Building capacity through Quality of Life projects in Peru

In January and February, the Keller Science Action Center Andes-Amazon social science team of Tita Alvira, Theresa Miller, and Ana Lemos held a team-building workshop in Lima with Peruvian consultants Mitchel Castro, Alonso Peréz, and Milagros Oblitas and met with government and community stakeholders on quality of life projects in Peru. As part of the workshop, team members worked together to build capacity on training local people how to create quality of life plans, including working with a revised guide that focuses on community strengths and priorities for environmental and social wellbeing. The team met with the Minister of Culture and other representatives from the Ministry of Culture, as well as with the Protected Areas Service (SERNANP) to discuss collaborative efforts to scale up and institutionalize such plans at the governmental scale. As part of this effort to institutionalize quality of life planning in the government, consultant Milagros Oblitas began working directly with the Protected Areas Service in February to support the integration of quality of life plans with other governmental planning processes. In addition, Theresa Miller and consultant Mitchel Castro visited Quillabamba (outside of Cusco) to begin a pilot project on quality of life planning with the Machiguenga Communal Reserve protected area. Theresa and Mitchel met with leaders of the reserve and of indigenous federations to choose a community with whom to work on quality of life planning in 2018. The meetings were successful and the team will continue to work with Machiguenga leaders and Protected Areas Service personnel on creating and implementing plans for community wellbeing and environmental conservation in the coming months.