Kawsak Sacha Declaration - Living Forest to be alive and conscious subject of law 

Adopted in the General Assembly of the Original Kichwa People of Sarayaku, in December 2012 and updated in June 2018.


The People of Sarayaku are heirs to a history of resistance and struggle for the validity of our freedom against colonizers, invasions and external aggressions because we are Sarayaku Runakuna, descendants of the jaguar, inhabitants of the Bobonaza, Pastaza and Marañón basins. Rivers from where Tayakkuna, carriers of ancient wisdom, sailed naming the places they traveled.

Sarayaku has been legally recognized since 1979. Its statute was reformed and approved on June 10, 2004 by the Council for the Development of Nationalities and Peoples of Ecuador (CODENPE), as “Kichwa Originary People of Sarayaku”.

Covered in art. 71 of the Constitution of Ecuador, which establishes that Nature or Pachamama, where life is reproduced and carried out, has the right to fully respect its existence and the maintenance and regeneration of its vital cycles, structure, functions and evolutionary processes and that all person, community, people or nationality may demand from the public authority the fulfillment of the rights of nature.

In addition the art. 25, 26 and 29 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, establish that indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their own spiritual relationship with the lands, territories, waters, to the conservation and protection of the environment and to the use of the resources they have traditionally possessed.

In exercise of its right to self-determination and based on its Statute, the Constitution and international instruments, the Original Kichwa People of Sarayaku,


The territory of Sarayaku KAWSAK SACHA – LIVING JUNGLE, A LIVING AND CONSCIOUS BEING, SUBJECT OF RIGHTS, as the original peoples and nationalities have recognized ancestrally.


 KAWSAK SACHA it is a living being, with consciousness, constituted by all the beings of the Jungle, from the most infinitesimal to the greatest and supreme beings; includes beings from the animal, vegetable, mineral, spiritual and cosmic worlds, in intercommunication with human beings, providing them with what is necessary to revitalize their psychological, physical and spiritual facets, thus restoring energy, life and the balance of the original peoples.

It is in the waterfalls, the lagoons, the swamps, the mountains, the rivers, the trees and other places of the territory, where the Protector Beings of Kawsak Sacha, inhabit and develop a life of their own, similar to that of human beings. The Kawsak Sacha pass on knowledge to yachak to interact in the world of the Protector Beings of the Jungle, in order to maintain the balance of the Pachamama, heal people and society. This knowledge is methodically maintained and passed on to new generations.

The natural balance of the universe, the harmony of life, cultural perpetuity, the existence of living beings and the continuity of Kawsak Sacha, depend on the permanence and the transmission of the powers of the Protector Beings of the Jungle. It also corresponds to these Beings and the yachak maintain a relationship of respect and balance between human beings and the beings of the jungle.


The declaration aims to preserve and conserve in a sustainable way the territorial spaces, the material and spiritual relationship established there by the native peoples with the Living Forest and the beings that inhabit it. Our living territory is, and will continue to be, free from extractive mercantilism of the components of the Kawsak Sasha. Therefore, we propose a model of life based on criteria of the richness of our culture, for example the existence of uncontaminated rivers in our territory with abundant fish, life in the allyu and the strength of our organization.


Supported by the recognition of the plurinationality of the Ecuadorian State, the Original Kichwa People of Sarayaku urges the Ecuadorian government to recognize and legitimize the Kawsak Sacha as being alive and conscious, subject of rights, as another form of current protection of our territory and of the territories of the original Amazonian peoples. Protecting life and the environmental integrity of the territories is a human right and a non-negotiable principle.

We call on national and international peoples and nationalities to unite to unanimously protect and guarantee the Declaration of Kawsak Sacha – Living Jungle.

Similarly, Sarayaku proposes to international organizations to adhere to and endorse this declaration of protection for territories governed by indigenous peoples., this conservation proposal born from our own worldview and in accordance with the international conventions on the conservation of biological diversity.

The Kawsak Sacha is where our kallari rukukuna (ancestors) apayayakuna and apamamakuna (grandfathers and grandmothers) lived, fathers, mothers, where we live, where our future generations will live and where the Protector Beings of the jungle and all the original peoples will remain.


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