RI 27 PERU
In July 2014 researchers discovered Amazonian forests in the Loreto region holds most of Peru’s carbon, especially along the Brazilian border. Two months later our team arrived there focusing in 310.000 ha between Tapiche and Blanco River, that is part of a corridor connecting two protected areas: Matsés National Reserve and Sierra del Divisor Reserve Zone.
Previous inventories showed us this region holds the largest white sand soils in Peru, and 18.000 ha of unique stunted forests along the Blanco River left bank, next to vast wetlands and megadiverse upland forests. Although, pre-inventory visits revealed clear threats to the local communities, created by unregulated extractive industries. The inventory revealed a diversity of vegetation in white sands and peatlands, the threatened red-uakari monkey, and global records of plants and vertebrate species living and specializing in poor soils.
Capanahua, Kichwa, Wampis and campesino people live in the area in 22 settlements, either living off the forest or commerce in regional markets, and despite most of them being there since the early 20th century, only 4 have recognized titled land. Our field work revealed an opportunity to consolidate a major conservation corridor, allowing land tenure for local people and protecting white-sand forests and areas of sustainable use by local residents in the upland and floodplain forests.
Photo by Álvaro del Campo