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Conservation of the Cordillera de Colán

Rainforest Partnership is leading a large-scale, holistic suite of initiatives to conserve this unique landscape, protect its rich biodiversity, and support the 65,000 local people living here. From leading environmental education and biodiversity research, to capacity building, to supporting production of sustainable coffee, cacao, honey, and sugarcane, Rainforest Partnership is working with many partners to ensure durable conservation of the Cordillera de Colán as well as reliable and sustainable livelihoods for its people.

Impact

Location

Northeastern Perú In the conservation corridor of northeastern Peru, Tropical Andes

Impact

  • Strengthening the management of around 100,000 hectares of montane and grassland forests by supporting collaboration between the six conservation areas in the Cordillera de Colan mosaic
  • Developing sustainable economic activities through technical assistance, training, implementation, and promotion of access to technology for around 100 local producers of coffee, cocoa, sugar cane, and livestock
  • Designing and implementing  environmental education tools such as Learning Experiences in the districts of the provinces of Utcubamba, Bagua, and Bongará
  • Researching and monitoring threatened species; discovery of 26 species new to science

Project Overview

The Cordillera de Colán, an impressive branch of the Andes Mountains in northern Peru, is home to great biodiversity, including the yellow-tailed woolly monkey, Andean bear, mustachioed owl, and many other threatened and endemic species. There are six unique conservation areas that make up a “mosaic” of protected areas in the landscape. 

To ensure long-term, durable, and local-led conservation of its ecosystems and biodiversity, we are supporting the diverse parties managing the six conservation areas in the Cordillera de Colán, including the government (through the National Service of Protected Natural Areas of Peru,) the communities of Copallin and San Lucas de Pomacochas, and a local organization.

This project addresses the main threats to the forests and biodiversity in this important landscape, including deforestation due to agriculture and livestock and lack of sustainable economic opportunities for local people, using a very holistic approach that can be replicated in other landscapes as a viable and scalable model for landscape-level and long lasting conservation.

We are creating environmental education tools and programming for local schools, leading biodiversity research to better monitor and conserve threatened species, promoting sustainable economic options for local people including coffee, cocoa, sugar cane, and Melipona bee honey, transforming traditional livestock and agriculture into sustainable practices, and strengthening conservation management and bringing together the different actors leading conservation of their protected areas. The project also includes formally establishing the Cordillera de Colán Conservation Mosaic as a protected area and Biosphere Reserve.

Partners

Community partners: ECA Chayu Nain, Campesina Community Copallín, Campesina Community Pomacochas

Organizational Partners: Regional Government of Amazonas, Yunkawasi, the Ministry of Environment’s National Park Service SERNANP, Cordillera de Colán National Sanctuary, Chayu Nain Communal Reserve

Current Actions on the Ground

Learning Experiences  in the Cajaruro District

  • Building and implementing an environmental education initiative called "Knowing and Valuing the Cordillera de Colán," which has been implemented in seven educational institutions with over 100 students.

Amphibian and reptile research

  • Monitoring the conservation status of amphibians and reptiles in the Cordillera de Colán as an indicator of the state of health and conservation of forests and grasslands; 26 species new to science have been registered through this monitoring.

Bird research

  • Conducting monitoring of endemic and migratory birds to understand their interaction with coffee agroforestry, to document the ecological benefits of agroforestry and to raise awareness among farmers through environmental education initiatives.

Capacity building in sustainable management of agriculture and livestock

  • Supporting farmers with technical assistance and field school programs to improve sustainable management of crops such as coffee, sugar cane, cocoa and of Melipona bees and cattle. Agriculture and livestock are the main economic activities in the Cordillera de Colán, and unsustainable management is a major driver of deforestation.

Formalization and access to specialized markets for products derived from coffee, cocoa, sugar cane, and Melipona bee honey

  • Establishing and strengthening associations and cooperatives of local farmers, procuring necessary technology and infrastructure, and supporting the commercialization of coffee, cocoa, sugar cane, and honey products as sustainable sources of income.

Meetings for the conservation of the Cordillera de Colán

  • Creating action plans for monitoring, environmental education, research, governance, and reforestation through key and unprecedented meetings between the representatives of the conservation areas present in the mountain range, local and regional government authorities, and organizations working to conserve this landscape

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

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Conservation Strategies for Long-Term Impact

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