Chapter

Ethnoprimatology

Part of the series Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects pp 215-231

Date:

Government and Community Based Primate Conservation Initiatives in Peru

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Abstract

Both governmental agencies and local communities in Peru initiate actions directly affecting primate conservation. Governmental initiatives include the creation of protected areas, anti-wildlife traffic campaigns, laws, and law enforcement. Local community initiatives include formal and informal land protection and internal hunting and deforestation controls. There are limitations inherent in both types of initiatives, which compromise their efficiency. Government agencies often suffer from a lack of specialized personnel and resources, corruption, limited communication with the public, and an often contradictory and inadequate legal framework. Community initiatives suffer from lack of access to support from outside institutions. They also lack the economic resources needed to defend lands against invaders or to fund extensive bureaucratic processes in registering protected areas. In both, devoted individuals play a crucial role in turning conservation agendas into action. Communal leaders proposing conservation initiatives sacrifice personal time, money, and often risk their social status. Suspicion, condemnation, and even physical aggression and murder are constant threats. Individuals within state authorities that act against environmental crimes are frequently exposed to pressures from within or outside their own institution and are also subject to threats and personal lawsuits. Although these committed individuals are a small minority, and in most cases do not last long in their positions, the issue is of extreme importance, as they are the ones who often make a noticeable difference on the ground.

Keywords

Community conservation Law enforcement Wildlife traffic Local participation Protected areas Tropical Andes