According to El Comercio, Peru’s protected areas, which range from parks, historic sanctuaries, national preserves, wildlife refuges, and others, support the Peruvian economy by generating US$1.064 billion dollars. The income generated by these protected areas stems from water used for irrigation, human consumption, tourism, and electricity generation.
However, the value of these protected areas is not necessarily in the income they generate for the country, states the economist Fernando León, director of the “Evaluación, Valoración y Financiamiento del Patrimonio Natural del Ministerio del Ambiente.” These areas hold 2,500 plant species, but only 250 of them have been studied scientifically. Peru’s protected areas include over 18.2 million hectares and are responsible for most of the country’s biological diversity.
The Peruvian government invests US$12 million dollars annually in the protection of these areas, but 70% of the funding is provided by international sources. This past Friday the “Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado” inaugurated two new preserves in Loreto and Tacna; the Reserva Nacional Matsés and the Área de Conservación Regional Vilacota Maure. The inclusion of these two areas brings the number of protected areas in Peru up to 66.
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