The government of Peru's newly created Yaguas National Park encompasses more than two million acres of rainforest and indigenous territory in northeastern Peru.The new park is an important milestone in Peru’s work to create sustainable finance for all of its protected areas.

According to the World Bank, a little less than 15 percent of Earth’s total land area was formally protected as of 2014. In the Andes-Amazon region, despite increased deforestation, the majority of the forest remains intact. Scientists estimate that conserving at least 70 percent of the Amazon forest cover will be necessary to ensure its long-term ecological integrity and climatic function—for the region and for the planet. To this end, our Andes-Amazon Initiative has long supported the creation and strengthening of protected areas and indigenous lands.

A gift for future generations

“The creation of Yaguas National Park marks an important milestone within Peru’s broader efforts to protect critical ecosystems and ensure their sustainable finance and management. Peru will be on the leading edge of securing their parks for future generations.”

- Paulina Arroyo, program officer, Andes-Amazon Initiative

In January, the Peruvian government gave those protected areas another big boost by creating Yaguas National Park. With more than two million acres of rainforest and riverine landscapes, the new park will help protect the ancestral lands of indigenous people living there. “The government has done justice by attending to the requests of the towns to conserve this sacred area,” said Fernando Alvarado, President of the Federation of Indigenous Communities of the Lower Putumayo, “where there are spirits of the forests and where the fauna and flora are our sustenance.”

The park also safeguards the remote region’s exceptional biodiversity and represents a key link within a network of other reserves in Peru and other countries in the Andes-Amazon region. “Nowadays we’re trying to think big,” explained Avecita Chicchón, program director of the Andes-Amazon Initiative, in a recent New York Times feature. “You need these large areas to be connected.”


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Large-scale, enduring conservation through long-term collaboration

New parks and reserves often take years to come to fruition, and require extensive collaboration. With funding from the Moore Foundation, Peru-based Instituto del Bien Commun helped lay the groundwork for Yaguas National Park by working to strengthen the organizational status of the protected areas and indigenous lands in the Northern Loreto region. Additionally, the foundation supported the Field Museum in conducting the first biological inventory in Yaguas in 2003 and another in 2010, which yielded important new knowledge about species diversity, and strengthening capacity for science-based land-use decisions. The Andes Amazon Fund has also been integral to the creation of the new park, through its support of efforts to consolidate millions of hectares of protected areas and indigenous lands in the Andes Amazon region. Peru’s National Park Service has been an invaluable ally throughout the process required to create the park; they sponsored the park’s final approval by the government of Peru.

Remarking on the network of partnerships that made Yaguas National Park a reality, Adrian Forsyth, executive director of the Andes Amazon Fund said, "A national park of this size and significance can only be created with a long-term, multi-faceted collaboration between civil society organizations, local peoples and government agencies each fulfilling a key role." 

Yaguas National Park. Courtesy of Andes Amazon Fund

(panoramic banner) Image courtesy of the Field Museum/(last image) Image courtesy of the Andes Amazon Fund.



Related Grants

date grant program term amount
Aug 2012 Zoning for Conservation in Loreto, Peru Environmental Conservation 30 months $1,636,588
Oct 2015 Advancing Large-scale Conservation Opportunities in Northern Loreto, Peru Environmental Conservation 24 months $500,000
Sep 2012 Consolidation of Putumayo-Amazonas Indigenous Landscape in Loreto, Peru Environmental Conservation 24 months $1,795,000
Apr 2015 Consolidation of the Ampiyacu Mosaic in Loreto, Peru Environmental Conservation 24 months $1,703,000
Nov 2008 Creating New Protected Areas and building local capacity in Peru and Bolivia Environmental Conservation 40 months $1,842,210

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