WASHINGTON, May 20th, 2010 — The World Bank’s (WB) Board of Executive Directors today granted US$8.89 million from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) to strengthen the preservation of biodiversity though the expansion and consolidation of protected areas for key ecosystems in Peru, to be carried out by the National Protected Areas Program (PNAP, in Spanish).
“The natural wealth contained within Peru’s ecosystems guarantees the sustainability and economic productivity of its beneficiaries. That wealth is of global importance because of the effect it has on other ecosystems around the world —stated Antonio Brack, Environment Minister—, that is why we welcome the World Bank’s support for the Peruvian State’s efforts to preserve its resources and natural habitats for the benefit of Peruvians.”
The project will also help implement the National State Protected Natural Areas System’s (SINAPE, in Spanish) financial strategy, through the identification of possible private sector organizations in Peru with the potential to participate in the management of protected areas and implement other mechanisms anticipated in the Protected Areas Law.
The project is also financed through US$8.22 million in grants from Germany’s KfW; US$3 million from the private sector; and US$0.59 million from the Peruvian government, and will also promote the sustainable use of biodiversity and local development through the allocation of benefits and usage agreements with local communities.
“This project offers communities a new form of direct participation in a global treasure. As well as promoting the creation of legal and institutional reforms to prevent the overexploitation of natural resources, which is mainly caused by current unsustainable production methods,” said Felipe Jaramillo, World Bank Director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.
Some of the Project’s main components are:
- Supporting the creation of norms, regulations and procedures for the efficient and integrated management of Peru’s national system of protected areas, through the design and implementation of a training and environmental awareness program for the population.
- Supporting the establishment and operation of alternative management models in selected ecological corridors destined to mitigate acute pressures on or threats to Protected Areas, and increasing the representativeness of ecosystems.
- Strengthening the capacity of PROFONANPE to guarantee the success of the project’s administrative, financial and technical management.
Potential corridors and their importance
Studies were made during the preparation phase to determine the location of ecological corridors. A total of nine corridors were preliminarily identified based on their importance in maintaining global ecosystems. The project will focus exclusively on interventions in four corridors. They were previously identified, as described below.
In the Northwestern region
I. Amazonian Corridor: It spans 1,453,446.59 hectares (3,591,544.74 ac) and covers Amazonas, Cajamarca and San Martín departments. Located within its borders are the Ucayali rainforests, the Eastern Cordillera Real mountain forests, the Marañón dry forests and the Peruvian Yungas. Some threatened species in this corridor include the yellow-tailed woolly monkey, the oilbird, the spectacled bear, the Andean cock-of-the-rock, and the long-whiskered owlet.
II. San Martín Corridor: This corridor spans 1,340,598.06 ha (3,312,689.95 ac). Species important for conservation include the North Andean deer, the jaguar and wooly spider monkeys. There are very large trees on the mountainsides, such as Ficus, the Brazilian rubber tree, cedars and some types of notable orchids.
III. Río Marañón Corridor: The proposed area is located above the Marañón river basin and spans 698,962.71 ha (1,727,174.47 ac). Fifty-five percent is comprised of Marañón dry forests, an ecoregion that hosts important bird species.
IV. Amotapes Corridor: It spans 454,190.56 ha (1,122,329.32 ac) in Piura and Tumbes departments, the preservation of the dry forest ecoregion in Piura and Tumbes, representing 100% of the corridor. With regards to the flora, some important species for conservation include: the cockspur coral tree, common lignum-vitae, algarrobo tree and palo santo. These species are threatened due to their intensive use as firewood, parquet flooring and handicrafts.
In the Southern region
I. Southern Corridor: The proposed corridor spans 2,107,596.65 ha (5,207,984.74 ac), covering three ecological regions: (a) the Sechura desert, (b) Central Andes (c) and the Central Andean punas. Its objective is to protect the flora and fauna and the ecological processes in a representative sample of dry puna in southern Peru.
II. Marine and Coastal Corridor. The Guano Islands, Islets and Capes National Reserve System. This reserve covers sixteen islands, islets and guano island groups, as well as eleven guano islands with land and a maritime surface of 125,550.97 ha (310,243.20 ac). Although the organic fertilizer system represented by guano (produced by sea birds and widely used in agriculture) and found in islands and capes (called guaneras in Spanish) has been officially protected by the Peruvian government since the beginning of the 20th century, management used to focus on extracting guano. Additional efforts are needed to guarantee the well-being of several marine bird species and their habitats, and to regulate fishing of species such as anchovetas, which are “currently under severe stress due to overfishing.”
This operation is linked to the strategy of environmental policy development loans, forming part of the technical cooperation programs and consultancy services offered by the World Bank to improve environmental protection systems.