The declaration of the Sierra del Divisor Reserve Zone represents an important step in that it consolidates the mosaic of protected areas that form part of the Sierra del Divisor/Serra do Divisor region spanning the Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon.
The establishment of the Reserve Zone is important because it will provide greater legal protection to the Isconahua indigenous group, who are in voluntary isolation in Peru. It also will support the development of integrated natural resource management on a landscape scale of areas surrounding the reserve, including those in Brazil.
Support for the management of this new area is part of the Sierra del Divisor/Serra do Divisor bi-national conservation project led by the Conservancy’s Amazon Conservation Program, together with local Brazilian and Peruvian partners and funded by the Moore Foundation.
The Sierra del Divisor/Serra do Divisor region encompasses nearly eight million hectares of Amazon rainforest and is recognized for its high cultural and biological diversity. A recent biological survey on the Peruvian side counted 18 primate species — the highest number of primates found in South America and perhaps in the world.
In addition, this area is home to at least 300 species of birds, many of which are endemic and rare. The region is composed of a variety of protected and indigenous areas on the Brazilian side, including the Serra do Divisor National Park. On the Peruvian side, the Reserve Zone represents the first formal protected area, along with a complex of private, public and indigenous lands.
The designation of the Reserve Zone represents several years of work on behalf of the Peruvian government, local communities, NGOs and scientists. After more biological and anthropological studies, the Reserve’s protected area category and use status will be defined. With the Sierra del Divisor Reserve Zone, Peru now has 60 natural protected areas (including 12 reserve zones), which total more than 51 million acres, almost 15 percent of its national territory.