What We Do
The Upper Amazon Conservancy and its sister organization, ProPurús, are responding to the conservation and human rights crisis in the headwaters of the Peruvian Amazon with a combination of measures intended to protect biodiversity and promote sustainable development in local indigenous communities. Our success is directly related to the trust-based relationships we have with local people, developed over the past 25 years when members of our staff first began working in the region. We are committed to working in the most vulnerable areas, where illegal activities and community exploitation often go undetected, despite the difficulties, dangers, and high-costs of working in such remote areas. Local people are key participants in all of our activities, as we believe that the future of this remarkable region ultimately depends on their success as protectors and stewards.
Our work is focused on two overarching objectives:
1. Create and strengthen protected areas in order to prevent illegal activities, protect isolated tribes, mitigate climate change, and maintain ecosystem health.
2. Empower local indigenous communities to benefit from conservation and sustainable resource use.
We work closely with the Peru’s National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP) to protect the Alto Purús National Park and Communal Reserve through the construction and staffing of a Park offices and posts, guard training, and aerial and river patrols to monitor illegal activities and inventory flora and fauna. Our work with the Ministry of Culture has focused on categorizing and developing the first-ever protection plans for the Murunahua and Mashco – Piro indigenous reserves for isolated tribes. We are also working closely with the Ucayali regional government and indigenous federations to create a new protected area in the Yurua and Tamaya river regions.
In 2016, we helped create the La Novia Alliance. The region’s first ever conservation partnership between indigenous tribes and mestizos, the Alliance works to promote sustainable resource use in the La Novia River watershed, a threatened tributary of the Alto Purús. The new Mabosinfron Conservation Concession is also a partner.
Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation
Through our education and awareness campaign, we are generating international attention and funding to the struggles of Peru’s isolated tribes and those in initial contact. On-the-ground work includes training local people on how to respond to contact events with isolated tribes, assisting in vaccination campaigns, and documenting and mitigating threats.
Community Vigilance and Sustainable Resource Use
UAC works with remote communities to protect endangered species and promote the sustainable use of resources as much needed income. Current project include management plans for lakes and fish, mahogany seeds, timber resins, and aquatic turtles.
Through our community vigilance program we have developed 17 vigilance committees involving nearly 100 indigenous men and women to assist official guards in protecting remote watersheds inside and around protected areas.
Indigenous Land Titling
UAC has led several indigenous land titling efforts. In 2015, UAC helped deliver title to the Ashéninka community of Saweto, the first indigenous community to be titled in the department of Ucayali in the previous decade. Most recently, we successfully titled three Asháninka communities in the Yurua region totaling 169,000 acres.