That’s why Ferreyros, who has helped the government design the country’s network of protected areas, is excited about a new initiative to fund the expansion and effective management of these important places in Peru. Through National Parks: Peru’s Natural Legacy, $140 million will be earmarked to permanently protect nearly 41 million acres in the Peruvian Amazon. On May 24th, partners supporting the initiative were in the Amazon to celebrate the commitment of the majority of this funding and meeting all of the conditions necessary to use the funding.
Funding for the Government of Peru-led initiative comes from the Government of Peru, WWF, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Amazon Andes Fund, and the Global Environment Facility. It will be used for such things as equipment and training.
This is a milestone not just for Peru, but for the greater Amazon. The Peru initiative joins two similar ones in Brazil and Colombia. Together these three initiatives will permanently protect approximately 12% percent of the Amazon.
Protected areas in the Peruvian Amazon are critical to the health and strength of the country’s environment and economy. The forests within them, for example, have the potential to sequester nearly 50% of the estimated emissions from deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon. They also help boost the economy—mostly in the form of revenue from tourists who come to see Amazonian wildlife. Job opportunities, too, are greater for the people living in or adjacent to Peru’s protected areas than those living in natural resource-rich areas that are not protected.
Well-managed protected areas help ensure these benefits and many more can be realized now and well into the future.