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Strengthening capacities for a Post COVID tourism in Rio Abiseo and Amarakaeri Protected Areas, in Peru

Posted Wednesday 01 June 2022
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The “Sustainable Tourism Project in Protected Areas in a Post-COVID World”, led by IUCN and co-implemented by Planeterra International Foundation, carried out a series of trainings on Health and Safety 160 people from 09 Peruvian Amazonian communities.

Tourism in protected areas has taken an important space for those seeking to flee from what we have lived during the pandemic. This has led to major opportunities for communities living in protected areas and has become an important local economic booster. Nevertheless, tourism has certain standards to give customers an outstanding experience.

In this sense, as part of the activities of the project “Sustainable Tourism and Protected Areas in a Post-COVID World” that is being implemented this year in Vietnam and Peru, it was contemplated to implement some capacity building processes in communities that are based near protected areas. These processes are implemented with the support of our partner  Planeterra, they begun some weeks ago a health and risk training on both areas in which we are currently working in Peru: Río Abiseo National Park (San Martin region, northern Peru), in five farmer communities: San Juan del Abiseo, Pizarro, Pucallpillo, Santa Rosa and Dos de Mayo; and in parallel in Amarakaeri Communal Reserve (Madre de Dios region, southern Peru), in four indigenous communities: Queros, Shintuya, Puerto Azul Mberowe and Barranco Chico.

This activity, that was held from the 28th of April till May 6th 2022, seeks to strengthen the capacities and skills of community entrepreneurs on the application of Health and Safety measures in their own territorial spaces and in the tourist experiences they manage.

The training focused on six mayor subjects:

  1. Global context: Health & Safety implications in tourism (including COVID-19)
  2. General tips and guidance: the importance of Health & Safety in the community
  3. Health & Safety in the operation of community experiences
  4. Culinary experiences
  5. Accommodation experiences
  6. Cultural Experiences: walking tours, handicrafts, village walks and bike tours
  7. Tourist experiences including local transportation

The themes prioritized for the training was based on the need of the communities that live from tourism by engaging local entrepreneurs, promoting health & safety mechanisms in the tourist operations for both tourists and community safeguard and to generate discussions and highlight epistemologies and lessons from the local vision on Health & Safety.

During the training, 53 communitarian tourist entrepreneurs (33 men / 23 women) in Amarakaeri Communal Reserve, with previous experience and existing products; and, 104 emerging tourist entrepreneurs (62 men / 42 women) in Río Abiseo National Park, with tourism as a new tool for resilience and sustainable development, joined.

The trainings, in both Protected Areas, are linked to the achievement of SDG 03 (Good Health and Well-being); particularly to risks reduction goals and with SDG 08 (Decent work and Economic Growth) by promoting the implementation of a sustainable tourism that can create jobs ensuring local culture and products.

The training raised interesting and useful information on how traditional and local methods can be applied on different health emergencies and prevention procedures while also highlighting a sense of safety for visitors as they enter indigenous Amazonian communities.

It also generated a new space for dialogue with communities regarding safety, not only linked to COVID-19, but also to the use of specific guidelines to ensure a secure tourist experience, bringing a mutual understanding on the perspective of health & safety for indigenous communities and for their tourism operations.

“This project raises our morale. In these difficult times, without knowing how to get ahead in tourism after COVID-19, this project makes us feel that we are not alone. That you are our new allies”, Javier Chinipa – Shintuya Community (Amarakaeri Communal Reserve)

For further information, you can contact Stephanie Arellano, Program Officer for Biodiversity Management at IUCN South America, stephanie.Arellano@iucn.org;  María Fernanda Burneo, Project Communications at IUCN South America, maria.burneo@iucn.org; and /or Richard Bazan, Community Tourism Project Manager, Planeterra International Foundation, rbazan@planeterra.org

 

 

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