Loreto is the largest and most diverse region in Peru, with an area of 36,885,195.35 ha, which represents 28.7% of the national territory and 51% of the Peruvian Amazon.The region is home to extraordinary biological and cultural diversity, and it is also the department with the greatest forest cover in the country. Despite this, between 2001 and 2015 the region lost 341,845 hectares of forest according to national statistics. This places the region second, after the department of San Martin (with 382,058.00 hectares), for greatest forest loss in Peru during that time period. Data from the National Program for the Conservation of Forests and Climate Change Mitigation (PNBCC - MINAM), shows the trend of deforestation in Loreto is increasing, causing concern about the proper management of the region’s forests. To reverse this trend, the regional government has committed to develop strategies that are oriented towards the conservation of forests.
As part of these efforts, the Region has placed more than 13 million hectares of forests under some form of regional conservation, including Regional Conservation Areas, Conservation Concessions and Ecotourism,and conservation of headwaters of watersheds.
Through Regional Ordinance N ° 012-2015-GRL-CR, Loreto established the Regional Environmental Authority of Loreto (ARA LORETO) as a line agency dependent on the General Management of the Government Regional of Loreto. The ARA is the governing body responsible for defining policies, organizing, directing, controlling, monitoring, regulating and exercising functions in environmental matters, management and conservation of natural resources, promotion of environmental services and sustainable management of flora and fauna.The ARA operate with a territorial and ecosystem-centered approach.The ARA is led by a manager who oversee four Executive Directorates: the Executive Directorate of Environmental Management; the Executive Directorate of Conservation and Biological Diversity, the Executive Directorate of Forestry and Wildlife; and the Executive Directorate of Spatial Planning and Spatial Data.
The Executive Directorate of Conservation and Biological Diversity is the institution within Loreto’s ARA responsible for contributing to the sustainable development through the design and implementation of public policies, plans, programs, projects and strategies of management of the areas of regional conservation and the environmental services they provide, prioritizing their importance for the conservation and sustainable use of regional biological diversity.
Loreto has also prioritized the development and implementation of Regional Conservation Areas (ACRs for their acronym in Spanish) to address deforestation.The administration of the ACRs is framed by the guiding principles established in the Strategy for the Management of the Loreto ACRs, whichuses a co-management model to manage the biological, physical and social components of natural resources.It is through the principle ofCo-Management that synergies are established with the communities located in buffer zones of ACRs.Loreto recognizesthe important role of these communities in the conservation of the forests and natural resources of the ACRs and their communal territories. Currently in the Loreto Region there are four established Regional Conservation Areas, totaling an area of 2'199,885.09 hectares.
In the future, the challenge is to formulate and implement a holistic low-carbon development strategy that balances socioeconomic needs and forest conservation using a landscape approach.
Additional information can be found on the GCF Impact Platform.