When a child and walking in the jungle by myself, my biggest fears were to encounter any large or dangerous animals. I used to walk at least 8 kilometers from my village – Patria (I been attending school there) to my parent’s farm fields through an abrupt rainforest yet. Long paths thinking about snakes, jaguars, and even the ghost of the rainforest. An introspection and looking back over that time would be that wildlife terrified me at once.
In fact, this post is related to explaining how dynamic the activities at the Kosñipata valley turn out to be, I will address an issue that has a greater implication that entails a greater concern for the consequences even ancestral land status. Native communities are starting to feel pressure from their neighbors, from the exploitation of the rainforest. The parks and reserves, their integrity it’s also under threat.
|Patria Village – Kosñipata – Manu Biosphere Reserve
Nowadays things have turned all the way around, we are fiercely protecting them and the rainforest itself. Efforts taking place in the same area but at different times and conditions. I never expect how critical it was to preserve the rainforest.
The BBC documentary “I bought a rainforest” it’s a great reference for the complexity of preserving the rainforest at critical locations and their social implications.
Managing a self-supported ecological reserve, I have dealt several times with loggers, Coca leaves growers. I try to master that issue, just a couple of days ago, I found the skeleton of Jaguarondi along the Guadalupe River, I wish to have seen it alive, I never saw it before even going to the remoteness of the Manu National Park and Tambopata as a guide.
|Coca Plantation at kosñipata valley
|Illegal Loggin at kosñipata valley
|A jaguarundi skeleton at Guadalupe river
Nowadays I am a part-time resident at the Kosñipata valley and likely syntonize with the facts of how dynamics things are happening, witnessing all these unwanted cycles. True been told what terrifies me more is the nonstop coca leaf plantations
. I am witnessing rainforest destruction every day on a greater scale than in the last decades.
The kosñipata district regulations do not help the conservation side, all attention and focus go to what generates the cash flow which unfortunately appears to come from cocaine production
. I grew up have seen poverty over here, but I think more coca plantations
are not going to be the solution at all, the local economy almost controlled by foreign groups, when police insertions come to the area, their mission appears to accomplished just by arresting local farmers.
As far as we know these groups were persecuted in other regions and established over here which is a fertile land for their operations
. Critical consequences have arisen already and irreversible damage to the environment and hatching other social problems for the short term looks like the other version of the catastrophic rainforest destruction caused by the illegal mining at Tambopata – Madre De Dios.
This perception is fed and influenced by politically groups aligned on populism, Politicians have spotted conservation with the equivalent of not related to progress, not beneficial at all, which is a fallacy, blaming against conservation during their battle on their political campaigns, seems that is always late when people notice that they are ruled by someone who has not to cause to hate something.
Some people state that conservation is only a privileged for rich people, you look dam if you do conservation being poor, this perception is literally influenced by their local leaders, as being said by the major of Kosñipata District, explicit on his own words “the governments are only going to support the mass, doesn’t make any sense to support the minority which is tourism and conservation” it’s true we are a minority for now but I am sure not for long.
|Coca plantations boom at Kosñipata valley
Standing up for conservation appears it’s hard over these latitudes, literally look like paddling against the current or boarding a kamikaze mission, it’s sad that the conservation task must even face the tyranny of local governments, the ignorance and hidden interest are causing serious straggle to the rainforest at the kosñipata valley. Authorities do not understand about any balance; rainforest should provide almost everything at any cost. Tourism and conservation remain a very misunderstood issue for certain societies and groups due to misleading leadership.
Unfortunately, this is lived in the XXI century when it has already been proven successful models of ecotourism, beneficing entire nations, community populations that know about these differences and advantages. Political groups prefer to please dark activities that will have fatal consequences at the kosñipata valley.
The understanding of the conservation issues at the kosñipata valleys it’s a journey that has a very bitter taste. Its true conservation cannot be achieved in isolation, but when you feel alone you take the pencil fear of failure without losing the hope of being heard. Every time I have the opportunity to go visit my parents in the Kosñipata, I feel like an intruder, I have camouflaged myself in a place where I grow up.
The proliferation and invasions of communal territories of indigenous people as it has recently been raised at the Queros Native Community at the kosñipata Valley needs the empowerment to fight against the land invasion.
|Queros Native Community
Ecotourism and Conservation must be the silent war confronting the cocaine industry and other illegal activities. Involving more people and communities in the search for better understanding and value for the rainforest and the hope of ideal leadership must be the key to overcome this inconvenient situation.
The kosñipata valley is a component of the Manu Biosphere Reserve
which one of the most biodiverse spots in the world according to the Frankfurt Zoological Society – Peru, currently assisting in a project for ecotourism
in the area have revealed that Kosñipata valley has ideal components and potential to develop Ecotourism, landscapes, wildlife and vegetation and its proximity to the Cusco city, which is the epicenter of tourism in Peru. The critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
has listed in 2015 as one Tropical Andes Biodiversity Hotspot
Written by : Hebert Zuñiga