacos.

The articulation between the parties is carried out locally by the Cabildo Gobernador, the highest authority of the Arhuaco people, who meets periodically with representatives of the
other three indigenous peoples of the Serra (Koguis, Wiwa and Kankuamos), in order to carry out internal and external interventions in this territory. Also coordinating the authorities of the 46 Arhuaco population groups, made up of a total of 46,000 indigenous people.

Are there protocols or other legal documentation?

Yes, you can consult all the documentation in this public folder, by clicking here.

The lands purchased will be integrated into the natural reserve, that is, in the area destined for Arhuacos – the Resguardo Arhuaco. The CIT – the Tayrona Indigenous Confederation – delegated to the Duna Eco-Conscience Association the necessary powers to represent it internationally and manage the fundraising for the land purchase project.

On the ground, our indigenous partners are made up of the cabildo (indigenous governor), the mamos (spiritual leaders) and the rest of the Arhuaco people.

What has been done so far?

The Duna Eco-Consciousness Association was created to give continuity to the work of recovery and reforestation of Colombian indigenous lands, a process that during the last 20 years has been carried out by Spanish, French and Italian associations, in alliance with the Arhuaco indigenous people and the Tayrona Indigenous Confederation. This was a process which the Duna Eco-Consciousness Association supported formally as an association, meeting the need to act as a whole and institutionally coordinating the various individual initiatives for the purchase of indigenous lands. These purchases were being carried out little by little by associations from various European countries. Until 2018, the founding members of our association worked personally and voluntarily, establishing contacts, helping in the
development and communication of projects with other people and entities. At a certain moment the creation of the association was inevitable.

Thus, founded in May 2018, the Duna Eco-Consciousness Association’s main activity is the promotion of congresses and meetings in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, the Czech Republic,
Belgium and Switzerland, with the aim of debating issues related to local and global sustainability. Regarding the development of the project, we have already coordinated with the Arhuaca de Yozagaka indigenous community the purchase of 60,000 square miles of land in northern Colombia, which was returned to the women of that community. The purchase of these lands was made possible by donations from individuals, collected in congresses and meetings.

For all updates on the project and our activity as an association, click here.