History of the Reserve

Development of a New Biosphere Complex

In 2015, the Eco Ashaninka Association of Indian Communities requested the Government of the Junin Department, Peru, to form a commission to establish the Vilcabamba Biosphere Reserve (AVIVERI VRAEM, at present). This Indian community lives in the buffer zone of Otishi National Park and Ashaninka Municipal Nature Reserve. This formal enquiry is based on the reasonable necessity to supervise the territory to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of its resources.

In turn, to resolve this issue, the representatives of the Department of Natural Resources and Social Development requested technical and consulting support from the SERNANP department of the Ministry of Environment. So, on November 15, 2015 the annual congress of ECO-Ashaninka made a unanimous decision to support the process of creation and subsequent registration of the AVIRERI VRAEM Biosphere Reserve with the UNESCO MAB Commission.

map of the biosphere reserve

Recent meeting and discussion of the Biosphere Reserve issues

On the 25th of 2016, the senior managers of the Otishi National Park and Ashaninka Municipal Nature Reserve dicussed the request for the creation of a new biosphere reserve while having the meeting in Satipo. As a next step, the managing committee and the technical working group were formed with the participation of CODEVRAE, SERNANP, Municipal community Norbraem, Municipal Community of the Amazon, organizations of the native people, such as OARA, ECOAshaninka, EcoMaeni. There were the representatives of the Satipo Province and the La Convención Province as well.

Preparation and implementation of the new Project

Since then, a number of working meetings, coordination and social integration of the proposal have been held with various public and private institutions. As a result, in 2019, an agreement was signed between the Municipal Commonwealth of Norvraem and the Association for the Conservation of Natural Resources of Peru - ACRENAP (as a research organization with 20 years of practical experience in the field of the environment). This agreement was concluded to establish the Project and ensure the registration of the Biosphere Reserve AVIRERI VRAEM in UNESCO. In the same year, the provincial municipality of Satipo, a member of Norvraem, provided financial support for the preparation of the Project after ACRENAP had won the announced National Project Writing Contest. These developments were presented to the MAB Program Office at SERNANP, Lima, on March 3, 2020.

The Creation of the Reserve is getting closer.

Due to the quarantine caused by COVID-19, we faced many unexpected difficulties. Understanding the new principles of natural resource management has become a key issue. Based on a notarized agreement, the Consortium Biosphere Reserve AVIRERI VRAEM was established, with the participation of the Municipality of Satipo Province, the Municipality of La Convención Province, the Municipal Association Norvraem, the Municipal Community of Amazon, SERNANP of the Ministry of the Environment for the provinces of Satipo and La Convención, and the organizations of Ashaninka, Machiguenga River Apurimac-OARA, and the Association for the Conservation of Natural Resources of Peru- ACRENAP. Management functions have been transferred to ACRENAP as the lead organization for the management of environmental and social development programms and projects. As a result,on 3 June 2021, the annual workshop of the MAB Commission of UNESCO in Abuja, Nigeria, approved the registration of the Biosphere Reserve AVIVERI VRAEM as a member of the global network of biosphere reserves of UNESCO. This fact has made it possible to realize the dream of the population living in the vast and varied territory of central Peru.