June 18, 2015 – Yesterday, President Humala of Peru officially granted national recognition to the Maijuna-Kichwa Regional Conservation Area in the Amazon rainforest of northern Peru. Bigger than California’s Yosemite National Park, this vast reserve protects nearly one million acres of rainforest and its extraordinary biodiversity, as well as the indigenous Maijuna and Kichwa’s ancestral homeland. The national recognition of this reserve will allow their way of life to continue for generations to come and ensure that the rainforest’s rich natural resources are protected in perpetuity.
The story of the Maijuna-Kichwa reserve began in 2008 when Romero Ríos, a Maijuna chief, walked into NCI’s office in Iquitos, Peru with a remarkable request – to help establish a conservation area that would protect the rainforest connecting the four remaining villages in their ancestral homeland. Numbering fewer than 590 people, the Maijuna are one of Peru’s most vulnerable ethic groups.
Since 2008, Nature and Culture International’s local team has been working alongside the regional government of Loreto and communities from the Maijuna and Kichwa indigenous groups to make this declaration a reality. Our efforts would not have been possible without the ongoing support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Robert Wilson Charitable Trust and Blue Moon Fund.
In the words of Romero Ríos, President of the Maijuna Indigenous Federation,
“Nature and Culture International provides us with support on productive projects such as reforestation and fish repopulation, by bringing our lakes back to life. With Nature and Culture International, we are working on improving our handicrafts, such as the chambira baskets. The NCI field staff works in coordination with our people. In this way we continue to progress.”
This conservation dream was made a reality by the vision of the government of Loreto and their conservation program PROCREL, our technical assistance and support over eight years, and because these indigenous communities held firmly to the unbreakable bond between their ancient culture and their natural environment – and acted to preserve both.
Read the full press release by NCI-Peru here: https://natureandculture.org/nci-peru-press-release-maijuna-kichwa-reserve/