RI 25 PERU
North of Iquitos, the forests along the Putumayo River holds some of the richest biologically and cultural areas, where indigenous groups explore strategies to conserve the land and their culture. Governments have recognized its importance since 1970 when Colombia started protecting areas, now covering 16 million hectares, and Peru created four national protected areas and have planned to add 2 million hectares more.
The Ere-Campuya-Algodón watersheds are still unprotected forests and are a missing piece for the Putumayo conservation corridor. Threatened by extractive activities like oil, mining, logging, road building and unregulated hunting, it was wrongly listed apt for agriculture and logging, ignoring official recognition as a conservation priority region since 1993.
Despite its poor soils, the area holds world record of biodiversity, some of the highest water purity levels recorded in the Amazon. These watersheds are partially safeguarded by Murui and Kichwa, keen to maintain their source of food and game they’ve hold for centuries. Linked with the Airo Pai Communal Reserve to the west and the proposed Maijuna Regional Conservation Area to the east, a new protected area here will consolidate a major Peruvian conservation corridor, potentially protecting over 21 million ha along the Putumayo River in three countries.
Photo by Álvaro del Campo