Purús: Government strengthens its commitments in favor of Peru’s largest National Park
• This management tool builds upon the contributions of local people, authorities, and public and private organizations
Lima, January 16th, 2013. After almost two years of hard work, the Alto Purús National Park – largest natural protected area in Peru –, celebrates a strengthened strategy towards its conservation. Its master plan, the main management tool for any protected area, has been officially updated.
This important document is, in simple terms, a fundamental instrument for ensuring the appropriate management and protection of such area and its resources in benefit of neighboring populations. The version for 2012 – 2017 was recently approved by Dr. Pedro Gamboa, Head of the National System of State- Natural Protected Areas – SERNANP through Presidential Resolution No 238 – 2012.
Biologist Arsenio Calle, Head of the Alto Purús National Park highlighted that “natural protected areas are established by the Government for the service of society. For that reason, it is important that all sectors take part in its management. Therefore, the master plan updating process has prioritized mechanisms for the participation of all stakeholders, as to accomplish this objective”.
In this sense, the Government has ratified its commitment for the sustainable development of this unique region of the Peruvian Amazon – characterized for having outstanding biological and cultural diversities, the latter represented by an indigenous population of nearly 4000 people from eight ethnic groups, who directly depend upon these forests for water, food and medicine.
In order to ensure a successful process, the park staff carried out several meetings and field workshops since 2011, aiming to incorporate the opinions and input of local peoples, as well as those of public and private organizations, along the area of influence of the park.
In this regard, Biologist Jorge Herrera of WWF (organization with over 10 year experience contributing towards the conservation and sustainable development of the region), emphasized the “participatory, democratic and transparent” character of the process, and congratulated the fact of “building on the idea of a shared vision – one of the political pillars of the current government and its social inclusion agenda”.
A unique conservation corridor
The Alto Purús National Park comprises 2510694 ha, an area similar in size to El Salvador. It is located between Ucayali and Madre de Dios, close to the border with Brazil, and harbors one of the last indigenous groups in voluntary isolation in the Amazon. This area jointly with the Purús Communal Reserve are part of a corridor of natural protected areas which includes the Manu National Park – besides other significant protected areas and territorial reserves in benefit of peoples in voluntary isolation – that spans beyond at the Brazilian side.
Since its definitive categorization in 2004, the natural protected areas of Purús have contributed to ensuring the maintenance of critical environmental services provided by their forests, such as food and water for the population of Madre de Dios, Ucayali and even Brazil; as well as the capture of Greenhouse effect gases to halt global climate change.
WWF works in this region hand-in-hand with: the Headquarters of Alto Purús National Park and the Communal Reserve of Purús (National System of State- Natural Protected Areas – SERNANP), the Management Committees of both Natural Protected Areas (NPA), the Committees of Volunteer Park Rangers, the Purús Communal Reserve Management Contract Administrator (ECOPURÚS), the Peruvian Association for the Conservation of Nature (APECO), the Peruvian Foundation for Nature Conservation (PRONATURALEZA), the Help for Threatened Wildlife Foundation – Frankfurt Zoological Society (AVISA – FZS), PROPURUS, the Federation of Native Communities of Purus (FECONAPU), the Association of Native Communities for the Integral Development of Yurúa (ACONADIYSH), the Regional Organization of AIDESEP in Ucayali (ORAU), the Native Communities of Purús, Yurua, Sepahua and Local Peoples of Atalaya, Tahuamanu, Iñapari and Las Piedras, fostering the sustainable development of this region, thanks to the support of The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and USAID.