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Association ANDES: Conserving Indigenous Biocultural Heritage in Peru

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Argumedo, Alejandro; Stenner, Tammy
Date: 2008
Agency: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London
Series: Gatekeeper 137a
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/5898
Sector: Social Organization
Region: South America
Subject(s): NGOs
natural resources
sustainability
rural development
indigenous institutions
local governance and politics
Abstract: "The Association for Nature and Sustainable Development (ANDES) is an indigenous NGO that seeks to defend indigenous rights to genetic resources, traditional knowledge and landscape character in Peru. It was established in 1995 with volunteer staff and no funding, and has grown considerably over the years. It now works with 39 indigenous rural communities, many of whom live in conditions of poverty or extreme poverty. It has successfully bridged traditional Quechua principles with modern organisational models to assert indigenous rights to heritage in practical terms by establishing a new form of protected areas known as Indigenous Biocultural Heritage Areas (IBCHAs). These are locally and sustainably managed through community associations; form the basis for local enterprise (agricultural and cultural eco-tourism); involve and benefit marginalised groups; unite communities; encourage participation by and negotiation with indigenous people; and create a model for future protection and development. The Potato Park was the first IBCHA, and brings six Quechua communities together to protect a 12,000 hectare area as a micro centre of origin of the potato and other native Andean crops characteristic of Andean food systems. The approach also depends on close collaboration with formal and informal Quechua technicians in researching, training and developing adaptive management models for indigenous biocultural heritage – a 'project' rather than 'service' approach that works with local politics."

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