The Ministry of Environment of Peru has declared 43,480 acres (17,600 hectares) of cloud forest and páramo in the Tropical Andes as a protected area, under the care of the local community.
This official recognition as a private conservation area (ACP: Area de Conservación Privada) confers legal protection to these habitats to safeguard them from logging, slash and burn agriculture and illegal mining.
World Land Trust (WLT) has been supporting partner Naturaleza y Cultura Peru (NCP) to build a network of seven ACPs in Northern Peru, which will cover 20 per cent of the country’s cloud forests. The San Miguel de Tabaconas ACP is the third WLT-funded ACP to be declared as part of this project; joining the communities of Chicuate Chinguelas (declared June 2016) and San Juan de Sallique (declared December 2017). The total area of this unique montane habitat now under community protection in Peru funded by WLT is now 111,199 acres (45,000 hectares).
The Tropical Andes between Ecuador and Peru are known for their rich biodiversity. The region is home to threatened birds such as the Red-faced Parrot and Masked Mountain-Tanager; little-known mammals unique to Peru like the Inca Oldfield Mouse; and flagship Andean species including the Spectacled Bear and Mountain Tapir.
Five important rivers start their journey from this montane region of Peru. It is an important area for conservation in terms of ecosystem services (water supply and carbon storage) and economic value (medicinal plants, timber and commercial native fruits) for the local population.
By declaring the ACPs, the Ministry of Environment in Peru and the regional governments of Piura and Cajamarca have recognized the area as a priority for conservation.
Looking to the future
WLT continues to support NCP in the management of the established ACPs and the recognition of further ACPs in the region. By applying a community conservation model, NCP assists the local communities to lead sustainable livelihoods, manage their resources and conserve this Andean ecosystem.
Richard Cuthbert, WLT’s Director of Conservation, says, “It is important that the management of a habitat lies in the hands of the resident local communities who live and use these areas. We will keep supporting the hard work of our in-country partner, Naturaleza y Cultura Peru, to assist local communities to sustainably manage their resources and in developing further protected areas within the Tropical Andes.”
We are grateful to our corporate supporter, Puro Fairtrade Coffee, for providing financial support for this project. Donations to the Action Fund have also played a key role in supporting the establishment of ACPs in Peru. If you would like to help and support conservation of important habitats and ecosystems around the world, please donate to the Action Fund or become a WLT Friend by committing a monthly donation.
Written by Hariprasath Ramesh