Power-sharing in an Amazon Community: Tuntanain Communal Reserve, Peru, 2016-2018
In 2012, Peru gave legal power to Indigenous communities to co-manage a protected natural area in their ancestral homeland, Tuntanain Communal Reserve. The policy aimed to enable the community to participate in conservation activities and benefit from sustainable economic development. Unfortunately, the reality on the ground did not meet the aspirations of the law. There was little engagement by the local population and inadequate resources provided by the state. Indigenous representation suffered from organizational and technical weaknesses.
In 2016, the United Nations Development Programme and the Peruvian Authority of Protected Natural Areas launched the capacity building component of the Ecosystems-based Adaptation program that increased local participation in managing the reserve. The effort included new incentive-based conservation agreements and a leadership school and eco-business diploma program. In 2018, the strengthened co-government structure was able to work through strategic alliances to leverage around US$1.5 million of national funds. The program’s efforts to empower Indigenous communities and overcome implementation challenges holds several lessons on sharing power and responsibilities between the national government and local citizens.
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