Indigenous territories and the resources contained therein are essential to the lives, cultures, histories, health, and social reproduction of indigenous peoples. Land is not something that can be bought and sold or exchanged for land elsewhere, but is integral to the identity of the people who live on it. In the 16th Century before the arrival of the Spanish and Portuguese indigenous people were the Amazon’s sole inhabitants.
Peruvian land tenure decisions are more directed by national economic interests than by respect for indigenous people’s ancestral rights to land and Peru’s responsibilities in international law. The majority of the untitled land not covered by conservation areas has already been degraded by farming, built upon or is at risk from hydrocarbon exploitation, logging, road and infrastructure projects that do not consider that the land may be important economically, culturally or spiritually for indigenous peoples.