Community members of the Shipibo Conibo Indigenous People conducting surveillance and control of indigenous lands.
Community members of the Shipibo Conibo Indigenous People conducting surveillance and control of indigenous lands.

Indigenous Leaders Protect Forests

Sustainable Businesses for Community Forest Management in Ucayali Peru
By Isabela Barriga

Forests cover 69 million hectares in Peru, representing nearly 60 percent of the country (MINAM 2014). Loreto and Ucayali are the two largest Amazon regions in Peru and are traditionally occupied and protected by Indigenous Peoples. These communities have ancestral ties to Amazon forests in Peru and are important allies in supporting sustainable forest management.

The Forest Alliance is a bilateral program of USAID in the Peruvian forest sector implemented by the Association for Integral Research and Development (AIDER). This project is partly financed by private impact funds from Mirova Natural Capital and are strategic partners, along with USAID and AIDER, working collaboratively with Indigenous Peoples in the region of Ucayali to scale-up community forest management (CFM). This includes improving forest-based livelihoods by developing sustainable businesses as a proven approach to strengthening the management of communal lands through an inclusive approach that connects community members to profitable markets.

The Forest Alliance works with seven Indigenous Communities from two Indigenous groups, Shipibo Conibo and Cacataibo, to conserve and sustainably manage forests and restore degraded lands. This includes scaling up an innovative CFM model that contributes to lower GHG emissions and to the welfare of Indigenous Peoples in the Peruvian Amazon.

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Community members of the Cacataibo Indigenous People with the AIDER team in the agroforestry plot.
Community members of the Cacataibo Indigenous People with the AIDER team in the agroforestry plot.

“We believe that our proposal of forest management for Indigenous Communities needs to support strategic alliances with value chain actors, principally the private sector,” said Ms. Marioldy Sanchez Santivañez, Project Manager of AIDER.

“We believe that our proposal of forest management for Indigenous Communities needs to support strategic alliances with value chain actors, principally the private sector,” said Ms. Marioldy Sanchez Santivañez, Project Manager of AIDER.

Sustainable Business

The Forest Alliance has strategic partnerships with the private sector, including value chains such as sustainable fashion, ecosystem services, and forest products. Committees support communities’ livelihoods by developing activities, such as agroforestry for the production of fine cacao, and forest plantations of native species.

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Community members of the Shipibo Conibo Indigenous People showing their garments from the co-creation with Las Polleras de Agus.
Community members of the Shipibo Conibo Indigenous People showing their garments from the co-creation with Las Polleras de Agus.

The project is also bringing unconventional stakeholders to the forest sector to support sustainability in the fashion supply chain with participation from the private sector. This helps Indigenous Communities develop alliances with artisans to have an outlet for ethical sustainable goods. A current example is a partnership between the communities and Las Polleras de Agus company. They are co-designing embroidery products such as dresses and purses, and some of these products have been exhibited in Madrid and New York.

“We are looking for the private sector to participate and make alliances with Indigenous Communities to develop sustainable and inclusive businesses,” says Ms. Sanchez Santivañez.

Community Leaders

Recognized committees from the Indigenous Communities are developing activities to patrol and monitor deforestation. They are also improving the capacity of the communities to control and monitor their lands, which reduces threats of deforestation and illegal logging.

An innovative tool the project is developing is a monitoring system to track early deforestation in near-real time. This system sends alerts every week to provide inputs to the committees. These Indigenous Communities have also started the process of formalizing property titles of their lands, thus increasing the security of indigenous territories.

The Forest Alliance aims to grow the productive committees in the coming years to enhance control and surveillance of forests and adopt the CFM model. Strategic alliances with actors in the private and public sectors will continue to support the development of inclusive businesses. “There is a lot of potential [in Peru] for actors in the private sector, and we are looking to establish the synergies between them and the communities to make this possible,” says Ms. Sanchez Santivañez.

Forest plantations, agroforestry, CFM, and the security of Indigenous lands are core measures of Peru's national climate change commitments for emissions reductions equal to 30 percent below business as usual by 2030. The Forest Alliance aims to deliver impacts on 520 hectares under forest plantations and agroforestry to enhance CFM and increase land tenure security in 120,000 hectares of forests.

“We believe that the Forest Alliance, through this experience working with the [Indigenous] Communities, are now directly contributing to the NDCS in Peru,” said Ms. Sanchez Santivañez.

Country
Peru
Strategic Objective
Adaptation
Topics
Adaptation, Emissions, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation & Forest Degradation (REDD+), Climate Change, Conflict and Governance, Gender and Social Inclusion, Indigenous, Sustainable Land Management, Private Sector Engagement, Partnership, Sustainable Landscapes
Region
Latin America & Caribbean

Isabela Barriga

Isabela es gerente de redes sociales y coordinadora de contenido para Climatelinks a través del proyecto SEEK de USAID. Ella ayuda con la gestión de la información, la investigación y la redacción de blogs. Anteriormente, Isabela brindó apoyo de comunicación y gestión de contenido a organizaciones intergubernamentales, asociaciones público-privadas y misiones diplomáticas, incluidas las Naciones Unidas, GAVI (actualmente, la Alianza de Vacunas) y la Embajada de Ecuador. Isabela tiene un B.S. en Salud Pública y estudios completos en Desarrollo Internacional y Gestión de Conflictos (Universidad de Maryland, College Park).

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