Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

The Association for Nature and Sustainable Development (ANDES)


Local Organization Profile, Gatekeeper Series

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The Association for Nature and Sustainable Development (ANDES) is an indigenous NGO that seeks to defend indigenous rights to genetic resources, traditional knowledge and landscape character in Peru. It was established in 1995 with volunteer staff and no funding and has grown considerably over the years. It now works with 39 indigenous rural communities, many of whom live in conditions of poverty or extreme poverty. It has successfully bridged traditional Quechua principles and modern organizational models to assert indigenous rights to heritage in practical terms by establishing a new form of protected area known as Indigenous Biocultural Heritage Areas (IBCHAs). These are locally and sustainably managed through community associations; they form the basis for local enterprise (agricultural and cultural eco-tourism); they involve and benefit marginalized groups; and they unite communities, encourage participation by and negotiations with indigenous people, and create a model for future protection and development. The Potato Park was the first IBCHA, which brings together six Quechua communities to protect a 12,000-hectare area as a micro centre for the origin of the potato and other native Andean crops characteristic of Andean food systems. The approach also depends on close collaboration with formal and informal Quechua technicians in researching, training and developing adaptive management models for indigenous biocultural heritage – a “project” rather than “service” approach that works with local politics.

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Downloadable from http://www.iied.org/pubs/pdfs/14567IIED.pdf

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