Across the world, indigenous and local communities inhabit nearly a quarter of the land, and because of this directly affect 80 percent of global biodiversity. As such, they are an integral part in resolving against climate change. Yet they are oftentimes overlooked by governments. But in Ecuador, for the first time in its history, local governments in the Pastaza region are actively seeking the involvement of indigenous people and prioritizing their needs in forest conservation efforts. The joint collaboration not only focuses on reducing deforestation in the region, it also aims to empower local people, helping them secure food and income through sustainable production practices. Bruno Paladines, Mosaic Coordinator at the Nature and Culture International (NCI) says, "We believe Indigenous people are the ones who can best conserve these areas using their ancestral knowledge and their own vision of governance and land management." There are also plans for conserving indigenous handicrafts and languages, as well as improving river transportation and internet access for the people who live there.

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