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NCI Helping to Create Conservation Area around World’s 5th Highest Waterfall September/October 2009
One of the most visited places in the Amazon
NCI is assisting the Amazonas Regional Government in northeastern Peru to establish a Conservation Area around the impressive Gocta Waterfall that will help protect the vast diversity of endemic flora and fauna in this threatened cloud forest ecosystem. Through an agreement with the regional government, NCI has been working with local communities to raise awareness about the values of this unique area, and is also supporting further studies in an effort to assist in the area’s management. The centerpiece of the proposed Conservation Area, the striking two-tiered Gocta Waterfall measuring 2,530 ft, had remained virtually unknown to outsiders until its existence was made public in 2006 by a German researcher and a group of Peruvian explorers. According to legend, local people feared the curse of a beautiful blond mermaid who lived in its waters if they revealed its whereabouts. Today, Gocta is one of the most visited places in the Amazon, after the pre-Incan fortress of Kuelap, with over 12,000 tourists each year.