After a decade long struggle, the Asháninka communities of Beu, Oori, and Koshireni received titles to their lands during a ceremony in Pucallpa earlier this month. The communities are located in the extremely remote Yurua River region in the Amazon headwaters near the Brazil border. Community members have been in conflict with their Brazilian neighbors over illegal hunting and logging. The new titles provide the Peruvians with legal justification to protect their lands from outsiders and develop new projects involving the sustainable use their resources.
The communities are also located adjacent to a new protected area being proposed by local and regional indigenous federations, and community members are being trained to serve as the PA’s primary stewards and protectors. Already community members have been organized into vigilance committees which will assist the government in monitoring and vigilance activities around their lands and the proposed PA. (See this pamphlet for more information on the proposed Yurua protected area.)
The titles were delivered just in time. Construction is about to start on a 240 km road to connect the Yurua with a logging center on the Ucayali River. The road will provide loggers and land speculators with easy access to the Yurua, home to isolated tribes and some of the largest stands of mahogany left in the Amazon.
The titling involved extensive fieldwork to conduct socio-economic studies of the three communities, demarcate boundaries, develop management zoning, and analyze soils. UAC/ProPurús led the work in collaboration with the Ucayali government’s titling agency and with funding from the Andes Amazon Fund and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.