2018 was huge year on the Marañón, here are some of the highlights and a look ahead to whats in store for 2019!
Launch of Confluir
We launched short film Confluir at the beginning of 2018, with both English and Spanish language versions. Since then it has toured through more than a dozen different film festivals around the world, winning several awards including Best Environmental Film and Grand Prize at Peru’s Inka Fest Mountain Film. In October Confluir went online for free, to date some 30 000 people have learned why it is so important to keep the source of the Amazon flowing free.
In January 2019, Director Henry Worobec will be taking Confluir to the ‘Wild and Scenic Film Festival’ as part of the official selection. The festival is a hive of action for films about environmental protection and activism and we are proud to see it recognised!
Founded Marañón Libre Conservation Area
With collaboration from private partner, Marañón Experience, we have taken the first steps in creating Marañón Libré Private Conservation area. This will protect key dry forest and riverine habitats, and also be a thorn in the side of any dam developer who wishes to flood the area. Looking ahead into 2019 we plan to augment the area with stage 2 land purchase, formalise the land under private conservation legislation in Peru, create basic facilities for visitors and re-forest degraded areas.
Research on the Upper Marañon
Nathan Lujan and team conducted field research on the Upper Marañon. They investigated diversity of fishes and found two likely undescribed species of the bristlenose pleco genus Ancistrus. This small study highlights the need for a full inventory of the Marañón to create a baseline before major changes occur in the basin. This is something Marañón Waterkeeper will continue to promote and seek funding for in 2019.
Marañón Film Festival
With help from expedition partners Marañón Experience, we took Confluir back to the river so that local communities could enjoy the film that they helped to create.
Marañon Experience completed first descent of Aguas Blancas Canyon outside of Lonya, creating a route which links 12 000 year old pictographs, with a a stunning easily navigable canyon down to Maranon Libre Conservation Area. This will lay the foundation for 2 and 3 day tour routes which will make the Marañón more accessible for Peruvian National visitors.
In 2019 we will continue to do everything in our power to protect the Marañón. Our main focuses will be:
- Move ahead with Maranon Libré Private Conservation Area: Land purchase of stage two, formalise the area under Private Conservation Legislation in Peru.
- Annul existing Dam Concessions on the Marañón (Concessions for Veracruz and Chadin have expired, however the government has not yet acted on this.)
- Create legal framework to protect rivers in Peru, inspired by the US ‘Wild and Scenic Rivers Act’.
- Complete a full ecological inventory of the Marañón River from source to where the Amazon is born.
We would like to give and ENORMOUS thank-you to the Free Rivers Fund for supporting our work in 2018, and continuing their support through 2019! What we do would not be possible without you!
We would also like to thank everyone who has supported us over this past year, through a donation, by liking, sharing and following what is happening on the Marañón, or with in kind support of photos, equipment, a beer, a meal or a place to stay. Thank-you!