A Rare Approach to Water Conservation in Peru
David BellardApril 7, 2013
World-renowned photographer Jason Houston visited one of Rare's campaign sites in Nueva Cajamarca, Peru on World Water Day. The project is one of 12 in Latin America creating innovative agreements for watershed protection. The World Water Day parade and event in Nueva Cajamarca launched Rare Fellow Rina Gamarra's Pride campaign —Rare’s signature program that engages the community to build pride around unique natural assets through marketing. A packed day of events introduced the community to the campaign's slogan, mascot and messages. Photographer Jason Houston documented the campaign activities in Nueva Cajamarca and a visit to the upland ecosystem the campaign is trying to protect. Gamarra's Pride campaign highlights water use awareness and community participation in innovative agreements between upland farmers and downstream water users along the Rio Yuracyacu, an Amazon river tributary in the Alto Mayo. All Photos by Jason Houston. Click image to see full photo and caption.
Click here to watch a video of the World Water Day parade in Nueva Cajamarca, Peru:
Rare Conservation Fellow Rina Gamarra standing near the water supply diversion dams on the Rio Yuracyacu just upstream from Nueva Cajamarca. The Rio Yuracyacu supplies all the water for Nueva Cajamarca — a resource shared with farmers further upstream.
Rina Gamarra working with youth volunteers on the final preparations of placard, banners and other materials for the World Water Day launch of her Pride campaign – Rare’s signature program that engages the community to build pride around unique natural assets through marketing techniques.
Rare Conservation Fellow Rina Gamarra’s campaign mascot, the critically endangered yellow-tailed woolly monkey, shows off for a crowd in Nueva Cajamarca, Peru.
Children from schools across Nueva Cajamarca embodied conservation themes and messages for the World Water Day parade — sometimes literally!
Rare Conservation Fellow Rina Gamarra with volunteers and a campaign banner, share a water-conservation message with the crowd.
One local school made a float for Rina Gamarra’s World Water Day parade that shows the many local uses of the river, including agriculture, recreation and even washing cars…
…and an actual scene on the river, just upstream from Nueva Cajamarca at a well-used crossing, where children swim and play in the river while parents use the water to wash cars and clothes.
Rare Conservation Fellow Rina Gamarra walks in the foothills of the Alto Mayo Protected area, above the Rio Yuracyacu. One of the facilities for diverting river water to supply Nueva Cajamarca, as well as cleared areas for farming, can be seen in the valley below.
Farms like this one cut down important forest environments along the Rio Yuracyacu. When left intact, these forests act like a sponge, holding water from the rains, and function like a reservoir. If cut, the water runs off too quickly; the extra sediment impacts both water supply and quality downstream.
Coffee farmer Don Filomon Delgado operates a small farm in the La Escondida community along the western border of the Alto Mayo protected area. Future conservation efforts in the area will include converting sun-grown coffee farms like this one to shade-grown, which will reforest much of the river valley.
Sustainable practices are often not a question of will or intent, but simply of resources. Don Filomon Delgado produces his own organic compost to fertilize his farm and looks forward to getting the support to implement additional improvements when the conservation funds become available.
Don Filomon Delgado produces his own organic compost to fertilize his farm and looks forward to getting the support to implement additional improvements when the conservation funds become available.
Rare Conservation Fellow Rina Gamarra with colleague Luis Tuanama of Conservation International interviewing at Radio California with Florentino Pacherres, the most listened to journalist in the Nueva Cajamarca area.
Rare Conservation Fellow Rina Gamarra on the Rio Yuracyacu, the source of all the water for the Amazonian town of Nueva Cajamarca.