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Establishing a Regional Program for Biodiversity Conservation in Loreto

NCI has joined with governments and local stakeholders on a regional conservation system

NCI has developed an ambitious Program for Conservation, Management, and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity in the Region of Loreto (PROCREL) to help conserve the extraordinary biodiversity of Loreto, Peru’s largest department with 92 million acres of Amazon forest, many of which remain untouched. Loreto also contains sections of Andean ecosystems in its western extremes and part of the biologically diverse Cordillera del Condor in the northwest. This assembly of habitats harbors a very high species diversity, with many species found only in Loreto.

The first two areas were created in 2007 and include the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Regional Conservation Area (RCA) created in March of 2007, and the Ampiyacu-Apiyacu RCA created in December of 2007. Both conserve over 1 million acres of Amazon rain forests with the support of the local communities, the government and non-profit groups. In December of 2008, the third and largest regional conservation area – the Alto Nanay-Pintuyacu-Chambira RCA of 2.4 million acres – was approved by the the Regional Counsel of Loreto, Peru together with the President of Loreto, Yván Vásquez Valera. This area will establish a conservation and sustainable use regime for the three named river basins it protects, and will allow the improved management of the area's natural resources for the communities of these basins. Furthermore, this area protects the potable water source for the city of Iquitos and adjoining areas while also conserving Amazon rainforest with some of the highest biological diversity in the world. In late 2009 we also helped to enact regulations to protect 18 million acres of fragile Amazon headwater basins in the face of the worst drought in over 100 years.

NCI carries out this program with the Regional Government of Loreto, the Institute for Investigation of the Peruvian Amazon, the Institute for the Common Good, the National University of the Peruvain Amazon, and other local stakeholders. A key element of the program is our promotion of a strategy of “production conservation,” in which local populations are trained to manage and conserve their natural resources. This approach is intended to conserve biodiversity of the region as a resource for present and future generations, while substantially improving the livelihood of the local people. At the same time, we hope to strengthen other related institutions in the region of Loreto, like indigenous and communal organizations, and government agencies involved in renewable natural resources management such as fisheries, timber, and water.

Over time, we hope to expand the PROCREL program, creating a number of additional regional conservation areas. The great success of the program has led other regional governments in Peru to declare their intent to use PROCREL as a model for their regions.

The Program is coordinated with a host of other institutions working in Loreto on conservation matters, including INRENA, PromPeru, PromPex, the Institut de Bien Comun, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Rainforest Conservation Fund, the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA), the Field Museum, AIDESEP-ORAI, CEDIA, CEDISA, Greenlife, WWF, TNC, ProNaturaleza, and CANATURA.

Learn more about our work in the Lowland Amazon Rainforests of Peru:

 

 

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