Land buyback in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta

"Indigenous peoples make up less than 5 per cent of the world's population but conserve more than 80 per cent of the world's biodiversity."

National Geographic, November 2018

The discovery of America?

At the time of its "discovery", the whole of America was described as a wild, untouched land and thus seemed free for European settlement. However, the settlers did not realise that the indigenous peoples who lived there were highly developed cultures that managed and cared for nature in deep contact with its rhythms and principles.

In the course of the land seizure, indigenous groups were pushed further and further out of their territories all over the American continent. This was also the case for the Kogi in Colombia, who retreated to the high mountain valleys of the Sierra Nevada and preserved their culture there in seclusion.

A balance - caring for the earth instead of owning it

Money hardly plays a role in the millennia-old culture of the Kogi, as they live directly from and with land. But now, for the first time in their history, they need money to buy back their stolen land. That is why they are turning to us. Giving the Kogi the means to buy back their land today is an investment in their continued existence as a culture and in the future of all of us together on the planet.

With the land buyback, we can give back to the Kogi what belongs to them: Their land. Not only does the land belong to them, they also belong to the land - which they see themselves as caring for. This means that it is in the hands of people who care for it for its own sake and for whom the equality of the territory and the people living on it is the greatest concern.
"What we indigenous cultures had left behind, Europeans did not recognise as valuable or even as a result of our way of life: Biodiversity."

Lyla June Johnson, Diné Leader

Land Buyback

With your donation for the land reacquisition of the Kogi, you enable a contribution to the health of our planet. Land in the hands of indigenous people has been proven to regenerate: biodiversity in reclaimed territories increases again and local cycles of nature stabilise. 
In a world where everything is systemically connected, this also means climate protection. At the same time, it can also directly address the cause of climate change.

Land restitution to the Kogi enables a shift in thinking: from land as a resource to an understanding of people as caretakers of the land who promote health, prosperity and liveliness through their actions.

We use your donation for land buyback in the Sierra.

The trial

We are working for the repurchase of the land with our French partner organisation Tchendukua together. As a long-standing cooperation partner of the Kogi in land reacquisition and also represented in Colombia, Tchendukua is handling the reacquisition of the Kogi's ancestral territory on site together with us.

Since 1997, Tchendukua has worked closely with the Kogi to buy back more than 2000ha of land, on which more than 60 Kogi families have resettled and 1200ha of forest have been regenerated.

Process overview

1ha of land currently costs about 1000€ including transaction costs such as notary fees, cartography, land registration, etc. However, the costs depend on the location of the land. Mostly, land of 12ha or more is bought for the Kogi.
"Being indigenous is not coming from a certain country or place, it is a way of thinking. It is the thought that we have to care for the earth."

Juan Mamatacan, Kogi elder

The invitation

Become part of our movement! Join us in enabling the Kogi to reclaim their ancestral land and carry their culture into the future. In doing so, we create systemic effects for biodiversity, liveliness and a rethinking of our interaction with nature.

Join today with
our application form.