Birder's Guide

MAY 2017

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 35 of 51

34 Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community | May 2017 Community Conservation in Peru ing families and went to university to be- come leaders and give back to our com- munities," Aucca recalls. "Forest conser- vation provided us this opportunity." ECOAN's founding members rec- ognized that successful conservation depended on local involvement. They spoke Quechua and knew that the local people depended on the forest for fuel - wood for cooking and heating. As a first step, the group began to provide commu- nity members with fuel-efficient stoves that cut their fuel demands by 80%, which meant that less fuelwood had to be harvested. ECOAN also provided al - ternative fuelwood harvested from less- sensitive areas at lower elevations. Isidro Calisaya is the president of the Abra Malaga Thastayoc community where ECOAN first started working in the Vilcanota Mountains. With ECOAN's help, Calisaya and his neighbors cre- ated the Abra Malaga Thastayoc Private Conservation Area. It protects not just nature but a way of life. "Many animals, birds, and other wildlife live there, and we are part of the forest," Calisaya says. "Our pure water comes from the forest springs, and our livestock and our agriculture depend on this. The bigger the forest, the more clean water. Without the forest, there would be no life." n Women in the Vilcanota Mountains pro- duce high-quality textiles, which are great purchases for tourists. Photo © Daniel Lebbin

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