Slow progress on conservation

22 July 2018

The regional government of Cusco and ACCA, the Asociación de Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica, initiated a plan for a regional conservation area known as Ausangate in 2008. But only in August of this year will it be presented to the National Government for approval - helped we assume by the fact that it includes the controversial Rainbow Mountain. The area now proposed covers 810 square kilometers, and is aimed at important conservation issues. The area is crucial for the conservation of vicuñas and other animals, and many plants. It also includes the glacier known as the Quelccaya Ice Cap, retreating at 60 metres a year, having lost 25% of its area in the last 50 years.

The length of time it has taken for the proposal even to surface for decision illustrates vividly the difficult political economy of conservation. The proposal was initially delayed by the fact that the issue was simply not a priority in the regional government, and by heavy bureaucracy. When the required process of prior consultation was finally launched in 2017, many diverse issues and distrust made the process hard. There was much distrust: a lawyer working with the directorate of Prior Consultation, Emerson Alata, says that people who had received their land under the agrarian reform in the 1970s and 1980s still feared that landowners would come and take back the land (interview cited by Mongabay). There was fear too that the tourist income some are now receiving from the Rainbow Mountain would now be managed by the regional government. The original proposal included 14 centres of population: by the time of the consulta previa, only nine were still included. Eventually, only two have agreed to be part of the conservation area. The area in question has been reduced from the original 1300 square kilometers to just 810 square kilometers.

All news

  • PSG Aims

    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

  • Historical Overview

    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

  • Human Rights

    Human rights violations were widespread during the twenty years after the initiation of armed conflict in 1980. Efforts to convict perpetrators since the war's end have made only limited progress. Today, concerns remain over the treatment of those engaged in social protest, particularly against strategically important investment projects.

  • Why join the PSG?

    • Keep up to date with latest news and developments in Peru
    • Learn about key issues of poverty, development and human rights in Peru
    • Support the work of the Peru Support Group

    Become a member