MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions

Preserving natural resources and the future of an indigenous people

Fundación para la Sobrevivencia del Pueblo Cofán (Foundation for the Survival of the Cofán People) is an indigenous support organization that focuses on practical, on-the-ground actions to safeguard ancestral lands from illegal or poorly regulated logging, mining, agriculture, and oil extraction. The organization has protected more than one million acres of rainforest, wetlands, and rivers through an innovative strategy that combines formal alliances among the Ecuadorian government, Cofán leadership, and prominent global institutions, as well as an extensive field presence of Cofán rangers and a network of community-based conservation projects.  As a result, the Cofán people now manage a one-million acre swath of rainforest, in which there is almost no deforestation. Learn more ›