Gran Pajaten becomes a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve


On March 19th 2016, the Biocorredor Martin Sagrado REDD+ project entered a new level of international recognition, with the registration of the surrounding area as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. It covers 2.4 million hectares, including the REDD project zone, the Rio Abiseo National Park and all the buffer zones where communities live, which marks the recognition of the project as a model for community and sustainable management. For the local farmers, who have fully designed and managed the project from the beginning, it is a great pride to see that their efforts and their project are acknowledged at an international level.

In 2008, Tristan Lecomte planted a first tree in the village of Santa Rosa in Peru. He created PUR Projet in order to raise funds from companies willing to act for climate. Tree nurseries have grown, farmers have been trained on agroforestry… Today, more than 3 million trees, nearly 5, have been planted in this remote area of the Peruvian Amazon. Reforestation was a first step, the second step was forest conservation.


Motivated by their progress, the farmers decided to start a forest preservation program of the Martin Sagrado reserve and came together to create the Fundacion Amazonia Viva to coordinate the sustainable management of the forest and the natural resources of the area. In 2014, the “Biocorredor Martin Sagrado” REDD+ project is certified under VCS and CCBA standards: it’s the official recognition of a community-based project aiming at reducing the pressure on the forest through alternative economic models development.

In March 2016, UNESCO recognized the “Gran Pajaten” as the 5th Biosphere Reserve in Peru. The process had started early 2013 to create a Biosphere Reserve that would cover a 2.4 million hectares area encompassing the project area and part of the leakage area.

Several visits by international experts, UNESCO representatives confirmed the great relevance of the area, mainly due to the outstanding and unique model of community management deployed by the project in the area, and to the presence of the National Park Rio Abiseo in the area, already registered as Work Heritage both Cultural and Environmental.




Biosphere reserves are areas of ecosystems promoting solutions to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use.

They are internationally recognized, nominated by national governments and remain under sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located.

Biosphere reserves serve in some ways as ‘living laboratories’ for testing out and demonstrating integrated management of land, water and biodiversity.

There are over 500 biosphere reserves in over 100 countries.



The Gran Pajaten Biosphere reserve include:

– A strictly protected core area (in red) on 274,000 ha corresponding to the Rio Abiseo national park, already recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site (pre-Incan cultural and natural heritage)

– A buffer zone used for community forest conservation (in orange), including 450,000 ha of the Biocorredor Martin Sagrado REDD+ project and  362,000 ha managed by local NGOs and communities.

– A transition zone (1.5 million ha, in yellow) where communities and local stakeholders work together to manage and sustainably develop the area’s resources (Alto Huayabamba and Jubilacion Segura reforestation and agroforestry projects developed by PUR Projet).




2008 : Start of the Alto Huayabamba reforestation program in Santa Rosa, with the fair trade and organic cocoa farmers of ACOPAGRO coopertive. Plantation of 20,000 trees.

 2009 : Start of a second reforestation program in San Martin, with the fair trade and organic coffee farmers of ORO VERDE cooperative. Plantation of 20,000 trees.

2010 : Start of  the REDD+ Biocorredor Martin Sagrado project to preserve 400,000 ha of primary forests. The project started with the protection of El Breo concessions on 100,000 has owned by the Dos de Mayo village association.

 2011 : Creation of the Fundavi. Marion Cotillard sponsors the project.

 2012 : VCS certification (Voluntary Carbon Standard) of the Alto Huayabamba project

 2014 : VCS and CCBA  certification of the REDD+ Biocorredor Martin Sagrado project (300 000 ha).

 2015 : Bertrand Badre (World Bank’s CFO) sponsors the project.

 2015 : VCS certification of the Jubilacion Segura project.

 2015 : Registration of the whole area under the “Bosque Modelo / Model Forest” network in 2014 « Bosque Modelo Rio Huayabamba/ Abiseo », including the Biocorredor Martin Sagrado, Alto Huayabamba and Jubilacion Segura project areas (800,000 ha)

 2016 : Registration of a 2.4 million-hectare area as a Biosphere Reserve at UNESCO spread across 3 regions (San Martin, La Libertad, Amazonas), including all project areas. Gran Pajatén is the 5th Biosphere Reserve registered in Peru.  


Here is the official announcement on UNESCO’s website: link

Video of the project:

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