Ucayali Women

The Nature Conservancy in Peru


Lands. Promoting conservation and development to reduce deforestation and build sustainable prosperity.

Though Peru is rapidly losing its natural landscapes due to an advancing agricultural frontier, we believe that increasing food production is possible without habitat loss. Our ambitions for the future of Peru's lands are bold. We are promoting productive landscapes that incorporate nature's value and increase social, environmental and economic benefits in the Ucayali and the San Martin regions by:

  • Protecting and restoring critically important habitats
    •  We are developing participatory tools, aligned with traditional community-based criteria for land use planning in indigenous communities.
  • Transforming policies and practices for a more sustainable development
    • We are helping strengthen indigenous public policy and land management.
    • We are introducing new production techniques and assisting in the recovery of ancestral practices to improve productive systems that provide food security and market access.
  • Inspiring collective action
    • We are galvanizing collective action (from policymakers, to rural and indigenous communities, to government agencies) to promote the adoption of sustainable development models at scale.
    • We are promoting public policies and productive practices to help integrate nature into supply chains. 
Ocelot kitten
Ocelot Above, the ocelot kitten is one of thousands of species that will benefit from the protection that these land use planning systems provide. © Lynn McBride

We are working with indigenous communities in Loreto, Ucayali and San Martin, to supply the technology and scalability they need to map their territories and continue to be the best stewards of their ancestral lands.

  • Our land use planning system has been ratified at local and regional levels, protecting more than 370,658 acres of land in 30 indigenous communities.
  • As one community member and park ranger explains, "protecting territory is essential for self-governance and independence".

Ucayali Women
PLACE_HOLDER "I feed the paiche threes times a day, sometimes by myself, sometimes with my son. It takes about an hour; you have to do it little by little. I had never thought that I could make money from raising paiches. I hope to one day have my own paiche cage and pay for my children's studies". © PLACE_HOLDER

Transforming how we use nature to sustain ourselves

In the Peruvian Amazon, where deforestation is mostly fueled by an encroaching agricultural frontier, we are providing sustainable agriculture and aquaculture trainings to help indigenous communities transition to more sustainable products and growing techniques.

  • We are connecting farmers with sustainable value chains, and training them in financing strategies, market research and technical assistance for growing the paiche fish.
  • By boosting productivity and sustainable land use, we are helping take pressure off the forest and improving community livelihoods in more than 197,684 acres across Peru.

As Teddy Cairuna, president of the paiche farming committee, explains:

Another paiche grower, Kelly Rodriguez, shares:

Watch this video to learn more about our work in the Peruvian Amazon.

learning to plant cocoa
PLACE_HOLDER Above, farmers learn about cocoa production techniques in San Martin. © PLACE_HOLDER
  • In Peru's San Martin region, we are teaching farmers how to grow and improve production of cocoa, a plant native to the area that improves biodiversity and the health of native ecosystems.
  • We are also strengthening the selling power of local farmers within regional and national value chains by assisting in the creation of farmers cooperatives and connecting them with private companies that promote sustainable production.
    • With our technical assistance, deforestation rates have gone down and the expanding agricultural frontier has been contained.
    • Farmers have been able to quadruple their cocoa production and increase their incomes.