Saving the mahogany: Minister Pulgar Vidal awards successful conservation initiative in Purús
• ECOPURUS is the first local organization in winning a national award for Purús
Lima, July 16, 2013. - The mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) is one of the forest resources with highest economic value worldwide, yet it is now at risk of extinction due to decades of unsustainable logging.
In Purús, Ucayali, the unsustainable mahogany logging has been the local economic driving force for quite long time. In this regard, in 2009, the Management Contract Executor (ECA) ECOPURUS started a conservation work for this species almost nonexistent in the Amazon. Thus, they sought other sustainable alternatives for the use of this important resource, with aims to tackle its extinction, as well as contributing to the Amazon forests conservation.
“In 2009, ECOPURUS joined efforts with the local population towardsr the sustainable management and later trade of mahogany seeds. Through the years, they actively involved 5 indigenous communities and obtained the approval of a Management Plan by the General Direction for Forestry and Wildlife (DGFFS) from the Ucayali’s Regional Government (GOREU)”, said Jorge Herrera, WWF Peru’s Specialist.
Therefore, local communities got involved in the sustainable management of mahogany seeds – experience that is currently supported by organizations, such as the Peruvian Association for the Conservation of Nature (APECO), showing that the natural resources sustainable management is crucial for the progress of Purús.
Yesterday, this effort was dully acknowledged by the Ministry of the Environment, through the National Award for Environmental Citizenship (Lima). Around 560 experiences were presented nationwide, and the experience of “Sustainable use of mahogany seed orchards in Purús’ communities” presented by ECOPURUS, was the winner within the category of Eco-businesses and Bio-commerce.
“Thank to all our allies: WWF and APECO, for the continuous support, and also thanks to the Ministry of the Environment for this great opportunity to share the work, we have been carrying out far away in Purús, for the sustainable development of our resources”, stated emotionally Shagundo Shuarez Ramírez, ECOPURUS’ President, after receiving the award from the Ministry of the Environment Manuel Pulgar Vidal.
With this award, ECOPURUS consolidates as the first institution along Purús, besides it is the first Management Contract Executor nationwide that wins an award for his work related to sustainable development in the region – one of the most cultural and natural diverse in the Amazon.
ECOPURUS is the Management Contract Executor that joins together the Purús Communal Reserve with the National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP). The latter alongside the Alto Purús National Park preserve around 4.5 million of rainforest hectares in Purús, Ucayali, in southeastern Peru. With around 25 indigenous communities from 8 different indigenous peoples, besides Indigenous Peoples in Isolation and Initial Contact (IPIIC) and a high record in flora and fauna, this is a priority mosaic with unlimited cultural and natural value which must be preserved.