The Peruvian Andes-Amazon interface region holds some of the world’s most biologically important forests that provide essential ecosystem services on local, regional and global scales. In 2001 the Peruvian government and La Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazonica (ACCA) jointly established the Los Amigos Conservation Concession to aid in the conservation of these important forests. Since its creation, the concession has faced many competing pressures including: local communities struggling to meet subsistence and livelihoods needs, increases in illegal gold mining and logging, and conflicts among settler communities, indigenous groups, and forest managers.
In response to the management challenges and conflicts in the area, Dr. Fisher is working with ACCA to revise the Los Amigos management plan in an effort to devise strategies to mitigate the drivers of conflict through improved forest governance. To accomplish this, the team is piloting the Conflict-Sensitive Conservation methodology developed by the International Institute for Sustainable Development. That framework enables natural resource managers to design conservation strategies that minimize the social costs of conservation in order to minimize conflict risk and maximize peace-building opportunities Through conflict analysis workshops, the pilot project is working to identify the drivers of conflict in the communities neighboring the concession and assess the impacts of conservation programming on social stability and local economies. Knowledge generated during these workshops is being used to design training clinics for concession managers and field personnel in order to improve their ability to interface with stakeholders on contentious issues and to recognize opportunities to improve the effectiveness of their livelihoods programming.