Nearly 500,000 acres permanently protected in Peru as the Boshumi Regional Conservation Area

Photo credits: Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental

There was exciting conservation news over the past week out of Peru, where Wyss Campaign for Nature partners announced the creation and protection of a Regional Conservation Area in the Peruvian region of San Martín. The Bosques de Shunte y Mishollo – also known as Boshumi – will permanently protect 472,973 acres of critical habitat in North-Central Peru.

The Boshumi Regional Conservation Area adds to the 6.2 million acre Gran Pajatén Biosphere Reserve, providing a critical conservation corridor between adjacent parks and protected areas. The newly established conservation area is important not just for its ecological significance – the area does contain numerous vulnerable and critically threatened species, including the yellow-tailed woolly monkey and the spectacled bear – but also because it protects critical water supplies for downstream communities.

More than 69,000 people rely on water that flows through the Boshumi Regional Conservation Area for both drinking water and agriculture. Protecting Boshumi will help to safeguard freshwater supplies from outside threats, including illegal mining, illegal logging, and road construction. What’s more, protecting the area will help to alleviate the impacts of droughts and flooding to downstream communities, both of which are becoming more common in the face of climate change.

The effort to permanently protect the Boshumi Regional Conservation Area was led by the Regional Government of San Martín with support from the national government and in partnership with the Andes Amazon Fund – a Wyss Campaign for Nature partner – alongside on-the-ground partners including Asociación Amazónicos por la Amazonia (AMPA), Naturaleza y Cultura Internacional (NCI), and Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental (SPDA).

The new protections won with the designation of the Boshumi Regional Conservation Area is, in part, the result of an $8.5 million grant from the Wyss Foundation to the Andes Amazon Fund to work with governments, local communities, and other stakeholders to permanently protect critically important, intact forests in the headwaters of the Amazon River basin. Ultimately, the grant will help secure protections for 5 million acres of land and water in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, and Guyana.

Greg Zimmerman