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IKI Project – Protection and regeneration of the high Andean puna grassland and the tree line forest of the Manu Biosphere Reserve as a contribution to biodiversity conservation, carbon storage and the provision of ecosystem services to the local population

About the project

The Manu Biosphere Reserve is one of the most rich and intact biodiversity ecosystems in the world. It has been subject of long-term conservation efforts and a source of sustainable livelihood for local people. The Puna grasslands and Andean tree line forests (Puna line ecotone) of the high Andes of Manu National Park contribute to climate protection, biodiversity conservation and provide services downstream critical ecosystems.

Therefore, this project seeks to preserve the essential landscapes of the highlands, the puna and the montane forest, through the collaboration of the National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SERNANP) and local communities. To this purpose, the recovery of the natural ecosystem will be improved through the removal of livestock and the implementation of fire protection measures. Also, flora and fauna will be monitored, as well as carbon storage capacities, to document the process of restoring the functions of natural ecosystems. The rational use of natural resources by the local population will be promoted through training, support for develop some sources of income that are respectful whit the environment, and the generation of an alliance with stakeholders and local communities.



The project aims to preserve essential landscapes of highlands, puna and montane forests, as biodiverse functional ecosystems, in collaboration with the agency for protected areas SERNANP and local communities.

Specific aims

  • To promote natural regeneration of long-term impacted Puna treeline ecotone, restoration of ecosystem function, and increased resilience.
  • To develop nature-based sources of income, which allow locals to abandon harmful practices, such as pasture fires and cattle grazing, and earn them as partners for conservation.
  • To benefit 25 communities located in the Mapacho Valley, providing them with an intact natural environment and clean water.


  • Eric Cosio (Principal Investigator, PUCP)
  • Norma Salinas (Co-PI, PUCP)
  • Richard Tito (Postdoctoral investigator, PUCP)
  • Alex Nina (Research associate, PUCP)
  • Rudi Cruz (Research associate PUCP)
  • Carlo Mormontoy (Research associate)
  • Jorge Esteban Ramos (Research associate)
  • Miguel Alex Pedraza Arando (Research associate)

Institutions involved