The Ucayali regional government has approved the first conservation concession for the Purús province. The concession covers 6,700 hectares of lowland forest that borders the Purús Communal Reserve and titled indigenous lands. It will be managed by the local organization, MABOSINFRON, which plans to develop research and other projects that promote the conservation of vulnerable flora and fauna species. MABOSINFRON is comprised of mestizo leaders from nearby Puerto Esperanza who have pledged to work with guards from the Reserve as well as neighboring indigenous communities to protect the area from continued illegal mahogany logging.
According to the director of Purús Communal Reserve, Rafael Pino: “For us, it is extremely important that MABOSINFRON implement activities that help recover threatened timber species such as mahogany, cedar and lagarto caspi, as well the black spider monkey, harpy eagle and other locally endangered fauna.
Years ago, this area was heavily impacted by illegal logging and hunters who used the resources without proper management. Today we have a great opportunity to restore biodiversity and ensure the integrity of the neighboring Purús Communal Reserve, while providing resources for the all inhabitants of the Purús Province.”
Mr. Pino’s optimism must be tempered, however, as the new concession will be cut in half by the proposed Purús-Iñapari Highway. MABOSINFRON’s mestizo members have joined together with the local indigenous communities to reject the Highway proposal and work towards the long-term protection of the forests and people of the Alto Purús.