A Life Plan in Yomibato, the most remote community in Manu National Park
The Life Plan for the Matsigenka community of Yomibato was officially handed over to the community on March this year. The plan summarizes commitments formulated by the Matsigenka community members themselves for the next five years.
April 27, 2017. Yomibato is a step forward. Matsigenka members of the community inside Manu National Park (PN) have jointly elaborated their Life Plan, where mid-term goals with regard to health, education, tourism, handicraft and natural resource management.
It is a flexible, living document that evolves in accordance with the communities. It serves as a Road Map setting the tone for improving the community from its very conception and understanding of welfare. It seeks to offer solutions to a number of issues, the main being healthcare, education and pressure on limited resources.
It all started on March 2016. The Frankfurt Zoological Society Perú (FZS Perú), Manu NP and CARE Perú have joined forces to facilitate the process by producing a work plan in various phases. Eight participatory workshops in the Matsigenka language have taken place, where agreements were made as participants expressed their needs.
Activities were identified and prioritized in the following thematic axes: education, health, hunting, fishing, handicraft and tourism.
The community will be better organized come 2021. An expansion of infrastructure and equipment in preschools, primary schools, secondary schools as well as in the health center is being proposed.
For José Luis Vicente, a resident of Yomibato, the Life Plan is an improvement opportunity for his community and family. “Our children will be able to finish their studies now with all the new facilities at their disposal. I’d love me son to be a professor and to come to work in our community.”
Yomibato is also committed to manage its resources sustainably by establishing and following hunting and fishing rules to secure the future of its children. They know that it is the environment that provides them with food and the fact that they live in a protected area gives them more security.
Yomibato community member Paulina Coshante confirms this: “We probably would have already been invaded for the wood or maybe the animals would have already been exterminated if it wasn´t for the surveillance posts. We have something to hunt and eat thanks to the park.”
The next step will be implementing the Life Plan. Launching and following up on activities and commitments will be decisive in obtaining results that contribute to the wellbeing of the community and of one of the most diverse national parks worldwide.
The production of this document was a part of the ProBosque Manu Project promoted by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.
Located inside Manu NP, Yomibato houses 53 families today. They use the resources the forest provides and engage in traditional practices such as hunting (with bow and arrow), fishing, agriculture and fruit gathering to survive.
Population grew from 187 residents in 2000 to more than 307 in 2017. According to data provided by the health center, this is due to an increase in the birth rate, which rose to 55.17% in 2014, and a decrease in the infant mortality rate.
Moreover, migration of groups of people in initial contact from the headwaters of the Fierro, Cumerjali and Sotileja rivers has also had an effect on population growth. Some of the townspeople are now related to the Yomibato families, whom they visit on a regular basis.