The Cordillera Azul National Park in Peru protects a vast and remote landscape of unique geological and biological features covering 1.6 million hectares of threatened forest.
Surrounding the protected park, local people live in over 560 communities that rely on the environment for their survival, including more than 30 indigenous communities and even some uncontacted people deep within the park of the national forest.
What are Quality of Life Plans?
Climate finance at our project in Cordillera Azul helps to improve livelihoods of local communities. One way this is achieved is through developing ‘Quality of Life Plans’ with selected communities. These plans take the form of a communal strategic management document that helps the community to build a sustainable future through identifying key areas for development on environmental, social, economic and cultural aspects.
Our project implementing partner, CIMA, works closely with villages to develop the plans based on community needs and then the communities implement the actions themselves, often with support from CIMA. The drafting of the plan takes one year in consultation with the community, from which the priorities are established. Every three years the priorities are updated, till after a 10-year period the communal vision is defined.
Currently, CIMA is working with 33 communities across the project to develop plans and aims to increase this number over the coming years. To date the total population of these 33 communities is over 20k with a total of more than 4,100 families. This means there is huge potential to make a vast difference with thousands of people through the development and implementation of the Quality of Life Plans.
Our support for the communities around Cordillera Azul is based on three main areas:
- Support for community efforts to achieve their priorities,
- Strengthening of community organisations so that they themselves successfully achieve their results and are sustainable,
- Technical strengthening of sustainable productive activities so that their economic activities are more productive, and therefore forests are conserved.
Case study of Quality of Life Plans in action
This case study comes from Padre Abad district, Ucayali department and from the Yamino indigenous community. Within this community there are approximately 32 families, 27 children, 83 women and 80 men in total. The Quality of Life Plans in this community were approved in August 2014 and the signatures of the ‘Azul Agreement’ were attained in 2018. Azul Agreements are conservation agreements signed with communities by CIMA in order to protect specific areas of community land.
The benefits that stem from these plans are many and cover a wide range of areas throughout the community. Some are economic, such as the strengthening of touristic activity with the creation of two community associations of tourism and crafts that to date already receive visitors. This is associated with a communal conservation initiative that protects more than 5,000ha of communal forest. Another achievement is the contribution to the family economy by indigenous women, only made possible through the Quality of Life Plans. Further economic achievements are the interest from public and private organisations in working with the community.
Other achievements include:
- Improvement of agricultural productivity with the establishment of cacao plots and the strengthening of the Association of Producers,
- Consolidation of timber forest activity in their communal forests
- Empowerment of male and female leaders,
- Improvement of the quality of life of the elderly through the construction of houses with “semi noble” material,
- TV Peru – the state-owned television channel – made an exclusive programme about the community.
Find out more about our Cordillera Azul project here.