In 2007, road crews began paving a major highway system through the department of Madre de Dios, one of the last major Amazonian wilderness areas. Highways in the Amazon typically lead to widespread deforestation, rampant burning, illegal logging, and waves of immigration. Without any mitigation of these impacts, it is likely that the Interoceanic Highway, which runs from Rio de Janeiro through the Amazon to the Pacific ports of Peru, will destroy all forest within 25 kilometers (15 miles) of the road.
ACA’s Highway Mitigation Strategy aims to create and protect three conservation corridors that reduce the environmental impacts of the Interoceanic Highway. Developed in partnership with civil society, government, and private industry, these corridors will preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services (such as clean water, pollination, forest products, and carbon sequestration) throughout the largest area of continuous forest in the southwestern Amazon.
This map shows proposed conservation corridors (click on the map for a larger view):
Manu - Tambopata Corridor: from Manu National Park to Tambopata National Reserve. The Manu - Tambopata (MAT) Corridor connects Peru’s Manu National Park with Bolivia’s Madidi National Park via ACA’s Los Amigos Conservation Concession and the Tambopata National Reserve. The last unprotected stretch, a north-south corridor that crosses the Interoceanic Highway to the Malinowsky River, will protect over 518,920 acres (210,000 hectares) of tropical forest. ACA’s Los Amigos Biological Station (CICRA), one of the most productive research stations in the Amazon basin, is located here.
Castaña Corridor: from Las Piedras River in Peru to Manuripi National Reserve in Bolivia. The Castaña Corridor incorporates much of ACA’s earlier conservation efforts to develop the first Brazil nut concessions in Peru. We currently provide technical support and training to more than 420 families in northern Madre de Dios and several in the buffer zone of Tambopata National Reserve. These concessions cover 875,998 acres (354,504 hectares) of primary forest along the Interoceanic Highway. The Castaña Corridor also protects habitat of keystone species like jaguars in the Las Piedras River basin.
Yungas Corridor: from Manu National Park to Bahuaja Sonene National Park. The Yungas Corridor is designed to protect an unbroken stretch of forest from lowland valleys to Andean highlands between Manu and Bahuaja Sonene National Parks. Climate change is expected to force species to migrate to higher elevations, and this corridor will provide a refuge for a genetically diverse population of plants and animals.
ACA corridors protect:
Jaguar at Manu National Park. Photo: Miguel Moran
View of Cocha Huitoto from above. Photo: Andre Bärtschi
Phoebis philea butterflies in the tropical Amazon lowlands. Photo: Dave Lutz
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