Peru’s northern mangrove corridor


Ecotourism in the Northwest–Amotapes–Manglares Biosphere Reserve has helped increase public awareness of the importance of mangroves and raise incomes for local communities. Photo: ITTO–MDA project

Peru’s Northwest–Amotapes–Manglares Biosphere Reserve provides important resources and ecosystem services for around 130 000 inhabitants living in coastal areas of Piura Province. It is under threat, however, from unsustainable practices and a lack of sufficient resources to support its conservation.

An ITTO project helped develop a strategy for conserving and sustainably using mangroves in the area. Among other things, it enabled an expansion of the reserve (from 231 000 ha to 961 000 ha) to include the Tumbes National Mangrove Sanctuary; the creation of three new mangrove protected areas in collaboration with local governments and civil society, with a total area of 3804 hectares; the updating of environmental policies in five local governments, in which mangrove conservation has been prioritized; and the leveraging of USD 160 000 of public resources to support smallholder supply chains.

More than 50 families were trained in the sustainable use of mangroves, enabling the sustainable production of shrimp, black shells and fish while reducing pressure in the wider mangrove area. Training in ecotourism has helped in establishing local tourism-based companies that generate income and provide local livelihoods.

The project demonstrated that mangrove conservation and production can be complementary when production systems respect ecological limits.