In the words of Lleydy Alvarado, an NCI-Amazonas staff member who worked closely on this initiative, “With the declaration of Monte Alegre we are protecting a forest with a high degree of biodiversity and endemism, as well as the ecosystem services that sustain the local people.”

In the lush Amazon rainforest of northern Peru, coffee growers and conservationists have come together with the regional government to create the fourth protected area declared in Amazonas with the support of NCI in the past two years. NCI’s local team has worked steadily to help bring this vision to life by providing key technical support and coordinating diverse stakeholders.

Monte Alegre coffee growers
The Monte Alegre Conservation Concession spans 52,700 acres and completes a corridor of four protected areas in the Amazon-Andes region of southern Amazonas. In addition to preserving pristine Amazon rainforest, it safeguards charismatic species such as the spectacled bear, hairy anteater, and the yellow-tailed woolly monkey – an endangered species found only in this area.

Monte Alegre and the neighboring protected areas – Dase Nain, Tijae Nain, and Pamau Nain – are playing a key role in the advancement of sustainable industries that enhance the economic wellbeing of local people while preserving the globally important forests of Amazonas. In Monte Alegre, coffee has emerged as the leading industry to unite goals for conservation and economic prosperity.

NCI’s ongoing partner in Monte Alegre, the Flor de Café Coffee Cooperative, works with local growers on the production of organic coffee sold in Europe. The 220 families involved in the region receive direct economic benefits and are active promoters of forest conservation. The cooperative will also fund the development of nurseries that coexist alongside forest conservation, including bamboo, fine hardwoods, and stevia.

Like those that preceded it, the declaration of Monte Alegre proves once again that conservation is achieved when the needs of diverse stakeholders are met. In the lush region of Amazonas, this means protecting vital ecosystems while developing sustainable industries that enable local people to prosper as guardians of the forest.