Protecting One Of The Wildest Places On Earth
The Upper Amazon Conservancy (UAC) is dedicated to protecting the biological and cultural diversity of the Amazon headwaters in southeastern Peru. UAC works with its Peruvian partner organization, ProPurús, and in close collaboration with indigenous peoples, government agencies and other NGOs to strengthen the region’s protected areas, build the capacity of its local communities and affect well-informed, sustainable public policy. The Upper Amazon Conservancy prides itself on the time it spends in the field, working hard to understand the complex cultural, ethical and social issues facing these remote areas and indigenous tribes who live there.
Violence Highlights Dangers to Peru’s Isolated Tribes
Last month in the remote headwaters of Peru’s Alto Purús River, a young indigenous man was shot with an arrow by a member of the Mashco Piro isolated tribe. He was transported by boat and plane to the hospital in the city of Pucallpa where he is expected to make a full recovery. The attack highlights growing tensions between the Mashco Piro, Peru’s largest tribe living in voluntary isolation, and remote villagers. In many cases, tensions are exacerbated by aggressive attempts by some villages to initiate contact with the Mashco by sharing food, clothing, and other manufactured items. Misunderstandings during these encounters often lead to violence, while even peaceful contact can prove disastrous to the tribes who have no natural defenses to common illnesses.
Last week, Peru’s isolated tribes were dealt another potentially lethal blow when Peru’s congress passed a law promoting road construction in Ucayali department, home to the Mashco and other isolated and remote tribes.
Asháninka Communities on the Yurua Receive Title to Lands
After a decade long struggle, the Asháninka communities of Beu, Oori, and Koshireni received titles to their lands earlier this month during a ceremony in the city of Pucallpa. The communities are located in the extremely remote Yurua River region in the Amazon headwaters near the Brazil border. The new titles provide them with legal justification to protect their lands from logging, hunting and other illegal activities, and to receive support to develop new projects involving the sustainable use their resources. In addition, the communities will become primary stewards and protectors to a new communal protected area being created in adjacent lands.