Conservation and sustainable tourism in the Heath River basin, Bahuaja Sonene National Park
The Bahuaja Sonene National Park is located in the Madre de Dios region. This protected area contains an impressive diversity of flora, fauna and lavish natural landscapes that offer important opportunities for amicable interaction with the environment through sustainable tourism activities.
One of the principal attractions of this region is the Heath River Basin, considered one of the greatest eco-systemic indicators of biodiversity in the world.
The Heath River Basin is home to an important population of the Giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), a species considered en route to extinction. In the area we also work with the Yellow-spotted river turtle (Podocnemis unifilis), Marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomus) and Maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), among others.
Despite being officially protected by the state, the Bahuaja Sonene NP faces threats such as land invasion for agriculture, gold extraction, illegal logging, over-fishing and the rise of human migration to the region that increases demands and threats to the ecosystem.
The Heath Project
The “Conservation and Sustainable Tourism in the Heath River Basin” project proposes to strengthen management of the protected areas as a combined strategy for conservation activities such as monitoring, protection and management of natural resources, in addition to the introduction of ecotourism as a long-term, sustainable activity.
The general activities of the project include:
- Implementation of a monitoring program for endemic species that are most threatened in the Heath river sector
- Elaboration of a management plan for hydro-biological resources
- Activities on behalf of the development and coordination of sustainable tourism
- Training for park keepers, guides and native communities
- Campaign to diffuse information about the PNBS environmental values
The project will be carried out over the course of 2 years and will directly benefit the Bahuaja Sonene NP, in addition to indirectly benefiting the inhabitants of the Sonene communities.
As such, the project proposes collaborative management strategies that incorporate the experiences and know-how of both the PNBS and FZS personnel. In doing so, this initiatie seeks to increase operative capacity and effective management of the protected area of the Heath river sector.