ACA pioneers innovative conservation tools, creating models that others can follow. This section explains how we use conservation concessions and conservation corridors to protect forest cover and biodiversity across the southwestern Amazon.
In 2001, ACA and ACCA established the world’s first private conservation concession. The Los Amigos Conservation Concession protects the watershed of the Los Amigos River and 360,000 acres of old-growth Amazonian forest in the department of Madre de Dios in southeastern Peru. Today, the conservation concession is among the Amazon’s most active centers for research, natural resource management training, and environmental education.
Los Amigos is home to a remarkable diversity of plant and animal species. Bordering world-famous Manu National Park to the east, the Los Amigos watershed forms part of a 20 million-acre block of protected wilderness in southeastern Peru. The landscape is a mosaic of terrestrial and aquatic habitats, including palm swamps, bamboo thickets, oxbow lakes, and various types of flooded and non-flooded forests. Wildlife is abundant, including 12 globally threatened species and abundant Amazonian fauna including giant otters, harpy eagles, spider monkeys and jaguars. The area contains 13 species of primates. By way of comparison, all of Costa Rica holds only four.
Our ongoing management of the Los Amigos Conservation Concession will:
ACA thanks the International Conservation Fund of Canada (ICFC) for their generous support to create and grow an endowment fund that provides funding for the management of Los Amigos Conservation Concession.
July 2008 marked the establishment of the world’s first conservation concession managed by an indigenous group. The Haramba Queros Wachiperi Conservation Concession protects 17,238 acres of highly diverse montane rainforest on the eastern slopes of Peru’s southern Andes.
The Amazon Conservation Association (ACA) and its Peruvian sister organization, Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica (ACCA), provided technical support to the Wachiperi throughout the process of applying for the concession, creating its management plan, and seeking approval from the Peruvian forest service (INRENA). Financial support for this project was provided by the Canadian organization, One Sky, as well as the Beneficia Foundation and the Woodman Foundation.
The Amazonian Haramba Queros are a Harakmbut-speaking community of 53 individuals in Cusco, Peru. The conservation concession provides a buffer against the impacts of climate change, secures the Queros’ water supply and source of medicinal plants, sustains their access to forest products, and helps the community maintain its cultural traditions. These forests also serve as an ecological buffer zone for the world-renowned Manu National Park.
Conservation concessions, an innovation written into Peruvian forestry legislation in 2000, provide a unique opportunity for the conservation of large state-owned lands that would otherwise be unmanaged. A conservation concession is a long-term contractual partnership between the national government and a non-government actor, whereby the civil society actor manages state-owned lands for purposes of ecosystem and biodiversity conservation.
In Peru, INRENA is the national agency overseeing conservation concessions. INRENA is required by law to approve a technical proposal drafted by the applicant organization prior to awarding a conservation concession. Once the technical proposal is approved, the applicant prepares a management plan that includes an investment commitment. The award process involves substantial public consultations with local and regional stakeholders, including local communities, regional authorities, and the private sector.
Once the concession is awarded, the concessionaire provides annual reports and inspections as well as comprehensive evaluation by INRENA every five years to verify compliance with the management plan, if the concessionaire is found to comply with the management plan the contract is automatically extended for another forty-year period.
View from the monitoring tower at station 2 of the Los Amigos Conservation Concession. Photo: Joe Tobias
Guards at Monitoring Station 1 of Los Amigos. Photo: Juan Carlos Flores
View from the observation tower at Los Amigos. Photo: Adrian Tejedor
Bird of paradise flower at Los Amigos. Photo: Gabby Salazar
White-winged swallow. Photo: Gabby Salazar
Butterflies at the Queros concession. Photo: Edilberto Castro
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