Tour in Machu Picchu: New Ausangate Regional Conservation Area will help conserve glaciers

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It was finally achieved. The Government established and formalized the creation of a protected area to conserve glaciers. The new Ausangate Regional Conservation Area, located in Cusco, will serve to conserve the glaciers related to the Vilcanota River.

The National Service of Natural Areas protected by the State, indicates that the process was somewhat arduous and lengthy, including prior consultations to the peasant communities, but that it was achieved with the establishment of ACR Ausangate Regional Conservation Area, which conserves ecosystems of snow-capped, glaciers and high Andean grasslands, as well as their emblematic fauna considering them important internationally, species such as the vicuña and the Andean condor.

By means of Supreme Decree N ° 012-2019-MINAM, the creation of the Regional Conservation Area was formalized. The protected natural area is located in the Cusco districts of Ocongate, Checacupe and Pitumarca, belonging to the provinces of Quispicanchi and Canchis.

It is a territory of more than 66,000 hectares that comprises part of the Ausangate snowy chain, the Quelccaya snowfall, the Sibinacocha lagoon and high Andean grassland ecosystems.

Its establishment is part of the articulated work carried out between the National Government represented by the Ministry of Environment and the National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (Sernanp); the Regional Government of Cusco through the Natural Resources and Environment Management; the local municipalities of Pitumarca, Checacupe and Ocongate, as well as the peasant communities Phinaya and Sallani.

Sernanp pointed out that the area is also valuable because it allows to conserve the basins that feed the Vilcanota River, which provides more than 50 percent of the potable water for the Cusco region and the electric power for Puno, Cusco and Apurimac in times of dryness. In that sense, with its establishment this resource is guaranteed to 150,000 people living in the Cusco communities of the Canchis and Quispicanchi districts.

The Regional Conservation Areas are natural spaces that deserve to be conserved for their natural and cultural diversity. They are managed by regional governments with the participation of local governments and the population to promote economic activities that are friendly to the ecosystem.

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