Perú: Scalable strategies for landscape ecological restoration: models in San Martín, Perú, buffer zone of the National Park Cordillera Azul


In partnership with local stakeholders, CIMA, a Peruvian conservation organization is implementing restoration strategies for the recovery and reconnection of degraded and deforested areas, and strengthening the knowledge and capacity of local farmers to ensure ecosystem benefits in their localities. They will build two plant nurseries to be managed by the local community; and together with nearby universities they will develop robust capacity building and academic training programs based on the knowledge collected and developed during this project.

Quick Facts

Project Location:
San Martin, Peru, -7.244488100000001, -76.82596519999998

Geographic Region:
Latin America

Country or Territory:

Tropical Forest

Tropical Forest - Moist Broadleaf

Area being restored:

Project Lead:
CIMA Cordillera Azul

Organization Type:
NGO / Nonprofit Organization

Project Partners:
CBD/ FERI, Universidad Nacional Agraria de la Selva (UNAS), Cordillera Azul National Park (PNCAZ)


Project Stage:

Start Date:

End Date:

Primary Causes of Degradation

Agriculture & Livestock, Deforestation, Fragmentation

Project Goals

1) The implementation of restoration models and strategies for the recovery and connectivity of degraded and deforested areas; and
2) The strenghtening of knowledge and capacity of farmers from San Juan and Lejia directly involved in the implementation of restoration models and development of strategies to ensure ecosystem benefits in their localities.



Local communities, farmers local authorities and park rangers are involved in every step of the project, from identifying areas to be restored to attending field training on restoration principles and practice, and related economic activities.
Since 2005, CIMA has been working with these communities through participatory planning meetings in which they have identified areas for restoration, which is why these activities will be easily integrated into the conservation agreements (Acuerdos Azules or ‘Blue Agreements’) of collaboration between CIMA and the communities; these activities are part of the priorities they have identified on their quality of life plans.

How this project eliminated existing threats to the ecosystem:
Along with the villagers of San Juan and Lejía, the CIMA technical team identified as degraded areas in their territories the following biotopes: purmas with abandoned coffee plantations, shapumbales, and secondary forests where there was selective logging of timber trees.

How this project achieved a desirable species composition:
Build, implement, produce and maintain a nursery in each community to produce seedlings. These will be selected once the reference-plot assessment is completed. Total production should reach an estimated 15,000 seedlings over the two sites. Two main nurseries will be promoted by the Project, but groups of farmers (women) will be encouraged to have smaller, local nurseries. Seedlings will also be collected from the field and grown in communal nurseries until final establishment in the field.  The project decided to decentralize the reproduction of plants, installing local nurseries near the restoration teams and the areas to be recovered, in order to facilitate the reintroduction stage of the various species and maximise time, effort, and survival rate of seedlings in the transfer. As of now there are eight (08) nurseries, in which 23 climax and 2 intermediate species have been reproduced.

How this project reinstated structural diversity (e.g. strata, faunal food webs, spatial habitat diversity):
From the field schools, it was defined that the restoration technique to be implemented was that of nucleation. Nucleation allows the formation of micro-habitats, improving environmental conditions and attracting series of other organisms, forming nuclei of diversity. In the secondary forests and purmas the enrichment technique will be used with the sowing of functional groups with strong nucleating power. In the shapumbales, regeneration islands were opened, perches were placed, soil transposed and pioneer species reintroduced, creating new niches of regeneration / colonization. The identified areas total 65.32 hectares Along with Lejía villagers, the rangers of the Cordillera Azul National Park and the professors and students of the National Agrarian University of La Selva (UNAS), CIMA established the first permanent plot of vegetation monitoring in the montane forest conservation area of the town of Lejía; in order to establish a reference scenario. This ecosystem provided information on the composition, horizontal and vertical structure of the forest, with the species to be used for reintroduction based on the results obtained. Thus, the project has selected 25 climax plant species that will be reproduced and reintroduced in the degraded ecosystems identified in the towns of Lejía and San Juan.

Activities were undertaken to address any socio-economic aspects of the project:
i) Identification of areas to be restored with the communities, arrangement with owners and conclusion of long-term commitments for restoration within the conservation agreements (Acuerdos Azules) between the communities and CIMA. ii) Partner with academic institutions to develop field training schools; CIMA will establish an agreement with the Universidad Nacional Agraria de la Selva (UNAS) and will contribute with structuring field training with farmers and material production. Students will also participate and learn restoration principles and practice. iii) Strengthen technical and organizational capacities of stakeholder groups; CIMA will help in organizing restoration activities and training farmer groups to implement field activities, and related economic activities (institutional accountability, strenghthening rules and functions, management). CIMA will also work with other groups (local authorities, park rangers) in identifying with them roles and functions for restoration. iv) Convert lessons learned from the Project into teaching modules to be adopted in academic curricula and/or continuing education programs.

Ecological Outcomes Achieved

Socio-Economic & Community Outcomes Achieved

Economic vitality and local livelihoods:
Mid-project report: The process of capacity building in future restorers is carried out through field schools, spaces of learning and practical knowledge application, which are part of the Extension Plan of the Forest Engineering School of the UNAS. So far, seven schools have been carried out, providing capacity-building to 43 students: 19 residents of San Juan and Lejía, 2 officials of the local government of Shamboyacu, 1 specialist of the ARA San Martín, 4 professors and 4 students of the UNAS, 3 PNCAZ park rangers and 10 CIMA technicians. From the field activities carried out during the field schools, we identified propagative material for regeneration and selected 13 intermediate species and 24 dynamogenetic pioneers in the local environment of both locations. These pioneer species are characterized by high production of seeds, contribution of organic matter and production of many fruits.

Long-Term Management

The process of participatory long-term monitoring is assured, since CIMA will remain in the area until 2028 due to the contract it has with the Peruvian State to administer the Cordillera Azul National Park, which involves the CIMA technical team and park rangers in the intervention area.
In the long term, the project hopes to create the necessary partnerships and modules for a scalable restoration system, replicable at least in the Department of San Martin, and significantly contribute to reducing deforestation in this region.

Sources and Amounts of Funding

FERI: 88,580 USD

Other Resources

Primary Contact

Jorge Watanabe, Patrica Davila

CIMA Cordillera Azul

Organizational Contact

Anne de Valence