Securing the future of Peru’s natural protected areas
The Peruvian Service for Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP) has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund and the Moore Foundation to launch an innovative PFP (Project for finance Permanence) initiative to deliver sustainable long-term financing for the effective management of Peru’s 77 protected Areas.
Each year, our protected areas and the local communities surrounding them are increasingly impacted by extreme poverty, large scale agriculture, and ever-increasing changes brought about by climate change that threaten species and local ways of life. In response to these threats, Peru is launching an ambitious initiative to sustainably, and permanently fund the effective management of these areas with the aim to benefit the local economy, provide important ecosystem services to the nation, and secure a better future for the world.
The Peruvian Natural protected areas host some of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world, from the Mangroves of the northern coast, to the Glaciers of Huascaran National park, down through Machupicchu and into the Amazon. The potential to share these incredible areas with the world have the potential to contribute to the sustainable long-term protection of these fragile ecosystems.
Although the Natural Landscapes and Biodiversity of Peru’s Protected Areas are truly one of a kind, this initiative takes an approach to conservation that focuses on the buy in and contribution of local communities to the protection of its area. By demonstrating the connections between a healthy economy and a healthy ecosystem through sustainable business development, and co-management strategies with indigenous communities the protected areas of Peru not only protect ecosystems, but promote a green economy, sustainable poverty alleviation, and respect for indigenous knowledge, land rights and culture. The initiative understands and takes seriously the contributions local communities can make to the protection of their biodiversity and will continue to push forward an ethical conservation strategy that highlights the interconnectivity of local populations and their ecosystems.
Risks to Peru’s natural resources are severe. Oceans are polluted, forests are degraded, and glaciers are receding.
Most notably, deforestation—especially in the protected areas of the Peruvian Amazon—is high. The Government of Peru estimated deforestation at 177,500 hectares in that region in 2014, the highest annual forest loss on record since 2009 (The number went down slightly, to 158,658 hectares the next year but still was one of the highest totals ever.) That is one of the reasons that the larger nine-country Amazon region was ranked by WWF in 2015 as one of the world’s top 11 deforestation fronts—regions expected to have more deforestation and forest degradation than anywhere else by 2030.10
Most of the deforestation is due to an increase in natural-resource dependent economic activity— without adequate policies in place to manage it—to meet the demands of a growing population. The activity is mainly in the form of illegal or unsustainable large scale agriculture (mostly palm oil, cacao and coca), small-scale agriculture (mainly for cattle ranching), and gold mining and logging—as well as the roads built through forests and mountain regions to access these operations. These drivers have a negative impact on all of the country’s natural resources, not just its forests.
Most of this deforestation is outside of protected areas but, nonetheless, puts pressure on protected areas — driving home the urgent need to ensure the protected areas are properly managed, and that SERNANP works with local communities to create allies that are invested in the protection of these areas.
Climate change also is a driver. It manifests itself in several ways, such as more forest fires and droughts, as well as receding glaciers, all which pose a threat to future food and water supplies. Climate change is expected to impact 16 percent of Peru’s gross domestic product and the economic activities of one-third of its population.
The “Project for Finance Permanence” model comes from the world of finance and has been adapted to meet the global challenges facing conservation and sustainable development. Its goal is simple, to provide capital in the form of an initial investment that supports the development and management of the organization for a 10-year period. During that time, the organization builds its capacity and develops alternative revenue streams that support long run stability and secure the biodiversity, ecosystem services, and sustainable economic development within the local economy.
PFP overview: Project finance for permanence brings concentrated organizational and financial resources to bear on large-scale, long-term conservation programs. By designing projects for permanent protection, creating strong organizations and interorganizational agreements, and using tested financial processes such as rigorous financial plans and a single closing, PFP builds a strong foundation for the permanence of ecologically important places.
The Peru Natural Legacy Initiative was developed upon the Peruvian National Service of Protected Area’s (SERNANP) realizing that its Protected Areas and its local staff were under severe pressure by external forces, and that the funding allocated to protected areas wasn’t sufficient to cover the costs necessary to implement efficient management of its areas. Due to the nature of many protected areas, costs to monitor species and patrol the area’s vast and untamed wilderness can be high, and often, local staff aren’t sufficiently equipped to implement these activities with the frequency that is required to secure conservation with the protected areas.
SERNANP initiated a long and arduous process to categorize each of their protected areas and the deficiencies they were facing in realizing the activities necessary to adequately protect them. From this process a deficit was calculated that was used to determine the financing necessary to bridge the budgetary gap in the next 10 years.
The initiative is still looking to reach our fundraising goal. We currently have raised 60% of the $70 million necessary to begin implementation.
If you would like to become part of this unique opportunity or would like to learn more let us know you’re interested by sending an inquiry to email@example.com