Efforts to Support a “Green Loreto” Begin in the Peruvian Amazon
In early February of 2020, the Andes Amazon program traveled to Lima and Iquitos, Peru, to begin work on a new project designed to strengthen the regional conservation system in Loreto Department, Peru, and build a coalition around sustainable, “green” development in the region. Loreto is one of Peru’s largest and best conserved regions, and the Field has been working there for over twenty years, including conducting over fifteen rapid inventories all throughout the region. Loreto contains a range of conservation mosaics that include national and regional protected areas with management regimes ranging from strict protection to co-managed direct-use areas, conservation concessions, sustainable forestry concessions, indigenous territories, and a range of other land management regimes. Loreto’s regional economy also relies heavily on the oil industry, and as one of Peru’s least-connected departments in terms of transportation infrastructure, there have been recent proposals to build a range of mega-infrastructures. The new project is designed to strengthen coordination between the range of conservation strategies in Loreto and to build and sustain a coalition to push for public policies in the region that leverage Loreto’s conservation status as a unique asset and center local peoples’ priorities and concerns. The Andes Amazon team will be working on this project over the next two years, in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society-Peru, the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law, and in collaboration with a range of partners and stakeholders in Loreto.