In recognition of the Rights of Nature outlined in the Ecuadorian constitution and the rights enumerated in the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in 2012 the General Assembly of the Kichwa People of Sarayaku adopted the Kawsak Sacha – Living Forest Declaration, which declares the territory of Sarayaku a Living Forest being that is alive and conscious and a subject of rights (1). The declaration describes Kawsak Sacha as a living being with consciousness similar to that of human beings (2).
The objective of the declaration is to preserve and conserve the territorial spaces of the Original Kichwa People of Sarayaku, and maintain the material and spiritual relationship established by the Original Kichwa People of Sarayaku with the Living Forest and the beings that inhabit it (2).
The declaration concludes with a call to the Ecuadorian government to legally recognize the Kawsak Sacha as a living and conscious being and subject of rights, which is supported by the recognition of the plurinationality of the Ecuadorian State (2).
The Declaration was presented at national and international levels before the peoples and nations of Ecuador: in the Congress of CONFENIAE (2016); the Congress of CONAIE (2017); the National Assembly of Ecuador (2013); the meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, COP21 (2015) and COP23 (2017); the World Conservation Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature IUCN (2016). The Declaration was reviewed and updated in 2018.