The Utcubamba River watershed is a high priority for conservation because of the many endemic and endangered species it hosts, including the Wooly Anteater, Spectacled Bear and Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird. In addition to its significance for biodiversity and mitigating climate change, the watershed is home to 80,000 people, all of whom depend on its clean water for drinking and agriculture.
The efforts of our NCI-Amazonas team have been integral to this process, including the expertise of two lawyers, one biologist and a geographer who developed the legal text for the ordinance and determined the highest priority ecosystems within the watershed. In the words of Mike McColm, Director of our Amazonas office,
“These protected areas will conserve key ecosystems – guaranteeing environmental services like clean water – and provide communities with the opportunity to create sustainable development projects that are in harmony with conservation.”
In Peru, environmental challenges such as illegal logging, oil exploitation and over-fishing have degraded important ecosystems, resulting in a loss of biodiversity as well as social problems such as water pollution. In 2012 alone, Peru lost nearly 400,000 acres of Amazon rainforest, and South America continues to face an annual deforestation rate of 2%. That’s why we are working alongside regional governments and local communities to protect key ecosystems for the people of Peru and for the health of the entire planet.