The ProPachitea Program of the Instituto del Bien Común (IBC) aims at the sustainable management of the Pachitea River Basin, an Andean-Amazonian landscape of great historical, cultural and biological importance. This landscape stretches over 29,000 km2, encompassing the provinces of Oxapampa (Pasco) and Puerto Inca (Huánuco).
The program’s multidisciplinary team has been working on two key aspects of sustainable watershed management: the sustainable use of resources and the strengthening of environmental management institutions. In line with its participatory approach, it promotes the involvement of local populations and organizations in processes aimed at the adoption of rules and agreements focusing on conservation, the monitoring and use of land, forests, and natural resources. This also entails their active participation and contribution towards the consolidation and transformation of environmental governance institutions. ProPachitea works closely with civil society, regional and municipal authorities, and the public and private sectors present in the basin. IBC is an active member of the Municipal Environmental Commissions (CAMs) and participates in various committees involved in protected areas management. The Program is a member of the steering group of the Oxapampa-Puerto Inca Municipal Commonwealth and the Technical Team supporting the Oxapampa Asháninka Yánesha Biosphere Reserve (BIOAY).
Water, forest and fisheries
ProPachitea works towards the sustainable management of forests, water and fisheries, seeking to mitigate the threats that weigh on these three common goods that are key to the health of the basin’s ecosystems and the well-being of the local population. It has developed extensive research focused on strengthening environmental governance in the basin and fosters dialogue and agreements among the various actors involved.
The protection of mountainous and low land forest in the program’s area of influence is critical because of the fundamental role they play in the capture of water and the regulation of the flow in rivers and streams. This protection helps ensure biodiversity and resources, such as fish, that bear great economic importance to local population.
United by the river
The Pachitea River basin runs over the eastern slope of the Peruvian Andes, in the area called Selva Central, departments of Pasco and Huanuco. Rainfall bathing the mountains and valleys results in a network of streams and rivers that converge on the Pachitea River, a tributary of the Ucayali River. Along its course, the water weaves close links between the local population and the natural landscape.
The inhabitants of the Pachitea basin are very diverse and include indigenous communities of the Yanesha, Ashaninka, Kakataibo and Shipibo ethnic groups, as well as peasant communities, populations of Austrian and German origin that arrived in the 19th century and, more recently, High Andean settlers.
Towards a sustainable development model
The basin-based approach adopted by the ProPachitea Program contributes to the understanding of the underlying relationships between ecological, social and economic processes, with a view to a comprehensive management of the basin. Following this approach, the protection of the environment and the maintenance of ecological processes must go hand in hand with the economic and social development necessary to provide a better quality of life for the inhabitants of the area.
The ProPachitea Program has generated key information and knowledge about the Pachitea Basin and developed various intervention strategies as a response to the challenges present in this highly complex landscape. Recently, the Pachitea Basin Sustainable Management Model, focusing on sustainable development, has resulted in a Low Emissions Sustainable Development Model, in response to the global challenges posed by climate change.
Area of intervention of the Propachitea Program
The Pachitea basin is home to four protected natural areas: the Yanachaga Chemillén National Park, the San Matías-San Carlos Protection Forest, the Yánesha Communal Reserve and the El Sira Communal Reserve. It is also home to the Oxapampa-Asháninka-Yanesha Biosphere Reserve.