Avireri-Vraem Recognized by UNESCO as Peru’s 7th Biosphere Reserve

With an extension of more than 4 million hectares in the regions of Junin and Cusco, Avireri-Vraem was recognized yesterday as the seventh Biosphere Reserve of Peru, as announced by UNESCO during the XXXIII International Coordinating Council (ICC) of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program of this world organization.

With its recognition, it seeks to promote the sustainable use and conservation of natural resources to improve the quality of life of its more than 450,000 inhabitants and safeguard their ecosystem services in an integrated manner in the provinces of Satipo and La Convención, thus uniting 16 municipalities in pursuit of sustainable development in harmony with environmental conservation. It also allows Peru to have a belt of biosphere reserves (from Pasco to Manu).

In Peru, the National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (Sernanp), an agency attached to the Ministry of the Environment (Minam), is the focal point of the MAB Program.

This biosphere reserve has three zones: the core zone, made up of Otishi National Park, Megantoni National Sanctuary, and Machiguenga and Ashaninka Communal Reserves; the buffer zone, where activities compatible with biodiversity conservation can be carried out; and the transition zone, where productive and urban activities take place.

Inside the reserve there are 115 species of fauna that are under some category of threat, in addition to 257 species of endemic fauna (unique to this zone) and 307 species of flora. In addition, 305 indigenous communities belonging to the Ashaninka, Matsiguenga, Nomatsiguenga, Kakinte, Yine, and Quichua ethnic groups have been identified in the area, as well as peasant communities and settlers, who are dedicated to different activities such as coffee, cacao, banana, orange, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, among others.

Peru has six other Biosphere Reserves: Huascarán (1977), Manu (1977-2017), Noroeste Amotape-Manglares (1977-2016), Oxapampa-Asháninka-Yanesha (2010), Gran Pajatén (2016) and Bosques de Neblina – Selva Central (2020), which added to Avireri-Vraem conserve more than 13 million hectares of national territory.

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