Peruvian Landscapes and Livelihoods

September 21, 2014

The 2014 Kaypi Perú festival was brimming with distinct forms of dance, music, and art that filled the event with a flavor as varied and unique as the country itself.

For the festival, ACA unveiled our photo exhibit, “From the Andes to the Amazon: Conservation, Culture, and Diversity,” featuring 30 photographs shot by Gabby Salazar across our project area that illustrate the rich cultural and biological diversity of the region, as well as the increasing threats it faces. Lectures from Gabby, ACA co-founder Enrique Ortiz, and ACA Executive Director Hannah Stutzman spoke to the incredible value of the ecosystems and communities we are working to protect.

Peruvian Landscapes and LivelihoodsOur work is focused in the southwestern Amazon, one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet and a global priority for conservation. It is also home to numerous indigenous peoples that depend on forest resources for their livelihoods and cultural identity. 

ACA partners with local communities to build capacity in forest management and protection, to help indigenous communities secure legal rights to their ancestral land for conservation, and to promote opportunities for local people to earn sustainable incomes.  Our efforts serve the dual purpose of protecting the forest while supporting the people that inhabit it. These efforts include:

  • We support 34 communities in the Andes-Amazon region as they protect and manage the forest resources that are central to their culture and to their livelihoods.
  • We have provided technical support to more than 420 families earning a living as Brazil nut harvesters, a livelihood which provides a viable and ecologically sound alternative to destructive economic activities. Since Brazil nuts can only produce fruit in healthy rainforest ecosystems, our Brazil nut program has protected over 1.5 million acres of tropical rainforest.
  • In 2001, our Peruvian sister organization, Conservación Amazónica–ACCA, facilitated the creation of the world’s first conservation concession run by an indigenous group, allowing the Queros-Wachiperi indigenous community to act as the social and environmental authority over their land.
  • Our three biological stations welcome scientists and researchers striving to learn more about the incredible biodiversity of the region, and we host programs for children from local communities who have a deep appreciation of the land’s value, but lack information about topics such as biodiversity and climate change. We also provide scholarships for Peruvian students to travel to our stations for research.

These are just some of the ways that we support sustainable livelihoods and work with local communities to protect forests and biodiversity across southeastern Peru. Our celebration of culture for Kaypi Perú 2014 was also a celebration of the rich ecosystems and wildlife that form the vibrant Peruvian landscape, and another step toward ensuring their protection.