It’s official. Protecting primates in Peru is part of the agenda.

The Governor of Amazonas, Oscar Altamirano, approved the regional action plan for the conservation of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey and Andean night monkey. The regional action plan is the first regional tool in Peru that explicitly states the commitments and actions that over 30 stakeholders must take to ensure the conservation of these species in the next 5 years.

This plan has been a culmination of a coordinated effort between the government and the private sector,  that was led by the Regional Government of Amazonas, and included the key support of the National Forest Service of Peru, the National Ministry of the Environment, the National Park Service, along with Rainforest Partnership and Yunkawasi. Fanny Cornejo, our Peru Country Director, was particularly instrumental in facilitating this plan and advocating for its approval. 

Protecting Primates in Peru
Fanny Cornejo with Governor Altamirano holding yellow-tailed woolly monkey dolls

Why is this significant?

Over the past few decades, rainforest in Peru has been dwindling. Industrial expansion, human encroachment, climate change, and illegal activity have all contributed to large-scale habitat loss. This has severely impacted several species of primates, such as the yellow-tailed woolly monkey and the Andean night monkey. 

The yellow-tailed woolly monkey is a critically endangered primate endemic to the tropical Andes in Peru. For many years, researchers believed the species had gone extinct until it was rediscovered in 1974. Due to political and social pressures in Peru, the species was pushed into the shadow of the field of conservation for about twenty years. This work was strengthened in the 2000s by several organizations and individuals, including our own Fanny Cornejo.

Protecting Primates in Peru
Yellow-tailed woolly monkey

The Andean night monkey, a nocturnal species that lives primarily in cloud forests, is endangered and threatened by development, agriculture, and hunting. Not only is the population size decreasing rapidly but, like the yellow-tailed woolly monkey, the primate has not been sufficiently researched.

Protecting Primates in Peru
Five Andean night monkeys, photo from The Guardian

The approval of the regional action plan gives us an opportunity to protect these endangered monkeys and take steps toward larger-scale conservation.

A word with the Regional Governor of Amazonas

Our founder and CEO, Niyanta Spelman, interviewed the Governor of Amazonas at the COP in December regarding Amazonas and biodiversity. In the interview, Governor Altamirano said, “We are the lungs of the world. Our region is where the Amazon river is born, from the tributaries of the Marañon River. We are very proud of this and we want, today, agreements and conclusions that maintain the richness of our region.”

The Governor is speaking particularly about the Andean Highlands, a region rich in flora and fauna, as well as indigenous sites. 

A word with the Regional Governor of Amazonas
Governor Altamirano with Niyanta Spelman, founder and CEO of RP

He goes on to say: “what we really want is protection of the natural forests. Our resources are still not protected, and deforestation as a secure balance is a lie.” 

Governor Altamirano is disappointed by the lack of concrete action that has been taken to protect the natural forests. He claims that there are projects in place to protect the environment, but few are being properly implemented. 

He is happy to work with organizations, like Rainforest Partnership, that support the protection of rainforests and understand that “water is life” and “natural resources are life”. 

Our growing partnership with the regional government of Amazonas in tandem with a newly established action plan paves the way for conservation efforts that can make a huge difference for primates and the whole of the rainforest.

*Governor Altamirano’s quotes have been translated from Spanish*

Outside sources:

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