COICA, the Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organisations of the Amazon Basin, was founded in the Peruvian capital Lima in 1984 and is the umbrella organisation of the indigenous organisations of the Amazon Basin. Since its founding it has been advocating for indigenous peoples’ rights.
Since Climate Alliance’s birth, COICA has been one of the most important cooperation partners of our network. Aiming to support the indigenous peoples in their fight for legal recognition and the protection of their territories, Climate Alliance closely cooperates, especially on a political level, with COICA and its member organisations. Our shared aim is the global climate’s preservation. COICA’s seat in the Climate Alliance Executive Board ensures the interests of indigenous peoples are represented in our strategy.
Indigenous resistance to discrimination and the destruction of territory began in the 1960s.
At that time, indigenous peoples began to unite in the form of federations, councils and associations to fight for their rights. In 1984, representatives of 5 national Amazonian indigenous organisations from Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Columbia met in Lima to support each other in the fight for recognition of their territorial rights and their culture’s survival. They discussed political measures, the human rights situation of indigenous peoples and the transfer of indigenous lands to agro-industrial corporations as well as timber, oil and mining companies. They founded COICA as a concrete step towards the collective
organisation of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin.
Since 1992, the respective national organisations of the indigenous peoples from Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, Suriname, French Guyana and Guyana have been members of COICA. The umbrella organisation advocates for the indigenous organisations’ interests on a regional and international level and coordinates their political activities. COICA sees itself as the international coordinating body for its member organisations; its activities benefit all indigenous peoples in the Amazon region.