Quality of Life plans wind down and gear up
In December 2017 the Keller Science Action Center’s Andes-Amazon social science team of Tita Alvira, Alaka Wali, Theresa Miller, and Ana Lemos met with Peruvian consultants Mitchel Castro, Alonso Pérez, and Milagros Oblitas in Lima, Peru to conclude 2017 activities and plan 2018 activities for the Conservation for Wellbeing project. Quality of life plans are tools that empower communities to protect their natural resource base for their wellbeing, connect with outside actors to secure support for meeting their most pressing needs, and center their cultural heritage in their ongoing lifestyles. In 2017 the project developed two new Quality of Life plans in the native communities of Villa Alegre de Quirishari and Septimo Unidos de Aguachini in the buffer zone of the San Matias San Carlos Protected Forest. In addition to the development of Quality of Life plans, in 2017 the project supported the implementation of priorities in plans such as handcrafts and language revitalization in the communities of San Mateo and Santa Rosa. In San Mateo, an Ashéninka community, the community celebrated its biodiversity and culture with two communal fairs highlighted by local food, medicinal plants, handcrafts, and native language. In the Shipibo community of Santa Rosa, women were trained in the management of handcraft projects such as ceramics and textiles. The development and implementation of Quality of Life plans in these communities has been the result of a collaborative effort between The Field Museum and Peruvian institutional partners such as the Peruvian National Protected Areas Service (SERNANP), Municipality of Puerto Bermudez, the National Association of Asháninka Communities of the Pichis (Asociación de Nacionalidades Asháninkas del Pichis (ANAP), the Institute del Bien Comun (IBC) among others. In the coming year the Action Center will continue to support the implementation of Quality of Life plans near the El Sira Communal Reserve and the San Matias-San Carlos Protected Forest in the Pachitea river basin in Peru’s Selva Central region. The team will also continue to work with Peruvian national-level actors such as SERNANP, the Ministry of Culture, National Center for Strategic Planning (CEPLAN), and the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion (MIDIS) to implement, institutionalize through policy, and monitor quality of life plans for Amazonian communities. They will also begin training Indigenous federations, Executors of Administration contracts (indigenous representatives who co-managed the Communal Reserves), and SERNANP in the development and implementation of Quality of Life Plans in the Machiguenga Communal Reserve and the Megantoni National Sanctuary in the Urubamaba river basin in the Cuzco region.