In this exercise, you will assume a real-life character role from Tambopata. Based on your character’s interests, you will define your priorities for Tambopata’s future by choosing one of the four maps created in the local planning process. Focus on zoning within the Tambopata National Reserve (TNR). What kinds of activities will generate income without destroying biodiversity? Sustainable agriculture? Low-impact logging? Ecotourism? Which of these activities should be allowed in the most fertile and scenic lands lying along the rivers? You will present your vision for sustainable development in Tambopata during a roundtable negotiation and in a 1000-1200 word position paper. Specifically, identify the map you think best matches your priorities, and (most importantly) explain your selection with:
Download assignment handout (grading, mechanics, etc.) here (.pdf).
- Moral Arguments: Who should benefit from Tambopata’s forests and why? The area's original inhabitants (Ese'eja)? The broader majority of residents? Or even all of humanity? Do Tambopata's forests and wildlife have ‘rights’ apart from human concerns?
- Environmental Arguments: What activities will generate economic income without destroying biodiversity?
- Economic Arguments: Tambopata is poor. What kind of economic activities should have priority? Why?
Download the sample essay format here (pdf).
Madre de Dios: (literally “Mother of God”) the name of the 8.5 million ha Department (region) surrounding Tambopata. It is the least populated area in Peru (~ 1 person/km2).
Hectare: a 100 x 100 m unit of land (1 hectare = 2.3 acres). Abbreviated “ha". Most Tambopata farms are ~40 ha.
Puerto Maldonado: The largest city (~90,000) in Madre de Dios. It has doubled in size in the last 10 yrs.
SERNANP: The National Service for Natural Protected Areas is the govt. agency in charge of parks, reserves, wildlife and forests. It is part of Peru’s Ministry of Environment.
Castañeros: People who harvest castañas (Brazil nuts). Madre de Dios holds nearly 30% of the world’s supply.
Ese’eja: The largest group of indigenous people in the region, numbering ~600 today, some estimate ~10,000 before 1890.
Artisinal mining: small-scale mining preformed by individuals, often on an informal/unofficial basis. technology used has lower impact than industrial mining.
Industrial mining: large scale, high-capital mining activities typically requires a formal concession.
Reduced-impact logging: a logging practice designed to cause the least ecological impact on forests possible. Ideally informed by studies of local ecosystem dynamics.
Concession: a formal permit issued by the government for a certain activity (e.g. mining, logging, ecotourism) for a specified period of time (usually several years, although not permanent)
REDD: "Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation", is an incentive-based mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through improved forest management in developing countries.
Bosques Amazonicos (BAM): a for-profit organization facilitating a REDD project in Tambopata.
Nature-based tourism: any form of tourism based on natural attractions.
Ecotourism: a form of nature-based tourism in which tourist impacts on the environment are mitigated.