RI 12 PERU
Apayacu, Yaguas, Medio Putumayo
Ampiyacu, Apayacu, Yaguas and Medio Putumayo, is a sprawl of lowlands without a straightforward name, that even local communities can’t answer easily. Bordered by the Napo, Putumayo and Amazon River to the north, and drained by 5 tributaries—the Apayacu, Ampiyacu, Yaguasyacu, Algodón and Yaguas— one thing is clear for locals, is a proposed protection of their sacred places—sachamamas—and the flora and fauna watched by forest spirits.
Three weeks of exploration with Indigenous colleagues from the area, took us through a tapestry of green of one of the richest corners of earth. It harbors about 1500 vertebrate species, some only occurring north of the Amazon River, highest density of Tapirs, 40% of Peru fish species, over 500 species of birds, and an area where a patch the size of a football field holds more species of trees than the whole North America.
If biologists and locals agree on the sacredness of this area’s core forest, there is also the need agree on the use of forest products in the surrounding forests, closer to the communities, in a way that will benefit people and wildlife in the long term, with details already completed. The next step is the coexistence of both to benefit people and the forest.
Photo by Álvaro del Campo