VE Albertson Medal Winner to Support Indigenous Group in Ecuador Village Earth is excited to announce its latest partnership with Judith Kimerling and her colleague Luminita Cuna to support indigenous Huaorani Communities living in a remote part of the Ecuadorian Amazon. This remote section of the rainforest is referred to as the “Intangible Zone” – an area, that is supposed to be protected by the government of Ecuador. In recent years, however, there has been increasing pressure by oil companies to develop the region. This includes the infamous “ITT” proposal which would allow oil and gas drilling in the Yasuni National Park, the most biodiverse place on the planet. Huaorani communities are threatened by the contamination of their air and water in the short term, and in the long-term by the deforestation and colonization that inevitably follows oil development as it carves roads into remote forests. The Huaorani depend a great deal on the natural resources in their immediate area for their livelihood and self-determination as a distinct cultural group. David Bartecchi, recently traveled to the region with Kimerling and was impressed with the level of trust she has developed with communities who are often left out of regional, national and international planning. For most of her 30 years, Kimerling has worked independently and this has enabled her to be viewed as a true ally of the communities. Yet it has also made it difficult to access much needed resources. Village Earth’s Global Affiliate Program is perfectly suited for the work she is doing. It allows Kimerling and Cuna to continue to work relatively independently, but also improves their ability to raise funds in the United States for projects identified by the Huaorani leaders and communities with whom they work. Village Earth is excited about this new partnership and looks forward to keeping you informed as it develops. For more information on the Huaorani project, click here.