Newly entitled indigenous communities in Loreto; Peru now ready to foster conservation throughout the trinational borde



Posted on 15 December 2012  | 
After the recent creation of three natural protected areas along the Peruvian border with Ecuador and Colombia, neighboring Kichwa communities are now ready to actively engage in their conservation

Lima, December 14. -After waiting for a long time, the indigenous communities of Nuevo Peneya, Nuevo Peneyta, Santa Rosa de Escalante, Puerto Lupita, Puerto Véliz and Tres fronteras in Putumayo, Loreto, finally received their property deeds. This is a major event for the local population in this region of the Peruvian Amazon, since it means the State legally acknowledges their presence in the area, thus avoiding future conflicts regarding resources exploitation and enforcing their rights to be asked about any potential activities to be developed in the area, through a “free prior and informed consent process (FPIC)”.

This entitlement process was supported by WWF and the European Union under the framework of the Putumayo Tres Fronteras project, and executed together with local indigenous communities who were actively involved in their territorial demarcation lead by the Centro para el Desarrollo del Indígena Amazónico (Center for the Development of Indigenous People in the Amazon – CEDIA).

“With the entitlement of such communities, their rights are recognized; and the preservation of Kichwa peoples’ culture and ancient knowledge is ensured. Therefore, doors are opened for them to formally participate in the management of neighboring Huimeki communal reserve”, stated Johana Deza, WWF Peru Coordinator for the Putumayo Tres Fronteras project.

This has been accomplished two months after the definitive categorization of the Güeppí Reseved Zone into three important protected areas: Güeppí– Sekime National Park and AiroPai and Huimeki Communal Reserves. The common goal of these areas is to preserve biodiversity and foster sustainable resources management in favor of local populations.

Land tenure rights and territorial security is a historical claim of indigenous peoples throughout the Amazon, since they depend on their forests resources. At the same time, they are considered the guardians of the forest as they have traditionally and respectfully used nature with low-impact practices; thus maintaining nature benefits for humankind.

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The Putumayo Tres Fronteras Project is implemented with funds from the European Union and WWF Germany. It began operations in 2009 and will run for four years. It is an initiative of Amazon border integration in the middle basin of the Putumayo River, in three protected areas in Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, that aims to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development in the area.

Indigenous communities use the resources of nature
© María del Pilar Ramírez / WWF Perú Enlarge

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