Posted on 25 June 2013
WWF has worked for more than a decade with indigenous communities of the Peruvian Amazon to protect the ecosystem they depend on.
The Abanico del Pastaza in Loreto is the largest Ramsar site (wetland of international importance) in the Peruvian Amazon. It is home to about 300 fish species and food source for dozens of Achuar, Kandozi, Quechua, Cocama Cocamilla and Urarina indigenous communities.
However, for decades, pollution from poorly implemented oil operations, pressure from activities such as illegal logging and poaching, and overfishing had put these wetlands and their inhabitans at serious risk.
WWF began working with residents in 1999, driving the designation of this complex as a Ramsar site, which was finally achieved in 2002. Then, WWF focused on rehabilitating the aquatic ecosystems and improving local livelihoods through sustainable fishing and capacity building.
The long-term vision is to maintain the unique wetland landscape as an intact and functional ecosystem that harbors economically importan flora and fauna of the region, and that provides resources to the indigenous communities that have depended upon Pastaza for hundreds of years.