National Award for the Defense of Human Rights – Brazil
Nominated Fellow Ashoka : https://www.ashoka.org/fellow/benki-piyãko
Chico Mendes Award for Yorenka Atame
He is a political authority respected both locally and internationally. He actively takes part in major projects of his people, in particular the struggle for the defense of their land on the Peruvian border and the development of educational centers for the education of local communities.
Benki Piyãko actively contributes to strengthen the capacity of indigenous peoples to defend their land against outside exploitation projects. In this perspective, he teaches these communities improved land management techniques enabling them to benefit from their natural resources while preserving a rich and unique ecosystem.
Among the many actions he has driven, Benki created the Centre Yorenka Atame (Knowledge of the forest) to transmit hundreds of communities in Brazil and Peru a specific model of environmental management and conservation inspired indigenous traditional knowledge.
As part of his new project Beija flor; Benki works with young non indigenous communities leaders to reforest degraded surrounding border regions of Brazil and Peru areas, creating jobs in the region while youth in sustainable practices.
Benki Piyãko actively contributes to strengthen the capacity of indigenous peoples to defend their land against external development projects. In this perspective, it teaches these communities agroforestry and land management techniques enabling them to benefit from their natural resources while preserving a rich and unique ecosystem.
The Ashaninka native community has thus become a model of development and preservation of cultural identity based on a return to traditional values and cultural practices in the region of Acre in Brazil and Peru. It is an example for other indigenous communities.