Building a mosaic of protected areas in Peru

  • To provide support to private conservation areas in Peru the team members of SPDA´s Conservamos por Naturaleza have walked through the desert, cloud forests and highlands. SPDA

  • Abel Orlando Hoyos Salazar is one of nine brothers committed to conserving the forests from his childhood. After seeing the devastation from road development, he created Private Conservation Area Juningue, located in the province of Moyobamba, San Martin. SPDA

  • One of Hoyos' first projects was the construction of a permanent nursery where he grows native plants that are on the edge of his property. SPDA

  • Hoyos identifies with the forest and believes that sharing stories will instill in others respect for the land. SPDA

  • SPDA's Seed Funding Contest helps landowners and communities establish and manage private conservation areas and conservation or ecotourism concessions. Juningue Private Conservation Area won this contest and the Hoyos used the grant to build a "maloca", a learning center to provide basic information to visitors. SPDA

  • Dozens of varieties of ferns, cedars and medicinal plants, such as sangre de grado, coexist in Juningue with reptiles and mammals like the titi monkey, hair armadillo, and red-leg partridge. About 46 native species have been identified to the area. SPDA

Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental (SPDA) is a leading non-profit committed to incorporating the environmental component into Peru’s development strategies. The organization is comprised of experienced professionals specializing in environmental law with an emphasis on natural resources conservation. Operating across three decentralized offices in Loreto, Madre de Dios, and Amazonas regions, SPDA works in close collaboration with communities and regional and local authorities to ensure protected areas are effectively managed and financed for the future.

During the past decade, interest in conservation in Peru has exploded in terms of an expansion in the number of people and institutions wanting to take part in it. SPDA’s Initiative for Private and Community-based Conservation (now Conservamos por Naturaleza) played an instrumental role in creating and improving the legal and institutional framework that has boosted private land conservation in Peru through legal mechanisms such as Private Conservation Areas, Conservation Concessions, and Ecotourism Concessions. Currently, the 150+ land conservation initiatives under one of these mechanisms are conserving close to one and a half million hectares. Private Conservation Areas alone are conserving more than 250,000 hectares.

Promoting conservation through protected area creation remains the most important objective of SPDA. In the past 25 years, their conservation program has been instrumental in helping the Peruvian government design and implement better environmental guidelines to conserve and improve the management of protected areas. Because of the extensive regulatory framework developed by the government with the support of SPDA, the Peruvian Amazon now holds 82 new national and regional protected areas, and more than 150 other initiatives for private conservation.

SPDA believes that institutional guidelines are most effective when people are informed and engaged in their communities. By creating the online platform Conservamos por Naturaleza (, SPDA supports voluntary conservation initiatives and promotes partnerships that contribute to the care of the environment. Through its photos, videos, and stories, the website highlights people who leave a positive mark and lead by example, and connects these stories with urban dwellers and companies willing to collaborate.

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