Since 2005, Putumayo vzw worked together with the local indigenous organizations of the Kichwa (Federación Indígena Kichwa del Alto Putumayo Inti Runa - FIKAPIR) and the Secoya (Organización Indígena Secoya del Perú - OISPE), in collaboration with Asociación Putumayo Perú.
From 2007 onwards, the main focus of these activities was on capacity building of the native peoples and their organizational strengthening, by giving workshops and leadership training, by supporting their lobby activities and their annual congresses, through the follow-up of legal aspects and offering logistic support.
Every year the indigenous organizations hold their congress, during which debates take place about the main events that occurred the previous year, and about the decisions that are being taken by the authorities in Iquitos and Lima. Apart from that, various organizations exchange information and give workshops, the federations evaluate last year's activities, and proposals for future projects are formulated and discussed.
A strong internal organization and strong leadership are indispensable tools to ensure a sustainable future for this exceptionally rich piece of Amazon forest alongside the Putumayo River. In 2013, Putumayo vzw's ongoing process of organizational reinforcement led to an extremely positive result: the Zona Reservada de Güeppí in the Putumayo region was categorized into three nature areas. On the 15th of June 2013, the Kichwa and the Secoya received a visit from the Minister for the Environment, Vidal Pulgar, who had travelled to the Alto Putumayo area specifically to officially confirm the good news: after 15 years of silent struggle by FIKAPIR and OISPE, the Zona Reservada de Güeppí was definitively categorized as National Park and two Communal Reserves. The National Park GUEPPI-SEKIME, which enjoys the highest level of protection, and the Communal Reserves HUIMEKI and AIRO PAI, where the local inhabitants have gained more access to the natural resources, represent a total area of more than 592 700 ha of protected Amazon forest. At the well-attended ceremony in Soplin Vargas, the president of FIKAPIR, Demecio Tangoa Guerra, told the minister, however, that the indigenous organizations of the Alto Putumayo would continue to oppose oil exploitation on their territories. Oil block 117 presently overlaps with the National Park, the two Communal Reserves, and the native land of both FIKAPIR and OISPE. In the meantime, the indigenous leaders have called upon Putumayo vzw to assert their rights in this case, more specifically the right to consultation, through legal means if necessary.
And even more good news followed in September 2013: the state-owned company PerúPetro, which grants concessions for oil and gas exploitation, announced that they were going to abandon oil block 117. Apparently the prospects of future return on capital and high profits were insufficient. A victory for the native peoples who live in the area and who have been opposed to this concession for many years.
But still the battle is not over: oil block 117, which overlaps with the nature reserve, still exists and oil exploitation is still possible. In 2014 Putumayo vzw committed itself fully to the educational programme with FIKAPIR. Other ways of organizational strengthening enter the picture only sporadically.