Management and conservation of freshwater ecosystems

It is not surprising that some of the most biodiverse and productive aquatic ecosystems in the world are in the Amazon. WWF Peru works hand in hand with local and indigenous populations to develop tools and capacities to conserve these freshwater ecosystems in several regions of the Peruvian Amazon, through the direct management and monitoring of their own extractive activities and the impacts generated by others (e.g. oil extraction).

This is the case of the Abanico de Pastaza, an extensive wetland complex of 3, 8 million hectares in the northern Amazon region of Peru. In 2002 and after three years of work, WWF Peru promoted the designation of this region containing rivers, lakes and flooded forests as a Ramsar site (wetland of international importance), making it the largest in the entire Amazon.

Since then, it works with Kandozi communities in areas such as the Rimachi Lake - the most extensive in the Peruvian Amazon and the main food source of over 30 communities – contributing towards improving their fishing and gathering practices.

Today, the communities protect and manage their resources and have become authors of the first indigenous fishing management plan approved by the Government.

Furthermore, populations of valuable species such as the paiche and the taricaya have recovered and the fishermen have doubled their fish-sale generated incomes, as they have strengthened their market linkages. In addition, the support of WWF has prompted the communities to assert their rights, for instance when facing oil companies, and now they constantly monitor the water quality, becoming guardians of one of the most important wetlands of the Amazon Basin.

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