A program should be formed focusing on the prevention and control of migration to the region. Town and community authorities should restrict migrant arrival to their respective localities. Migrant colonists that arrive in search of lands should be rejected directly. The INRENA, NGOs and others involved with the protected area should coordinate with the corresponding authorities to identify mechanisms and allies to implement this program. The support of the regional administration should be sought as well as the Public Ministry so that they adopt the initiative and they promote it on a general level.
New farmers settlements in the region should be regulated; favor should be given to the farmers who agree to develop non-traditional activities such as apiculture, management of ornamental plants, tourism, implementation of agro-forestry systems, and other compatible activities with the area. Reducing the use of the lands within the region should be carried out according to the greater capacity of permissible use, that is to say, if lands are apt for protection or for forest management, to dedicate them to that corresponding use.
Migrant colonists deforest the area
Intensifying coordination between the local political authorities, the district attorney's office, Department of Education, and Department of Health, among others is recommended so these different offices do not deliver authorizations, or property titles, and so they do not recognize or offer services to new localities. It is important to impede the expansion of colonists to unoccupied areas around forest roads. Grassroots colonist organizations should be included in the process so that they can learn to respect the territories of the communities, the communal reserve and the environment, and so that they will eventually commit to a concrete, regional development plan.
Environmental education campaigns should be designed and implemented urgently among the local population, both at the level of populated rural areas and in the cities of Satipo, Huancayo, Atalaya and San Francisco. In addition, environmental education campaigns should be directed at other protected area stakeholders, such as local institutions, regional governments, authorities, or public officials. The program should promote the general knowledge of the protected area, the benefits for the region and the country, its potential and opportunities, its problems, and alternative development ideas. The environmental education program should aim for the exchange of information among the diverse actors and to assure local commitments for the reserve’s conservation and development.
It is recommended that the territorial code programs initiated by ACPC be fortified, clearing the way for the physical and legal resolution of territorial conflicts. Up until now, they have relied solely on the local recorders office the Ene and Tambo River Basins. The completion of two years of work, with the support of the German Service of Social-Technical Cooperation, has been finalized and the records for all Tambo River District are awaiting final approval. At the same time multi-communal trainings are being carried out to validate territorial boundaries. Thus, agreements on boundaries are made and the document is enriched with inventories of non timber-yielding and timber-yielding products and other information for the communities to incorporate into the plans and final information.
The effective long-term protection of Asháninka Communal Reserve’s forest resources depends on 1) the control that the Technical Administration of Forest and Wildlife Control Office exercises on the management of the forest resources the reserve’s surrounding area; and 2) quick implementation of a vigilance and control system of the communal reserve on the part of the Natural Protected Areas Agency.
A large quantity of wood is being extracted from the native communities adjacent to the reserve. It is necessary for INRENA and the communities to reinforce as much control as possible, with the participation and support of its respective organizations, to stop illegal logging.
Environmental awareness campaigns among the Asháninka populations are urgently needed so that they appreciate and better value their forest resources. The illegal loggers remove timber, but they do it with the consent of the natives. If the natives end their support of the illegal loggers, they will be greater success in the interventions. Tightened coordination should be established between the INRENA, grassroots organizations like CARE and ARPI, and the NGO ACPC to promote constant and systematic environmental education and extension campaigns.
ACPC has initiated a process by which the communities are again taking control of their own forest resources, learning the commercial value of the wood, recovering the benefits and redistributing them back into the community. It is necessary that ACPC continue with this work and that they can count on INRENA’s direct support.
The same is true for other regions of the Peruvian forest. The communities adjacent to the reserve can form their own natural resources control and defense committees. Part of the committees’ work is not only to detect the illegal logging and denounce it, but also to take care that the communities comply with the processes and requests that the law requires, determine the worth of management plans, authorization of the communal assembly, etc. This experience should be replicated around all the communal reserve.
It is important to promote the coordinated work with other institutions that control the area, such as the National Police and the Army, and to involve them in the efforts of control against and stop illegal extraction. The Army has an important presence in the Ene River. Their contribution to the control of illegal logging can be significant, as much in their positions of control in the river as in coordinated patrolling in zones of illegal logging. High-level coordination among the Army and the INRENA should allow joint-implementation.
With regards to the entity charged with the control of the forest, in order to promote greater efficiency and commitment on the part of the personnel in the performance of their work and to eradicate corruption, public officials that do not comply with the roles and responsibilities of the agency should be removed or forced to withdraw, initiating the corresponding administrative procedures.
The number of the license plates of the trucks that travel with illegal wood via the highways should be recorded, so that the National Police are able to perform monitoring and sanction those responsible.
INRENA’s forestry control post along Port Ocopa – Satipo highway should be fortified and better implemented. It is necessary to expand the number of personnel, from two to a minimum of four. The teams require the latest communication equipment, such as satellite telephones and computers. It is also necessary to have two motorcycles for the movement of personnel.
Owing to the presence of not only illegal logging, but also to the presence of drug trafficking and terrorist activity, the installation of a National Police control station together with INRENA on the Port Ocopa - Satipo highway is highly recommended. This will facilitate joint action and there will be greater interinstitutional control to avoid corruption.
Carpentry in Cutivireni Native Community
The Peruvian State should offer facilities and preference to native communities so that they participate in low intensity forest management in their communal territories and to guarantee that the benefit from the sale of the wood is really used for the good of the community. It is necessary to promote reforestation with commercially valuable species and forest management with adequate planning and skill in the communal territories, to concentrate the future forest activity and to avoid following generations exercising pressure on the communal reserve.
The future protection of Asháninka Communal Reserve’s forest resources will depend upon the use of appropriate forest management in the adjacent native communities’ territories, including the correct implementation of the forest management plans offered to the lumber companies around the protected area and efficient work towards control and monitoring on the part of INRENA’s Technical Administration for Forest and Wildlife Control.
It is imperative to work on the development of alternatives for optimum sustainable development in the zone and make the municipalities and regional governments more cognizant of the problems that are generated by the opening of highways, particularly those that do not result in sustainable development options. It is necessary to stop initiatives that include access roads and highways that may affect the protected area.
It is absolutely necessary to monitor the existing access roads and the routes under construction, those from Satipo toward Atalaya, Pangoa toward the Ene river, that come from Apurimac and the forest roads.
Authorization of roads should be impeded. The immigration and migrant settlement via these routes should not be permitted. At the same time, an investigation of the real construction situation within the protected area should be carried out and its advance should be stopped. Strict supervision must be exercised on the lumber companies that operate toward the north of the protected area and they should be prevented from the continued opening of the area around this highway.
Forestry roads facilitate access for colonists who later deforest large expanses in the region, photos © ACPC
Orientation of state officials should be required so that they will not take highway construction lightly. The NGOs and society in general should use efforts that lead to generating political will in the authorities to achieve greater national attention to the fear of highways in the forest. The participation of the press and of the media to create a public awareness and conscience and to exercise political pressure in favor of conservation is crucial.
It is necessary to create political mechanisms as well as legal pressure so that the municipalities do not build more highways and better focus their economic resources to promote more sustainable development. The Department of Transportations and Communications should be involved so that they can be more involved in the planning of road development in this part of the country.
The institutions responsible for control and prevention of drug trafficking, the National Police and the Army, in coordination with the local authorities of each district, should increase their actions to intervene in order to try to eradicate this illicit activity.
It will be necessary to increase awareness amongst the local population so that they will support the fight against drug trafficking in the region. Appropriate channels of communication among the authorities and the local population should be established so that the presence of any indication of drug trafficking can be reported. Total reserve and personal security should be guaranteed for those persons that bring accusations and denounce drug-traffickers. Likewise, the presence of the Police and the Army in the zone should be constant and real, for the fight against drug trafficking and against common delinquency and terrorism.
DEVIDA, jointly with USAID, should redefine its strategies for the anti-drug fight in view of the increase in cocoa cultivation, a tendency that is currently dominant in the region. DEVIDA should cut every support to the construction of highways in the region that facilitate drug trafficking. DEVIDA should also base its objectives and actions in areas of sustainable development. As Ricardo Risco of CEDIA affirms, with the quantity of money that DEVIDA has spent up to now they had been able to buy all the cocoa and the drugs that are produced in the zone and burn them, making the people much more content.
Natural Resource Use
The communal reserve is not intensely used for hunting or harvesting, mostly because of the distance and difficulties accessing the reserve. The expectations of the local population should be centered in activities and business focused on the community territories and not so much on the communal reserve for now.
Maintaining intact, well-conserved areas within the communal reserve in the long-term will be a very good achievement, since that will help guarantee a healthy environment with clean water—both quantity and quality—and will help establish a source of fauna and flora for neighboring hunting activities. The communities will also be able to participate in ecotourism and research inside the communal reserve. In the case of other activities, such as agriculture, logging or raising domesticated animals, the economic income generated for the local population should be focused more on the communal territory level.
Lack of implementation of management mechanisms
During the categorization process of the protected area, a working party was formed that carried out the actions and necessary coordination for the creation of the communal reserves and the national park. It is recommended that this working party continue coordinating for matters of management and administration of the area. ACPC, CEDIA, CI, IBC, INRENA, the community based organizations of ARPI and CARE, among others should continue acting in a joint form for the good of the area and not on an individual basis. Once they establish channels of coordination, each institution can continue with their work agenda and fulfillment of their institutional objectives. If constructive coordination was possible and was shown effective, then this coordination should continue in a permanent way, even more so now with the challenge of managing the protected areas.
Incorporating local municipalities in the process of coordination and management is quite important, even though it would probably make some grassroots organizations uncomfortable. Considering that 100% of the territory of the Asháninka Communal Reserve and 75% of the territory of Otishi National Park are in the province of Satipo, municipal jurisdiction, it is absolutely fundamental to involve these entities, especially since they receive and handle funds and because they are, by law, supposed to support processes to manage protected areas, economic activities, and land use planning.
Training and forming leaders that can deal with a participatory management system is necessary. They need to be able to sit down and talk and negotiate with powerful groups and even transnational companies that will be arriving in the region in the future.
Research and monitoring in the communal reserve should have priority since they can better help guide and improve forestry and wildlife resource management measures that should be implemented in the productive zones of the communal territories, outside of the reserve (49).
It is urgent that the administration of the protected area be consolidated. The establishment of a management committee for the communal reserve, the appointment of a leader for the area, the implementation of a vigilance and control system with park rangers and infrastructure and the signing of an administrative contract with a competent entity are needed as soon as possible. The reserve’s geographical isolation will not guarantee its protection for much more time.
Once the administration of the park has been consolidated, the following step is the design of a master management plan. The design of plans and management programs will facilitate harmonious implementation of development activities within the communal reserve.