The Amazon rainforest covers more than half of Peru’s territory, and is an area rich in wildlife, traditional cultures and isolated indigenous communities. We work in the North Central Selva region, which is comprised of a patchwork of indigenous lands and protected areas in eastern Peru. This region encompasses nearly 13 million acres of rainforest, nearly the size of New Hampshire and New Jersey combined.
Our goals in the Peruvian Amazon are to build the capacity of indigenous groups to conserve and manage their lands and support bi-national conservation planning and monitoring efforts.
Strengthening the Capacities of Indigenous Organizations
In the Peruvian Amazon, threats to indigenous lands – such as illegal logging, oil exploration and construction of dams and roads – have sharply intensified over the years.
The Conservancy believes that indigenous organizations and communities must have the tools to promote the social and economic development of their territories, while ensuring the conservation of natural and cultural resources. For that reason, we partner with indigenous organizations to:
· Improve territorial protection and management, by providing communities with tools to help implement management and conservation plans in their lands, especially those that have recently obtained legal recognition.
· Provide indigenous organizations with planning support to become stronger organizations and more effectively confront environmental threats.
· Reinforce existing networks and alliances of indigenous organizations in the region and catalyze new ones.
Promoting Cross-Boundary Conservation
A true natural wonder, the Sierra del Divisor region is known for its cultural and biological diversity, but in recent years, the plants, animals and communities in Sierra del Divisor have suffered increased environmental threat from predatory logging, mining and infrastructure development.
The Conservancy has been working with local partners to facilitate bi-national conservation planning and monitoring to protect isolated indigenous groups and natural habitats and promote the sustainable use of resources.
In 2006, Peru took steps to preserve this lush expanse by declaring a Connecticut-sized swath of the Sierra del Divisor Reserve Zone as a protected area. The action came about thanks in part to the work of the Conservancy, local governments, and partners from Peru and Brazil. We are working with local people and government to continue to create and designate protected areas in this region.
We are supporting a bi-national discussion forum with local people and the Peruvian and Brazilian governments to monitor environmental threats like illegal logging and the construction of roads and dams in the region.
We also participate in an infrastructure monitoring group to study the impacts of the proposed Pucallpa-Cruzeiro do Sul road and other infrastructure projects. This group makes recommendations for their construction that take into account potential environmental impacts on local communities and natural areas.