LIMA – Peru has created the Sierra del Divisor National Park, one of the largest natural reserves of the world, comprising a gigantic Amazonian ecological corridor that also spans Brazil and Bolivia.
The park’s creation was presented Sunday by Peruvian President Ollanta Humala in a ceremony in the native community of Nuevo Saposoa in the Amazonian Ucayali region.
The 1.3 million hectares park will span parts of Loreto and Ucayali, located at Peru’s border with Brazil, and brings together “an extraordinary variety of endangered species, many of which do not exist in any other part of the world,” according to the international organization Avaaz.
Avaaz launched a global campaign and collected over 1.1 million signatures asking Peru’s government to create a national park.
The organization said the reserve will benefit 21 indigenous communities and 42 other settlements, in addition to 230,000 people who obtain food and water from the region.
Humala said this huge area is a part of the pledge made by Peru last year at the United Nations climate change conference COP20 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent and an expression of its commitment to nature and the environment.
The Peruvian Society for Environmental Law, or SPDA, applauded the decision and pointed out that there are indigenous populations in this region living in voluntary isolation and initial contact.
The SPDA had earlier warned that the region was at risk from logging and illegal mining, as well as drug trafficking, making it urgent for it to be deemed a special conservation area.
This new category will “improve protection of the territories in which operate” the indigenous people and conservationists, as national parks have management tools that afford them access to greater protection and funding sources, among other resources.
Sierra de Divisor, a jungle region covered with volcanic mountains, is one of the oldest geological regions of the Amazon and virtually untouched by man, according to the Peruvian state-run National Service of Natural Protected Areas.