RCF helps create a huge new rainforest reserve in the Peruvian Amazon!
Located between the Napo and Putumayo rivers, the 391,000 hectare Área de Conservación Regional Maijuna was established on February 4, 2012.
RCF Board member Dr. Michael Gilmore and RCF extensionists Gerardo Bertiz and Exiles Guerra attended the dedication ceremony and celebration in the Maijuna village of Sucusari. Almost 1,000,000 acres in size, the creation of the new reserve effectively cancels a project to build a road through Maijuna ancestral lands and gives protection to the last remaining 500 Maijuna individuals. To put things in perspective, this new protected area is 22% larger than Yosemite National Park – it is an immense area that is extremely biologically rich and culturally important. RCF has worked tirelessly with the Maijuna and their native federation FECONAMAI to help them organize and get this reserve approved by the Peruvian government.
In addition, since 2009, RCF has funded a beekeeping and honey production project under the guidance of German Perilla in Maijuna lands. The success of this project was vital to the creation of the reserve, because the Peruvian government requires that the Maijuna engage in “productive conservation” activities that can generate income in a sustainable way before they will approve the establishment of a new reserve. The honey production project will help save the rainforest by transforming it into a renewable economic resource for local people.
Now the hardest work begins for the Maijuna – protecting and managing their reserve and its natural resources. Thanks to a generous grant from the Threshold Foundation in late 2011, we can continue to support the Maijuna in this struggle.
Stay tuned for updates on RCF’s new programs with the Maijuna this year!