Information System on Native Communities of the Peruvian Amazon (SICNA)

The Information System on Native Communities of the Peruvian Amazon (SICNA) is a georeferenced database containing geographic and socioeconomic information about indigenous communities. The use and dissemination of SICNA’s information promotes territorial planning and contributes to the defense of indigenous peoples’ rights by enabling the procurement of legal titles for native communities’ territories and the creation of protected areas for indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation.

SICNA was created to fill the lack of cadastral maps and the absence of accurate information on native communities of the Peruvian Amazon. For twenty years this was the main source of reliable and comprehensive information on native communities. Following the creation of the official cadaster of indigenous communities in Peru in 2018, SICNA remains an important reference tool given the ample information it contains that has been georeferenced in the field, and it continues to contribute to reducing the occurrence of conflicts stemming from the juxtaposition of rights between communities and state concessions to extractive industries.
Information on SICNA is available to state projects aiming at titling communities’ territories, which are currently being implemented in the Peruvian Amazon as of recently, following decades of inaction.

It is worth mentioning that agriculture, forestry, oil and mining activities are expanding rapidly in areas where titling processes have not started yet or are unfinished.

SICNA’s Information

SICNA contains GPS-georeferenced information on 95% of the indigenous communities and their territorial annexes in the Peruvian Amazon (at different stages of legal recognition and titling). Information has been collected in the departments of Amazonas, Ucayali, Loreto, San Martín, Madre de Dios, Junín, Pasco, Huánuco, Ayacucho and Cajamarca.

Additionally, in certain departments where data were available, information has been updated through cabinet work on newly recognized or newly titled communities.

SICNA contains information on indigenous communities (both titled and lacking titles), as well as riverine settlements and settlements surrounding communities. In addition, it includes information on territorial reserves (both established and proposed) aimed at the protection of indigenous people in isolation. Most information pertaining to communities has been georeferenced by IBC, but third-party data has been used in some areas: CEDIA (communities in the Apurímac River basin), ACPC (communities in the Tambo River basin) and PETT (georeferencing conducted in titled communities of Loreto between 2003 and 2004), and department-level branches of the Ministry of Agriculture.

In areas where information has not been verified in the field with GPS, the database contains native community maps digitized between 1996 and 1997 under GEF/UNDP/UNOPS projects. It is in IBC’s medium-term plans to conduct field georeferencing of these communities, as this will allow greater accuracy in locating communities’ limits and population settlements.

Methodology

Prior to any field work is done, the IBC establishes agreements with local and regional indigenous organizations regarding the obtention and use of information. Once the agreement is signed, an IBC specialist and a representative designated by the local indigenous organization make a joint presentation to the community assembly, explaining the purpose of the work. A survey is then applied, collecting the community’s socioeconomic, demographic and political data. This is followed by registering the milestones via GPS in the field. Later on, this information is processed in office with the help of GIS (Geographic Information System) computer tools. Approximately two months after the completion of the fieldwork, printed copies of the map and database, as well as digital information (shapefile or geodatabase) are distributed to indigenous organizations. In some cases, printed copies of the map are distributed to both communities and their organizations.

Dissemination

SICNA makes available to the public, through this website, thousands of native communities’ maps and a 65-field database for each community, including information about their organization, ethnic group, number of inhabitants, political and geographical location, administrative and legal situation of the community and communal property, availability of health services and education. Following IBC’s policy, the information contained in SICNA is widely disseminated, with emphasis on indigenous organizations. As of December 2019, more than information 10,000 deliveries had been made, both in shapefile and print, to nearly 700 institutions, including native communities, indigenous organizations, government and private institutions, and universities. Additionally, over 10,000 internet consultations are made every year.

Based on SICNA information, three atlases of Native Communities and Protected Natural Areas of the Peruvian Amazon were published by IBC, covering the areas of the central jungle, and the northeast and northwest of the Amazon. Additionally, two native communities’ directories were published. These products are available to the public both in the IBC premises and in bookstores and can be downloaded through the following links:

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Descarga el Directorio de Comunidades Nativas del Perú 2016
Descarga el Atlas de Comunidades Nativas y Áreas Protegidas de la Selva Central
Descarga el Atlas de Comunidades Nativas y Áreas Protegidas del Nordeste de la Amazonía Peruana
Descarga el Atlas de Comunidades Nativas y Áreas Protegidas del Noroeste de la Amazonía Peruana