A major plan to protect the Amazon Rainforest has come to fruition, as the new Sierra del Divisor National Park in Peru has been established to protect 3.3 million acres of wildlife and indigenous communities from destruction. The project was approved by Peruvian President Ollanta Humala.
The establishment of the Sierra del Divisor National Park represents the final aspect of the 67 million acre Andes-Amazon Conservation Corridor that protects a massive portion of the Amazon Rainforest. The new park sits next to the White Sands National Reserve, another protected area.
The new park is larger than the Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks combined. The entire conservation corridor is vital to protecting one of Earth’s final remaining areas known for expansive biodiversity and traditional indigenous communities.
Creating the park has required the work from many key organizations. Some of those responsible include the American non-profit group Rainforest Trust and the Peruvian Center for the Development of an Indigenous Amazon (CEDIA). Local indigenous communities and Peruvian government officials also helped in the cause.
CEO of Rainforest Trust Dr. Paul Salaman said, “The Sierra del Divisor is the final link in an immense protected area complex that extends for more than 1,100 miles from the banks of the Amazon in Brazil to the snowy peaks of the Peruvian Andes. After two decades of collaborating with CEDIA to protect indigenous territories and establish nature reserves, parks and sanctuaries throughout the Amazon of Peru, we have finally completed the centerpiece with the declaration of Sierra del Divisor National Park. This permanent conservation corridor is one of the greatest refuges for biodiversity on Earth.”
The establishment of the new park is also incredibly beneficial for the world as a whole. The area of the park is able to offset the amount of carbon equivalent to all of the vehicles in the United States. Needless to say, the protected area of the rain forest will play a massive part in protecting the Earth from future climate change.
The Sierra del Divisor National Park is home to an estimated 300 different species of fish and 3,500 species of plants, giving it incredible biodiversity. Additionally, the park is inhabited by endangered animal species, such as jaguars and tapirs. Indigenous tribes, such as the Iskonowa Tribe, will also be protected by the National Park.
Dr. Salaman added, “Protecting the Sierra del Divisor Mountain Range from illegal logging and mining is crucial for endangered wildlife, for indigenous peoples and for the world.”
Earlier this year, leaders from three different indigenous communities traveled to the Peruvian capital city of Lima to bring notice to the park. Their support was said to play a large role in getting the park established.
Director of CEDIA Lelis Rivera said, “Our project in the Sierra del Divisor builds on more than 30 years of experience of working with native communities and protected areas. The creation of this park would not have been possible without their strong support because communities know that their future depends on the local ecosystem’s health. The next step is to help provide them with the technical and legal tools to meet challenges on their native lands from extractive industries.”
Thanks to the hard work of both the environmental organizations and the native rainforest people, there has been finally some good news to come out of the rainforest. The new park should be able to help protect the rainforests for generations to come.