The crees foundation is a Peruvian not for profit organisation, dedicated to supporting a sustainable Amazon through conservation research and community development. We have been working for over a decade to promote sustainable resource management in the Manu Biosphere Reserve.
A UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most important areas of biodiversity globally, the Manu Biosphere Reserve is home to part of the last intact forest in Peru. Its multiple fragile ecosystems (the Andean Purma, Cloud Forest & Lowland rainforest) are home not only to an amazing array of fauna and flora but also to indigenous people and an ever increasing community of immigrant settlers who are struggling to live sustainably and in harmony.
With deforestation and unsustainable exploitation of the natural resources (such as gold mining, illegal logging, slash and burn agriculture and cattle ranching) on the increase, Manu faces a complex and daily struggle to survive not just today but for future generations to benefit from.
The foundation has developed 3 core programmes to foster a considered sustainable development approach in the Manu region.
Conservation Research Programme
The Foundation’s Conservation Research Programme generates important knowledge about the value, and potential value of biodiversity, ecosystem services and socio-economic initiatives for local communities, businesses and the Peruvian government. It has specialised in areas of historic and current disturbance within the Manu National Park’s surrounding buffer zone and is now expanding to include protected primary forest located within the National Park.
It currently has two field stations, the Manu Learning Centre (located in the buffer zone of the National Park) and Romero Lodge (within the National Park) which act as hubs for its activities.
The knowledge generated by our research fuels the foundation’s Enterprise Programme that supports local communities members develop sustainable businesses models, achieving the creation of 10 new sustainable enterprises in 2015 through approximatley $50,000 USD of micro-finance loans. This programme provides the capital, training and resources local entrepreneurs need to form and grow sustainable business that transform local resources in a sustainable way.
It works one-to-one with local community members under the leadership of a local entrepreneur and sustainable visionary, Reynaldo Ochoa, accompanying community members through all the early stages and struggles of building their business models. It engages in micro-farming (biogardens), sustainable agroforestry, ecotourism and ecosystem service business models.
Our Education Programme supports the dissemination of knowledge and the training of the next generation of conservation scientists and sustainable entrepreneurs and has educated over 200 individuals in 2015. Its focus is to provide experiential learning opportunities that transform the life skills and employability of participants as well as build the knowledge and understanding of the importance of a healthy environment.
Our work with the Peruvian government helps build environmental education into formal curriculum at secondary school level as well as provides an education outreach programme that takes local students out into the forest with biologists, tour guides and sustainability experts. We also work with local technical institutes in course development and practical training as well providing the wider civic society fun and engaging information about the value of biodiversity, its role in ecosystems and how it could be managed sustainably.
Partners: Past & Current
The crees foundation is able to achieve more than it could ever hope alone, through strong strategic partnerships and friendships with leaders in the academia, entrepreneurs and foundations. We are grateful to those who support us and know that we could not do it without the generosity of your time, money and advice.