Social participation contributions as a driver of innovation in the management of the Cordillera Azul National Park, Peru

Álvaro del Campo
Publié: 02 octobre 2017
Dernière modification: 02 octobre 2020
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The legal framework in Peru encourages the co-management of protected areas and the application of public-private partnership models, enabling the NGO Center for Conservation, Research and Management of Natural Areas (CIMA) to take over the management of the Cordillera Azul National Park (PNCAZ) in coordination with the Government. This association created an innovative management mechanism that channeled external funding sources for conservation, and implemented a participatory intervention model, working with local communities in the park’s buffer zone.


Amérique du Sud
Ampleur de la mise en œuvre
Zones humide (marécage, marais, tourbière)
Écosystèmes d'eau douce
Acteurs locaux
Atténuation du changement climatique
Fragmentation et la dégradtion de l'habitat
Gouvernance des Aires protégées et conservées
Moyens d'existence durables
Services écosystèmiques
Standards/ certification
Utilisations conflictuelles / impacts cumulatifs
Perte de l'écosystème
Développement d’infrastructure
Changements dans le contexte socio-culturel
Objectifs de développement durable
ODD 3 - Bonne santé et bien-être
ODD 6 - Eau propre et assainissement
ODD 11 - Villes et communautés durables
Objectifs d’Aichi
Objectif 1: Sensibilisation accrue de la biodiversité
Objectif 2: Valeurs de la biodiversité intégrées
Objectif 5: Perte d'habitat réduite de moitié ou diminuée
Objectif 11: Aires protégées et conservées


Parque Nacional Cordillera Azul, Perú
Afficher sur Planète protégée


There is an important national road along the western side of the protected area. Due to the generalized lack of territorial planning in Peru, this road has become a migration route that enables the constant advance of new human settlements in the buffer zone of the area.

Among the main challenges faced by the National Park, there’s the constant threat that comes from the park’s buffer zone due to the expansion of the agricultural frontier and human migration with unplanned settlements and land trafficking; overlap of ownership, lack of territorial organization, and the promotion of monocultures. Another challenge is working with over 350,000 inhabitants of communities adjacent to the park, in devising local agreements that support the park’s management. Facing these challenges requires a constant availability of technical and financial resources that support an area management model that is viable and part of a long-term strategic vision.


There are no human settlements inside the park, but there are signs of isolated indigenous communities. The buffer zone of the park has the presence of human activity due to its 520 populated centers and a total of 350,000 inhabitants.

Comment les blocs constitutifs interagissent-ils entre eux dans la solution?

Establishing a model of public-private governance for the administration of the PNCAZ between the National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SERNANP) and the NGO CIMA has enabled CIMA to channel the achievement of sustainable financing sources for the past 15 years. These resources have served to provide significant support to the management of the protected area and its buffer zone, through the application of a participatory conservation model.

By working under this model and generating innovative strategies and tools, CIMA has facilitated work alongside local communities in the buffer zone to generate a joint conservation and local development vision. Additionally, the articulation of management efforts has been promoted at various levels of government and authorities to support micro-zoning and land-use planning; the generation and improvement of guidelines and communal strategic planning has been facilitated; and the implementation of sustainable production initiatives and local conservation initiatives has been achieved.


  • Strengthened management: The public-private collaboration partnership helped to establish a consensus-based vision on the long-term, for an adaptive management of the PNCAZ, and to consolidate a financial sustainability mechanism and a participatory management model that strengthened the area´s management capacity.
  • Financial sustainability: The consolidation of a financial sustainability mechanism through negotiation of carbon credits in the international market allowed CIMA to garner a key financial partner: Althelia Climate Fund, with whom there is a contract signed until the year 2021. The goal is to receive funds annually in exchange for a predetermined number of carbon credits generated by the project as a result of the reduction of carbon emissions due to deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) of the PNCAZ.
  • Participatory conservation management: This management model combined with the development of innovative tools adapted to the local reality, enabled the implementation of quality of life plans with a 10-year span. In these plans, the communities acknowledge the importance of the area´s conservation for their development.
  • Trust of local actors: CIMA’s permanent work created a favorable and collaborative environment with local communities for the implementation of conservation activities. This translates into lessons learned that can be applied in other areas.



“We can see that the co-management mechanisms through the administration contract are providing added value to the protected areas. This synergy is key for the Cordillera Azul National Park because CIMA not only has the capacity for protected areas management but it has been able to implement innovative elements to achieve its management. One of these innovations is the development of mechanisms to ensure the area’s long-term financial sustainability. Another is becoming a coordinating agent that fosters the involvement of communities in the buffer zone, plus local and regional authorities. As a result, and despite all the threats looming over the Park, the effects of those threats have diminished. The Park currently has a zero deforestation rate, there is no presence of illicit activities inside the Park, and it is the protected area with the lowest socio-environmental conflict level in the National System.

Achieving this management model required a complete learning and adaptive management process to develop innovative tools within the demands of local and global dynamics. This development was well analyzed, properly planned, and goal oriented. From 2008, we were able to establish a long-term vision for the PNCA with the National Institute of Natural Resources (INRENA), which later became the SERNANP. We also worked in the buffer zone with the local communities under the model of Strengthening Local Capacities for Conservation (FOCAL),  articulating them with the local institutional actors.

Additionally, the development of the PNCA’s REDD+ project as a financing strategy, from the conception phase to the definition of the methodology to be applied to verify how the area avoids the emission of carbon, was a huge learning process. We opened the way at a national level for the development of a REDD+ initiative that works at a methodological level. Even afterwards, it was necessary to land from the REDD+ dream; we established a contract until 2021 with the Althelia Climate Fund as a financial partner, backed by the carbon credits generated by the REDD+ project. This allowed the carbon credits generated each year to transform into the financial support that funds the operations of the PNCAZ and other sustainable productive activities.”

Contribué par

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Patricia Fernández-Dávila CIMA

Autres contributeurs

Center for Conservation, Research and Management of Natural Areas –Cordillera Azul (CIMA)
Center for Conservation, Research and Management of Natural Areas –Cordillera Azul (CIMA)