Proposed Management Plan
Independent Community of Cuyacocha
Reserva Naturel Juri Juri
An Initial projection on
Management and Conservation of Biodiversity.
"We do not use fire arms or dynamite, and we refrain from cutting any trees"
Sergio Gualinga Cuji - Reserve Co-ordinator
The objective of this plan is to ensure the long term protection and prosperity of the Reserva Natural Juri Juri and the peoples forming the community of Cuyacocha.
In order to achieve this the project must look towards investments and strategies that will eventually lead to sustainability without compromising the natural resources of the area nor the cultural values of the people of the community.
The Cuyacocha Community was formed in 1988 by the Gualing family, initially by Juan Gaulinga and his two sons.
In 1990 other members of this family joined in the project already having put in place plans for surviving economic crisis which had plagued so many other start-up communities.
In 1991 the community leaders met with a representative of FUNDESIN ( Fundacion para la Educacion y Desarrollo Integral de los Indigenas) with the purpose of getting assistance from this organisation.
Whilst initial agreements were made, it followed that FUNDESIN abandoned these agreements and instead gave support to a project in the province of Napo.
In the meantime the Cuyacocha Community had approached IERAC in Puyo, with a view to this agency helping the community acquire legal title to the land.
Legal Title to the lands consisting of 4,000 hectares was granted to The Community of Cuyacocha in 1988 and is legally protected from any form of invasion.
The Community have decided that 3,000 hectares will be set aside to form the Reserva Natural Juri Juri.
This is prime virgin Tropical Rainforest of which the topography is not yet known. The community have approached INEFAN to obtain full "Wildlife Reserve " status for this 3,000 hectares, but a topographical survey is firstly required.
The management of the reserve is fully integrated and compatible with the work of the community of Cuyacocha, it is made up of the following officers;
Bartolomé Mashiant - President Cuyacocha Community
Teresa Shiki - Vice-President Cuyacocha Community
Carlos Cuji -Treasurer of Cuyacocha Community
Sergio Gualinga Cuji - Juri Juri Reserve Co-ordinator
Analysis of resources
The Cuyacocha Community owns 4,000 hectares of which 3,000 hectares is prime virgin Tropical Forest, set aside for conservation.
There are at present no roads into this area, which is accessed by track, seven days from Puya, and the network of rivers, the head of the River Pindoyacu being the focal point, and no commercial logging has taken place. Consequently there is an exceptionally high proportion of endemic species of both flora and fauna. Access is now available by air from nearby Shell, although this is limited at the moment by size of aircraft and cost.
Click below for the current listing of Birds & Mammals found at Juri Juri:
A more complete description of the flora and fauna will appear as the project progresses, many of the names obtained at present are the plant names given by the native Indians rather than botanical names.
As well as the abundance of flora and fauna, this area is of great importance because of the many rivers and tributaries running through it. The protection of rivers and streams from pollution will not only benefit the immediate areas but all the areas bounding on these watercourses.
In addition to the Reserves 3,000 hectares there are 1000 hectares of land available for use by the community as agricultural land. This is used for the production of foodstuffs, such as Manioc, Yuca, and Plantains. This agricultural land is essential for the continuance of the community and will be kept as such. It is hoped that as the community progresses, "cash crops" can be produced to add to the income of the community.
The Rainforest Charity Equafor, Leeds, England, is attempting to set up communications between Juri Juri and other well established reserves such as Jatun Sacha at Bilsa. This would give the community the opportunity to draw on the experience and expertise available at the mature reserves.
The numbers within the community total about fifty persons with ages ranging from one year to fifty five years old. There is a "Charita" which has been built to accommodate about fifteen visitors, alongside the community housing where also a Christian Church has been built of typical bamboo structure.
A Primary School has been built and is now teaching the younger children to a standard which meets the regulations of the Pastaza Board of Education.
Several pathways have been constructed between the community "village" and the reserve and there are also canoes to navigate the River Pinduyacu and it's tributaries thorough the reserve. All these pathways have been constructed by the community and will continue to be expanded, but always keeping the environmental impact to the absolute minimum.
There is a fully approved air strip for small aircraft arriving from the nearest airfield at Shell. During November 1998, a new landing strip was completed. This has been constructed entirely by the local community and is capable of handling larger twin engined aircraft. Not only will this make the journey safer, it should reduce the cost of the flights as a greater number of aviation operators can now fly to this location. The final inspection and certification by the Ecuadorian Aviation Authority is expected by 1999.
The only other means of access is by canoe or mule, there is no road access which is a great advantage to the conservation of the area. The nearest town is Puyo, which is about a seven day trek away.
The community have been donated a two way radio station which is battery powered, but they now urgently require a means of re-charging the batteries. Solar panels are being investigated as a means of providing sustainable power without any pollution to the environment.
The Cuyacocha Community has now existed, since it's inception in 1988, for ten years. All the achievements have been accomplished using their own resources for management, ideas and labour.
The community is now at a point where they require outside assistance in the way of promoting their objectives to the outside world and advancing some of their projects which require additional funding from outside the community.
One example of this is the requirement for Sergio Gualinga to hold a Certificate issued by the Ecuadorian Government, to allow him to take foreign visitors around the reserve.
To obtain this Certificate, he must attend a special course which for which there is a fee of $600 (USA), the Rainforest Charity Equafor have agreed to pay this fee as part of their Educational Programme for Rainforests.
The forest of Juri Juri remains poorly known scientifically. It is important therefore for this reserve to be brought to the attention of Universities and other scientific bodies and that they be encouraged to consider this area for their research. In order to work in the reserve scientists must hold the requisite INEFAN permits and a letter of permission from the Cuyacocha Community.
This need for specialist scientific help in assessing the importance of this forest in ecological terms and producing inventories of the flora and fauna, is being actively pursued by the Rainforest Charity Equafor. They are trying to find some of this scientific expertise within the Universities of the UK, and arrange for an expedition to visit the community and the JuriJuri reserve. Likewise in the USA, Mrs. Pamela Shriman is actively seeking assistance from scientific bodies.
Researchers should submit copies of all reports and publications resulting from their work in the reserve to the Cuyacocha Community, in a form that is accessible to the layman. For example photographs of identified species found in the forest would provide useful information for future visitors and the Cuyacocha Community themselves.
Financial Organisation and the Investment Fund
The Reserve Juri Juri should have a financial organisation which is apart from the main structure of the Cuyacocha Community. An account should be opened for funds destined for work in the Reserve, managed by the Reserve Manager and the Cuyacocha Committee.
An Investment Fund should also be established apart from the Operating Fund, which would contain a long term investment of money for the upkeep of the Reserve. This fund should not be spent, but the interest used for reserve maintenance.
The success of these two funds will very much depend on the generosity of outside interests, particularly the Investment Fund.
The goal of this plan is to protect over the long term the Reserve Juri Juri within the Cuyacocha Community.
The Cuyacocha Community have already demonstrated their commitment to this project, and their ability to sustain it, over the last ten years.
It is now time for NGOís, Charities and individuals to assist the Cuyacocha Community in realising their objectives, for without outside financial aid the project will stagnate.
In conclusion, the Reserve Juri Juri represents a unique resource in Ecuador and itís protection will secure the flora and fauna of this rare untouched tract of rainforest.
The Reserve will be managed for the benefit of the Cuyacocha Community of Pastaza, the Country of Ecuador and the people of the world.
Information and Contacts
This plan was written with the consent and assistance of the Community of Cuyacocha, Pastaza, Ecuador, and their friend for many years Mrs Pamela Shriman, a teacher from Michigan, USA.
The author, Andrew Gill is a Trustee of the Rainforest Charity Equafor, Registered Charity 1040972, Leeds, England.
For further information on this project please use the following contacts:-
Pamela Shriman - Email email@example.com
Andrew Gill - Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Juri Juri Web Site http://www.members.tripod.com/~jurijuri
Equafor Web Site http://www.bchip.com/equafor
JURIJURI - One of the mothers of hunted animals, a cannibalistic, bearded, troglodyte spirit, responsible in particular for watching over monkeys.
"...Their real amana is JuriJuri, the mother of the peccaries. You know JuriJuri is as pale as you are. He has a beard and long hair; and also, he speaks every language, ours, Quichua, Spanish, and yours too.
JuriJuri wears boots and a metal helmet and he carries a sword. At the nape of his neck he has a mouth with big teeth. And with that mouth he eats people, the ones who mock the animals and kill them just for pleasure, for no reason. He lives underground, JuriJuri does. There are many of them there and they come out through burrows and hollow trees. The collared peccaries live with them, like dogs; there are lots of them around their houses....."
Pinchu talking to the author in THE SPEARS OF TWILIGHT.
The Spears of Twilight, Life and Death in the Amazon Jungle.
Author, Philippe Descola - The New Press- New York