In a nutshell
The Pichanaki Model Forest is a nonprofit association and social platform designed to promote the sustainable management of natural resources. Our main objective is to ensure biodiversity conservation and the environmental, social, economic and cultural sustainability of ecosystems and communities involved in the Pichanaki district territory. The Model Forest approach promotes active stakeholder participation in dialogue and consensus building around natural resource management.
Pichanaki is a multicultural territory, where participation from the Ashnika native communities is considered relevant because of their ancestral worldview and knowledge of natural resource management. The Pichanaki Model Forest approach considers micro watersheds as territorial management units to develop activities, projects and programs.
The main challenges faced by the Pichanaki Model Forest territory are related to land use change, water and soil pollution, unsustainable extractive activities, and low levels of environmental education.
The Pichanaki district is located in the central Peruvian rainforest (Selva Central), Chanchamayo province, Department of Junín. It has an area of 124,770.5 ha, diverse in both life zones and ecosystems. The landscape is comprised of mountain and pre-mountain forests; 34% of the area lays within the Pui Pui and the San Matias and San Carlos protection and buffer zones, located at the southernmost and northernmost areas of the Pichanaki territory.
The valley is found in the midst of the protection zones, between 550 and 3500 masl. It has rich soils, with agriculture as the main economic activity, with coffee and citrus production, in particular. The expansion of these activities has caused land use changes and deforestation in the region, at a rate of 700 hectares per year, with the consequent loss of ecosystem services provided by forests. In the Model Forest area, only 48% of the forests remain.
The Pichanaki Model Forest landscape is home to a multicultural population, comprised of immigrants from other areas of Peru, descendants from pre-Incaic cultures, and autochthonous populations such as the Ashaninka, distributed among 17 communities occupying 10.4% of the Model Forest territory.
The Pichanaki Model Forest operates under two important aspects:
- As a process
Inserted in the Pichanaki district management and established in the vision of the Concerted 2025 Development Plan, the official territorial management document. In addition, municipal resolution 252-2018-MDP recognizes the governance structure in the territory, as well as the members of the 28 Watershed Management Committees.
- As an institution
The Pichanaki Model Forest has been constituted as an association with legal entity. As such, it promotes the Pichanaki Model Forest process by executing projects and programs in accordance with its Strategic Lines.
- To incide on, promote, and facilitate territorial land use planning, in agreement with land use capacity, for the sustainable use of natural resources and biological diversity, the preservation of natural and cultural patrimony, and the health and wellbeing of Pichanaki Model Forest inhabitants.
- To establish compensation and retribution mechanisms for conservation, restoration, and sustainable use actions to ensure ecosystem permanence.
- To reduce carbon emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation, promoting ecosystem restoration through reforestation, establishing new forests, forest conservation, and sustainable management as measures to abate and adapt to climate change.
- To position ecotourism as a sustainable economic activity, consolidating the Pichanaki Model Forest area as The Central Peruvian Rainforest Tourist Destination.
- To generate a change of attitude and adapt Model Forest principles to build consensus around natural resource management.
Key actions in place to reach these goals:
- Securing effective and participatory governance;
- Promoting local authority participation;
- Encouraging a change of attitude towards sustainable development.
- Persuading the local government to get involved in the process;
- Opening spaces for dialogue and establishing a governance platform in articulation with local municipal steering of the Pichanaki district;
- The Latin-American Model Forest Network Gender Equality and Equity Strategy was elaborated following a participatory methodology and has been validated at the Pichanaki Model Forest. We expect this strategy will contribute to institutionalize the gender approach in the LAMFN and on each Model Forest in the world.
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