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Supporting Thriving Futures in the

Amazon Rainforest

In 2022, Legado launched its newest partnership, which brings together local communities in the Megantoni-Machiguenga Landscape in southeastern Peru: one of the world’s most critical regions for biocultural conservation and biodiversity.

Three important ecoregions come together in the Megantoni-Machiguenga: the Amazon rainforest, the Yungas on the steep, cloud-forested mountain slopes, and the high-elevation grasslands and shrublands in the Andes mountain range.
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Susana Binari and Maria Gonzalez sharing their traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in Koribeni, Peru | Legado

The region is home to endangered jaguars, spectacled bears, six types of macaws and tapirs among other important species, including deer, wooly spider monkeys, and thousands more.

Both the Megantoni National Sanctuary and the Machiguenga Communal Reserve (MCR) are included on the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas, and are part of the Avireri-Vraem Biosphere Reserve, which was recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2021.

The Megantoni-Machiguenga Landscape is also home to the Nahua, Kugapakori, Nanti Territorial Reserve. This area is reserved for sole use by Indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation or initial contact (PIACI in Spanish), and helps thereby preserve their rights over their ancestral lands.

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However, in recent years, the Indigenous people and local communities of the area have been threatened by increased deforestation. The destruction of their forests threatens water and soil quality and livelihoods tied to activities such as agroforestry, forest products, fishing, and hunting, as well as their way of life.
Salomon Pereira teaching Matsigenka traditional hunting practices to children in Monte Carmelo, Peru | Legado

Activating the power of legacy

Legado launched Futuros Vivos with the ECA Maeni and Peru’s National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP’s) Machiguenga Communal Reserve team. In April 2023, the collaboration grew to include the broader Megantoni-Machiguenga Landscape with the partnership of SERNANP’s Megantoni National Sanctuary (MNS).

Through the program, we are working with local community members as they articulate their legacies and their vision for the future. By taking an inclusive approach and centering those with traditionally underrepresented voices, such as women and youth, we are supporting the entire community to design and implement solutions of their choosing.

As demonstrated by our work in Kenya and Mozambique, when people work collectively together to create and enact a vision for their future, the result is Thriving Futures.

Stay tuned for updates on our work in the Megantoni-Machiguenga Landscape, as we we work with the Indigenous stewards of the region articulate their priorities for the future and set in motion actions designed to create Thriving Futures for themselves, their communities and the entire region in one of the most unique biocultural landscapes of the world.

Centering Women Leaders

Our Peru program team is 100% female, and a key part of our work in Peru is centering women’s voices. When women lead, they help entire communities overcome poverty, and lead the way to improve children’s health, climate resilience, and cultural preservation.*
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Ubaldina Korinti from Koribeni Matsigenka Indigenous community in Peru | Legado

*Learn more about how women’s leadership promotes transformative change from The Gates Foundation, BOMA Project (link 1- PDF) (link 2 - PDF) and CGIAR’s Gender Impact Platform 

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Khadija Lelesara, a Ngilai community member, is working toward her personal legacy goal of planting trees (photo: Roshni Lodhia/Legado)
"I was asked to be on a school committee but declined because I did not have the courage or confidence to serve as a leader. But after the Thriving Futures training, I reconsidered and am now a committee member making decisions for the school."
Khadija Lelesara, Ngilai, Kenya

Meet Our Partners

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The Megantoni National Sanctuary Team of Peru’s National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP) 

The Megantoni National Sanctuary is located in the Echarati and Megantoni districts of the province of La Convención, in the department of Cusco. The team is composed of a director, technicians, park guards, and volunteer park guards whose main objective is to conserve, with an intangible character, the ecosystems that develop in the mountains of Megantoni and the protection of Indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation or initial contact that live in the area.

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The Machiguenga Communal Reserve Team of Peru’s National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP)

The Machiguenga Communal Reserve is located in the Echarati and Megantoni districts of the province of La Convención, in the department of Cusco.  The team is made up by a director, technicians, park guards, and volunteer park guards that together with the ECA Maeni co-manage the protected area respecting the knowledge, innovations, and conservation practices of Indigenous communities with the aim of guaranteeing the conservation of biological diversity, for the benefit of the neighboring Asháninkas, Matsigenkas, Yine Yami, and Kakinte communities. Some joint activities include coordination with neighboring communities to carry out activities including natural resource management, environmental education, small scale agriculture, and patrolling of the area.

ECA Maeni

The ECA Maeni is the Indigenous co-management entity of the Machiguenga Communal Reserve. It is a non-profit association which focuses on the co-management of the Machiguenga Communal Reserve involving local participation in the administration, management, and conservation of the reserve. Established in 2006, the ECA Maeni works to strengthen local capacities in management and sustainable use of natural resources, the development of economic activities compatible with conservation, and improving the quality of life of its member communities. The ECA is comprised of 15 communities (14 of which are Indigenous communities) that are located in the buffer zone of the Machiguenga Communal Reserve, representing Asháninkas, Matsigenkas, Yine Yami, and Kakinte Indigenous groups.

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The Ngilai Community Conservancy (Ngilai Conservation Project) is a Northern Kenyan organization run by a board of 15 democratically elected members by the community every three years through community assembly as guided by Community Land Act of 2016. The conservancy works across wildlife conservation, rangelands management and community development.
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Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) is a membership organization owned and led by the 43 community conservancies it serves in northern and coastal Kenya. NRT was established in 2004 as a shared resource to help build and develop community conservancies, which are best positioned to enhance people’s lives, build peace, and conserve the natural environment. NRT is tasked by community leaders to support indigenous communities in their own objectives to cooperatively develop locally-led governance structures that complement traditional, indigenous systems, run peace and security programmes, take the lead in natural environment management, and manage sustainable businesses linked to conservation.
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In addition, we partner with San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance -Peru for operations support for Futuros Vivos: Megantoni-Machiguenga.