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Wakaya: term that means exchange of knowledge names ACTO Biodiversity Program

Chosen as the official name for the Regional Program for Biological Diversity of the Basin/Amazon Region of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), the indigenous word Wakaya, of Kokama origin, summarizes the exchange of knowledge that the program aims to stimulate.


Created to guide the implementation of regional cooperation actions in the area of biological diversity for the next decade, the Regional Program of Biological Diversity for the Basin/Amazon Region of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) adopted the indigenous word Wakaya, of Kokama origin, as its official name. With the meaning of exchange of knowledge, the term Wakaya symbolizes well the cooperation actions necessary to improve the management of biological diversity and the protection of traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples, local communities and other tribal communities of the Basin/Amazon Region, among the eight ACTO Member States – Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru,  Suriname and Venezuela.

The choice of an indigenous term to name the Regional Program of Biological Diversity for the ACTO Basin/Amazon Region also coincides with the beginning of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032). Period decreed by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Science and Culture Organization) to draw worldwide attention to the critical situation of many languages in danger of disappearance and the need to use and preserve them for future generations.

Inhabitant swells in the upper and middle Solimões region, the Kokama people are divided into territories in Brazil, Peru and Colombia. Its language is classified as part of the Tupi-Guarani family, Tupi trunk, with origin linked to the various migrations of Tupi groups from Brazil to Peruvian regions in pre-Columbian times.

Based on the name chosen, ACTO, supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, developed the Wakaya brand and the design of its visual identity for different applications considering a color palette that had identity and communicated in an impactful way the concepts chosen for the identity.

“After a visual search on the meaning of the name, with drawings and graphics related to forest peoples and images and references related to the Amazon Forest, we developed visual identity. The sketch of a mandala with the name Wakaya, from an indigenous visual expression made by one of the members of the group, served for the creation of the brand symbol. The process with several decision instances, very diverse voices and different ideas were the differential in the creative process and, of course, in the final result so original, strong and innovative”, explains the graphic designer and professor at UnB (University of Brasilia), Luciano Mendes, consultant responsible for the elaboration of the brand and its manual of visual identity.

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