Our work would not be possible without close partnerships with indigenous organizations across Central and South America. Read more about our partners and the important work they’re doing.

Global/Regional Partners

Partners in Brazil

Partners in Guyana

Partners in Peru

Partners in Mesoamerica

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GATC – Global Alliance of Territorial Communities

The Global Alliance of Territorial Communities is a coalition of indigenous and local communities of the Amazon Basin, Brazil, Indonesia, Mesoamerica, and the Congo Basin. Together they represent forest peoples in 24 countries, and protect more than 958 million hectares of tropical forests. Five territorial organizations make up the alliance: The Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), the Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB), the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN), and the Network of Indigenous and Local Populations for the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (REPALEAC).

COICA – Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica

The Coordination of Indigenous Peoples Organizations of the Amazon Basin is the largest representative organization of its kind in the region. It is made up of elected national indigenous peoples’ federations in all nine Amazon nations. In COICA’s long history, they have been on the frontline of the struggle to advance the respect for indigenous peoples’ rights and territorial security. RFUS has worked with COICA for many years, in specific collaborations with national federations such as AIDESEP in Peru and APA in Guyana, as well as with regional initiatives such as the Amazon Emergency Fund launched in 2020 to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. COICA is also a leading member of the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities.

AMAN – Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara

The Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Indonesian Archipelago is the largest indigenous peoples’ organization in the world, with millions of members in thousands of communities across Indonesia’s islands. AMAN has long been at the forefront of the struggle for indigenous peoples’ rights in Indonesia, and a leader in carrying the indigenous peoples’ rights agenda to the international level, including at the UNFCCC over the past decade. AMAN is also a leading member of the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities. RFUS is currently supporting AMAN’s emergency fundraising efforts around COVID-19 and forest fires.

APIB – Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil

The Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil was founded in 2005 and has since become the country’s largest indigenous peoples’ federation, representing all of Rainforest Foundation US’s local and regional partners, like the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (Coordenação das Organizações Indígenas da Amazônia Brasileira, or COIAB). APIB is also a leading member of the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities. RFUS is currently supporting APIB’s emergency fundraising efforts around COVID-19 and forest fires.

REPALEAC – Network of Indigenous and Local Populations for the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa

Network of Indigenous and Local Populations for the Sustainable Management of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa, part of the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities (GATC), is made up of indigenous peoples and local communities in eight Central African countries that influence the management and sustainable management of various ecosystems such as forests tropical and rangelands.

AMPB – Alianza Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques

The Mesoamerican Alliance of People and Forests is a Central American regional organization dedicated to promoting the rights of forest-dwelling indigenous peoples and local communities. It is made up of  national organizations who control significant areas of forests in the region. RFUS has worked with AMPB over the years to train community-based territorial monitors and mappers as well as to support regional and international advocacy. AMPB is also a member of the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities. RFUS is currently supporting AMPB’s emergency fundraising efforts around COVID-19 and forest fires.

CIR – Conselho Indígena de Roraima

Indigenous Council of Roraima is the main representative indigenous organization in the northern Brazilian Amazon state of Roraima. RFUS has partnered with CIR for some 20 years providing legal, financial, and strategic support for the demarcation of Raposa Serra do Sol, and ongoing human rights advocacy and initiatives.

Hutukara Associação Yanomami

Hutukara Yanomami Association was established in 2004 to represent the Yanomami people of the northern Brazilian states of Roraima and Amazonas. RFUS worked closely with Hutukara in its early days, providing capacity strengthening for the organization as it spread its wings, as well as supporting a younger generation of leaders. We have also been active in a number of Yanomami-led campaigns and initiatives over the years.

APIB – Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil

Coalition of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil is the umbrella organization representing all indigenous peoples of Brazil. Since 2005, APIB has led indigenous peoples’ resistance to policies and programs that threaten rights and lands. RFUS partners with APIB on global advocacy, among other work, as part of the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities.

APA – Amerindian Peoples Association

Amerindian Peoples Association is the leading indigenous organization in Guyana. APA has active members in over 60 indigenous villages and regional representatives across Guyana, as well as a national secretariat in Georgetown. RFUS partners with APA in their efforts to advocate for land rights and expanded titling, national policy change, and to strengthen local and regional indigenous governance institutions. 

SRDC – South Rupununi District Council

South Rupununi District Council is the representative body of the elected Chiefs (“Toshaos”) of the 21 Wapichan communities in southern Guyana. RFUS supports SRDC to acquire title to the collective Wapichan area, protecting the headwaters of Guyana’s major rivers, addressing mining threats and securing the border with Brazil.

NPDC – North Pakaraimas District Council

North Pakaraimas District Council is the representative body of the Patamona and Macushi indigenous peoples. The NPDC holds title to roughly 333,284 hectares of village land–26% of their ancestral lands. RFUS supports NPDC to map the lands outside village boundaries and to determine the best way to conserve these lands in the face of expanding mining operations and other threats.

UMDC – Upper Mazaruni District Council

Upper Mazaruni District Council  is the representative body of the Akawaio indigenous people. Communities in the Upper Mazaruni are engaged in a legal case to secure collective title for the full extent of their territory at Guyana’s High Court since 1998, while the government continues to issue mining rights to outside miners over untitled traditional lands subject to the case, without their free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). RFUS has assisted the UMDC in monitoring and analysis of the extent of mining operations in the region.

MDC – Moruca District Council

Moruca District Council is the representative body of eight Lokono villages in a coastal lowland environment with extensive forest resources, mangroves and coastal wetlands. The eight titled villages cover roughly 31% of the traditional lands of the MDC.  RFUS and APA have been supporting institutional strengthening efforts, including developing rules of procedure for Village Councils and guidelines for implementing free, prior, informed consent.

ORPIO – Organización Regional de los Pueblos Indígenas del Oriente

Organization of the Indigenous Peoples of the Eastern Amazon (Organización Regional de los Pueblos Indígenas del Oriente, or ORPIO) is the indigenous peoples’ representative organization in the Amazonian department Loreto, Peru, representing  indigenous peoples and 430 communities. ORPIO engages in protecting their territories, promoting human development, and defending their rights and indigenous governance. 

ORAU – Organización Regional Aidesep Ucayali

The Regional Organization Aidesep Ucayali (Organización Regional Aidesep Ucayali, or ORAU) represents 15 indigenous peoples, 13 subnational federations. ORAU engages in promoting the economic, social, political and cultural development of the indigenous peoples that it represents.

ECA-RCA – Ejecutor del Contrato de Administración de la Reserva Comunal Amarakaeri

Executor of the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve Administration Contract (Ejecutor del Contrato de Administración de la Reserva Comunal Amarakaeri, or ECA-RCA) ECA-RCA represents 10 indigenous communities along the buffer one of the of the world’s most biodiverse protected areas. ECA co-manages the communal reserve with the National Protected Areas Service of Peru (SERNANP) ensuring the conservation of biological diversity and the benefit for its associates.

Saweto-Alto Tamaya

The indigenous Asheninka community of Saweto, located in eastern Ucayali, suffered from the massacre of their leaders by illegal loggers in 2014. RFUS leads the legal representation of Saweto, while also facilitating their land titling and security. The Justice for Saweto campaign aims to ensure the Saweto issue remains visible and to help raise the necessary financial support to ensure the community and the widows remain safe. RFUS coordinates with multiple national and international governmental and non-governmental allies to support this effort.

AIDESEP – Asociación Interétnica de Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana

The Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Jungle is the spokesperson organization for the indigenous peoples of the Amazon in Peru, which works for the defense and respect of their collective rights. AIDESEP has 109 federations that represent 1,809 communities where more than 650,000 indigenous men and women live, grouped into 19 linguistic families.

CGTCEWP – Congreso General de Tierras Colectivas Embera y Wounaan de Panamá

The General Congress of the Embera y Wounaan Collective Lands of Panama is the representative body for the Embera and some of the Wounaan communities outside of the Embera Wounaan Comarca, and has been on the forefront of the struggle for land rights for many years.

CNPW – Congreso Nacional del Pueblo Wounaan

National Congress of the Wounaan People is the representative body of the Wounaan people inside and outside of the Comarca, with elected leaders who fight for the Wounaan at the national level. The CNPW has an associated Wounaan Foundation which is the project management arm of the Congress.

COONAPIP – Coordinadora Nacional de Pueblos Indígenas de Panamá

National Coordinating Body of Indigenous Peoples in Panama is the national umbrella representative organization of Panama’s indigenous peoples’ organizations founded in 1999 to lead the fight for indigenous land rights, respect for indigenous culture and other priorities.

Congreso General Ancestral Tule de Tagarkunyala

Congreso General Ancestral Tule de Tagarkunyala represents the Guna people in the communities of Paya and Pucuru, and the large territory considered the ancestral homeland of the Guna people, including the sacred mountain of Tagarkunyal. The Tagarkunyal territory is completely inside the Darien National Park, making them a key ally for the sustainable management of Central America’s largest protected area.

Geo Indigena

Geo Indigena is a newly formed civil association led by indigenous youth with a focus on providing training and capacity building for mapping, monitoring, and community natural resource management with indigenous traditional governance structures and the indigenous movement regionally. RFUS has been supporting the development and organizational launch of GeoIndigena for the past few years. GeoIndigena received legal recognition in mid-2020, and will be a key partner for RFUS in coming years.

Utz Che’ – Asociación de Forestería Comunitaria de Guatemala

Utz Che’ is a network of community based, indigenous and multicultural organizations, that manage forests, water sources and communal land in different territories of Guatemala, Central America. In the General Assembly of Utz Che’, the communities of Mam, Poqomam, Pocomchí, Popti’, Achí, K’iche’, K’aqchiquel, Q’eqchi’, Ch’orti’, Q’anjob’al, Xinka and Mestizo peoples come together, uniting their voices, proposals and demands to the Guatemalan State and society.

ACOFOP – Association of Forest Communities of Petén

The communal organizations that form the Association of Forest Communities of Petén protect the biodiversity and cultural heritage of the Maya Biosphere Reserve. Along with conservation actions, the community forestry model allows the communities that inhabit and care for the forests to generate economic and social benefits, through the sustainable use of timber species such as mahogany and cedar, non-timber products such as xate, ramón nut and pepper, as well as the management of tourism services.

Red MOCAF – Red Mexicana de Organizaciones Campesinas Forestales

The Mexican Network of Peasant Forestry Organizations is a coalition of rural farmers and indigenous organizations, which aims to improve the living conditions of forest farmers through sustainable resource use.

FEPROAH – The Federation of Agroforestry Producers of Honduras

The Federation of Agroforestry Producers of Honduras was created in 2000 as an alternative to the administration of community forest management and business development processes. It is made up of 43 community enterprises and has more than 3,000 members. One of the federation’s main objectives is to improve the representativeness and legitimacy of economic agents linked to the forest, to develop forest governance platforms. It also promotes the recognition of rights and access to forest resources for forest-dependent people and communities, enabling the creation, development, and implementation of national strategies aimed at reducing deforestation and restoring the forest landscape.


The Naso indigenous people live in Panama and Costa Rica, currently primarily along the Teribe River in the Bocas del Toro province of Panama. The Naso number a little over 4,000 people, and against enormous odds have preserved their language, culture, and way of life. Their traditional lands cover some of the most mountainous and biodiversity-rich areas of western Panama. The Naso, one of only two indigenous groups in Panama for which the government has not recognized their ancestral lands, have been fighting since at least 1973 for legal recognition of their territory.

Didier Devers
Chief of Party – USAID Guatemala

Didier has been coordinating the USAID-funded B’atz project since joining Rainforest Foundation US in April 2022. He holds a Master’s in Applied Anthropology and a Bachelor’s in Geography. Before joining the organization, Didier worked for 12 years in Central and South America on issues of transparency, legality, governance, and managing stakeholders’ processes in the environmental sector. Prior to that he worked on similar issues in Central Africa. He speaks French, Spanish, and English, and is based in Guatemala.

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