17 December, 2019
The snowy Ausangate is considered a guardian Apu in Cusco, due to its imposing presence and intimate religious-cultural connection that exists with the local population since the time of our ancestors. Its location, the Andean ecosystems, the permanent and quality water services it offers, the high Andean lagoons and the landscapes associated with this glacier, make Ausangate a very important place for its conservation.
Through the publication of Supreme Decree No. 012-2019-Minam, the Peruvian State recently formalized the creation of the Ausangate Regional Conservation Area (ACR) in Cusco, in order to conserve the vast biological wealth available to the place.
This natural area comprises an area of 66,514 hectares and is located between the district of Ocongate (Quispicanchi) and the districts of Pitumarca and Checacupe (Canchis), which as of this date are delimited for the respective protection works.
According to Article N ° 2 of the aforementioned supreme decree, the objective of the Ausangate Regional Conservation Area is to conserve a representative sample of the Puna ecoregion of the Central Andes of Cusco, which contains a high biological, landscape and water regulation value.
The extension includes the snowfall of the Ausangate massif and the areas associated with it, so the ACR will contribute to the reduction of the vulnerability of fragile species and ecosystems to climate change and thereby ensure the ecosystem services they provide for the benefit local, regional and national.
The supreme decree also stipulates that the administration and financing of the ACR Ausangate will be fully covered with the institutional budget of the Regional Government of Cusco, responsible in addition to reporting the state of conservation of the perimeter, according to the coordination and procedures established by the National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (Sernanp), which in turn will provide guidance and technical support to make ACR management a success.
After a process of more than ten years, promoted by the Regional Government of Cusco through the Natural Resources Management and Environmental Management, finally the area that comprises part of the Ausangate chain, the snowy Quelccaya (considered the tropical glacier largest in the world), the lagoon of Sibinacocha and the Pajonal de Puna moist, is declared ACR, whereby the conservation work of the area reaches a regional level.
The importance of this mountain ecosystem lies not only in its wonderful landscapes, but also in its water sources that provide water to the communities and towns of Cusco, and to the Machu Picchu Hydroelectric Power Plant, which provides energy for thousands of families in the region.
Also, its climatic conditions create ecosystems that are home to a variety of animals and plants, some classified under varying degrees of threat. Among the species found in the area are the vicuña, the condor, the puma and the Andean cat. In addition, it houses endemic species such as Montañés Barbudo, Monterita Pechicastaño, Canastero Frontirojizo and the Silent Mouse of Pasto.
“A decade has passed since we included this ecosystem in conservation plans. In that period he had to overcome difficulties such as the granting of mining concessions within the area, however, thanks to the technical and financial support of organizations such as Amazon Conservation – Acca, today we celebrate that this area was finally approved by the Executive for its conservation ”, cited the regional governor of Cusco, Jean Paul Benavente.
-150 thousand people depend on water resources from the new ACR Ausangate, water from this area is at risk, a situation that must be reversed by the authorities.