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Peru Approves Establishment Of 2.7 Million-Acre Rainforest Reserve For Indigenous People

Mark Andrew

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  • Peru’s Ministry of Culture has officially announced the establishment of the Yavarí Tapiche Indigenous Reserve.
  • Advocacy groups have labeled it a “huge win” as the first proposal has been around since 2004.
  • Meanwhile, the ministry has called it as a “historic milestone in the protection of the rights of Indigenous peoples.”

After “18 years of red tape”, the government of Peru finally went ahead and announced that they are going to establish a reserve for indigenous people.

The Yavarí Tapiche Indigenous Reserve will span 2.7 million acres in the AmazonRainforest. According to Mongabay News, indigenous tribes will be given the reserve which will be the first established reserve under the Peoples In Isolation and Initial Contact (PIACI) law in Peru.

Naturally, the news has been well received among advocacy groups.

In fact, Survival International described it in a tweet as a “huge win for #UncontactedTribes in Peru.

The Ministry of Culture has declared:

“It constitutes a historic milestone in the protection of the rights of Indigenous peoples in a situation of isolation and initial contact.”

The Yavari Tapiche application was initially submitted back in 2004 and it has since faced numerous obstacles.

“In 2013, Yavarí Tapiche obtained a favorable rating from the state, but received opposition from oil companies operating in that territory and there was a setback. They had to press hard for the Ministry of Culture to move forward,” pointed out Aidesep anthropologist Beatriz Huertas.

The reserve establishment is definitely “a great step but…”

Meanwhile, Angela Arriola, an Indigenous peoples policies specialist, said in a media interview:

“The creation of Yavarí Tapiche is a great advance. However, the rest of the tools must be implemented as soon as possible to ensure their protection. It is a great step, a great advance, but management measures need to be implemented, only categorization is not a guarantee of protection.”

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