By maintaining a strong relationship with the Peruvian government, Center of Development for the Amazon’s Indigenous People (CEDIA) has protected more than 15 million acres of Amazon rainforest—amassing a size larger than four Yellowstone Parks.
The organization works to provide legal defenses for native tribes in cases concerning traditional property rights and natural resource management. In these cases, indigenous lands have been saved from resource extraction and exploitation. CEDIA remains a leader in protecting large tracts of the Peruvian Amazon due to their success in creating community land titles, national parks, and indigenous reserves.
In their portfolio of conservation initiatives, CEDIA aims for the protection of the white sands forests. White sands forests are rare—so rare, in fact, that they cover only one percent of the Peruvian Amazon. Located between the Blanco and Tapiche Rivers in Northeastern Peru, these forests carry high biodiversity and some of the highest carbon stock in the country. The team at CEDIA is working to provide the proper legal conditions that will contribute to the area’s long-term stability, as these forests represent the greatest extension of this fragile ecosystem under protection in Peru.
Currently there are timber concession contracts in this area; protection will only be achieved by canceling these concessions and changing the federal designation of this land. If they succeed, CEDIA will create a new national-level protected area for the white sands forests with the collaboration of local indigenous groups.
Center of Development for the Amazon's Indigenous People
Safeguarding fragile resources
—Corine Vriesendorp, Conservation Ecologist, The Field Museum
“Both the national and regional governments of Peru have identified Tapiche-Blanco as a priority. This mostly reflects the white-sand forests in the region—the forests along either side of the Blanco River are the greatest expanse of white-sand forest in Peru."