Cerros de Amotape National Park is a key component, along with Tumbes Reserved Zone and El Angolo Game Preserve, of the Noroeste Biosphere Reserve. The national park conserves Peru’s northern natural environments.
One of the most serious threats is timber extraction. Wood floor producers and the Ecuadorian market create significant demand for timber. Donkeys loaded with timber use trails throughout the protected area and head to Ecuador. There is also significant timber extraction in the southeastern portion of the park. Charcoal production also affects the region’s forests. These problems urgently need attention to reduce the threats to the protected area. Efficient forestry management and control is needed in and around the protected area. The wood floor producers and sawmills need more regulation. Because this protected area is a national park and carries the highest level of protection, timber extraction is entirely prohibited; therefore it should be rigorously controlled and exemplary sanctions imposed.
Charcoal extraction should be strictly regulated. This activity should be limited to the guidelines set forth in the required management plans. Extraction and charcoal production should be prohibited within the national park. Outside of the park, charcoal production should be managed and closely monitored.
The presence of grazing animals within the protected area has created a tense situation between the cattle ranchers and the protected area administration. Cattle ranching is an important economic activity in the region, yet the people with cattle let them graze protected area pastures and grasses, thereby impacting the park. The biggest problem now is that additional ranchers continue to immigrate to the region and they want to allow their goats and cattle to graze in the park. The ranchers who arrived in the zone after the protected area was declared should be removed and evicted. The ranchers who arrived before the zone became protected should sustainably manage their cattle and follow the ordinances established by INRENA’s Natural Protected Areas Agency. Ecuadorian ranchers should be prohibited; to do so, support from the National Police and the Military stationed at the border is essential.
There are two main sources of contamination in the zone. First, there is solid waste and garbage produced in human settlements that are not properly treated and are tossed into the open air. Second, there is water contamination from gold mining upriver in Ecuador. There is also garbage from Ecuadorian towns that floats downriver into the park. The municipalities should treat the garbage and solid waste produced in their jurisdictions. Since using chemical poisons to harvest fresh-water shrimp is against the law, the authorities should punish violators to the full extent, jailing them and making an example of them. Tumbes River contamination is more complicated since the problem involves Ecuador and therefore the solution depends on more than just the Peruvian authorities. Any attempt to resolve the issue should be coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and should be considered within a bilateral development program.
All illegal harvesting of non-timber forest products should be controlled and eventually stopped entirely. At the same time, there should be an interdiction program to stop commercialization of illegally extracted forest products. The police and border security should be informed and trained to carry out continual control operatives.
A program should be established to remove exotic species from within the national park and its surrounding areas.
Cerros de Amotape Naitonal Park harbors fragile ecosystems that are unique for Peru. Activities carried out within the national park and its surrounding areas are threatening the park. Conditions exist to reverse these negative trends. INRENA is present in the area, and the National Police and Military have border control posts around the protected area. There is already a certain level of environmental awareness and recognition of the national park. These factors should be taken advantage of and stakeholders should work together to conserve and truly protect the national park.