Co-management: Indigenous communities and the government working hand in hand to manage and protect nature
- In Peru there are 10 communal Reserves and they are the only category of protected natural areas whose establishment is gestated by the initiative of indigenous communities.
Holistic managment and indigenous territories
Indigenous communities live under an holistic and integrated worldview, where land and space are not only a possession or a production space, but a spriritual element that they must fully live within, in order to preserve their cultural legacy and transmit it to future generations. The relationship they have with the earth must be recognized and understood as the fundamental basis of their cultures, their spiritual life, their integrity and their economic survival. Indigenous communities are a source of knowledge, innovation and traditional practices that promote the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, as well as the use of natural resources.
Indigenous territories are spaces where cultural wealth abounds. According to the United Nations Development Program, indigenous communities compromise between 12% and 18% of the national population. To ensure their survival, the government must play a fundamental role and implement measures that protect their rights and interests, especially those related to their territory and enforce them.
“Indigenous communities have become the protagonists of conservation, therefore, we must be open on viewing other complementary forms of biodiversity conservation on Protected Natural Areas. These forms are the same indigenous territories, landscapes traditionally preserved by the indigenous communities unders its governance scheme and where not only biodiversity is preserved, but also culture and tradition” Said Cinthia Mongylardi, director of the Program of Forests and Indigenous Affairs of WWF Peru.
To add to these efforts, WWF Peru works with different indigenous communities and their federations, strenghening the participatory management of their territories, improving their governance, and supporting co-management of protected natural areas, in addition, WWF supports the protection of people in situation of isolation and initial contact (PIACI).
Co- management: Moderl for joint administration of communal reserves
The territorial management of indigenous communities is a factor in productive conservation, by managing forests and building effective barriers to reduce the change in land use, which functions as “firewalls”. They are also providers of ecosystem services such as water, air and food for the lives of the people who inhabit them.
The communal reserves, constitute the territories of indigenous populations that are in the Amazon, and are the only category of protected natrual area established at the initiative of the indigenous populations. In this context, in order to have a co-responsability on the use of this space, an administration contract is signed between the state and the beneficiary indigenous populations. In this context, in order to have a co-responsability on the use of this space, an administration contract is signed between the state and the beneficiary indigenous population, through a contract executor in order to co-manage and co-manage the Communal Reserve.
The decision making in the communal reserves must be carried out jointly between the National Service of Protected Natural Areas (SERNANP) and the administration Contract Executor. The principales that govern the implementation of the co-management model in the Community Reserves are trust, which is built day by day between the partners and is complemented by the principles of transparency and interculturality.