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Leaders of Manu Biosphere Reserve visit Oxapampa

Manu Biosphere Reserve Coordinators visiting RBOAY
Representatives of Manu Biosphere Reserve and OAYBR shared experiences on the sustainable management of their territories.
Cusco, September 15, 2017.  While the Manu Biosphere Reserve (Manu BR) celebrates its 40th birthday as such this year, the cooperation with communities to promote conservation and sustainable development activities is recent. In 2016 working committees started to form in order to propose and promote production endeavors in various communities of the biosphere reserve.

These activities, promoted by the Frankfurt Zoological Society Peru (FZS Peru) and financed by German cooperation, began consolidating since Manu BR received its update on July 15, 2017. However, enabling a biosphere reserve to produce sustainable benefits for its inhabitants and to support the conservation of the national park is a long-term effort.

This is why, from August 25 to 27, representatives of Manu BR’s five districts were able to get to know first-hand a success story of another reserve: the Oxapampa-Asháninka-Yánesha Biosphere Reserve (OAYBR). Despite being one of the most recent biosphere reserves established in the country, the OAYBR has moved on to be a role model due to its achievements in coffee production.

The presidents of the committees for Manu BR coming from the districts of Challabamaba, Yanatile, Kosñipata, Fizcarrald and Manu visited the city of Oxapampa and discussed a number of topics with the OAYBR head offices. The formation of the coordinating committee, integral management and economic development, the role of the national park and the joint work with municipalities were the issues they tackled. 

Manu Biosphere Reserve Coordinators visiting RBOAY
The representatives of Manu Biosphere Reserve visited technified apicultural enterprises in OAYBR.

Establishing a biosphere reserve revolves around a protected area or national park, managed by the national authority, in the Peruvian case, SERNANP. For the Manu BR it was Manu National Park and for the OAYBR the Yanachaga Chemillén National park. Their respective head offices are involved in the process as well.

Yanachaga Chemillén National Park chief Salomé Antezano praised the efforts of partners involved and added that “in order for the biosphere reserve to be sustainable all must feel empowered and proud of being a part of the reserve, as they will be the decision makers”.

The participation of Adolfo Cuentas, former head of Manu NP and current representative of the Manu district, is also worth noting. Cuentas acknowledges that “when I was the head, there were some initiatives but lacked political decisions. Also there was no knowledge and interest on the part of the population and authorities. Now is a great chance to boost the development of our biosphere”.

The visit to the Alto Navarra honey producers´ association shed some light into its large-scale production model, product distribution and how producers gain access international support.

Fausto Amao of Kosñipata didn’t hide his admiration. “I am surprised by how they work with bees. I have some back home too but they die quick. Now I know what I was doing wrong”, he said. 

Oxapampa Ashaninka Yanesha Biosphere Reserve sharing experiences with Manu Biosphere Reserve coordinators
As part of the internship, visits to successful coffee farms on the OAYBR were scheduled.

During another visit to the coffee farms the representatives got to speak with the producers and learn about their experiences and progress made on the production and sale of their goods.

That same day, during the afternoon, the group visited Moali the coffee lab, where they witnessed a quality coffee production system and how it adds value to the product.

Serapio Bravo, representative of Yanatile, declared enthusiastically: “It’s very interesting how they tackle coffee production, there is a whole system operating here. I believe the coffee we grow in Yanatile has great potential. I would also like my coffee to win prizes as well.”

Other visits such as the dairy products plant and the sugar cane processing plant, as well as some other touristic attractions like the Catarata del Tigre (Tiger’s Waterfall) and the Tunki Cave underlined the fundamental importance that ecosystem service management has when shaping a successful biosphere reserve.

The trip was possible thanks to ProBosque Manu Project implemented by the FZS Peru in cooperation with SERNANP, which is supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).