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Indigenous Peoples in Peru challenge exclusionary state-led conservation strategies, and through the use, management and zoning of their territories they offer alternative ways of feeling-doing conservation, which must be recognized and strengthened to bring about a new paradigm.
In Peru, state-led conservation strategies continue to be guided by an exclusionary model that does not recognize Indigenous Peoples' rights, even criminalizing them. In San Martín, the Cordillera Azul National Park and the Cordillera Escalera Regional Conservation Area were created on Indigenous territories without Free, Prior and Informed Consent. This territorial overlap has made it difficult for the Kichwa people to access their traditional areas, affecting everything from the availability of resources to the transmission of knowledge related to the forest. In Amazonas, the Wampis Nation has denounced the Peruvian State's attempts to categorize a sacred part of their territory to establish an official protected area. However, the Indigenous Peoples in these two regions have been resisting this exclusionary conservation system. Through strategic litigation, the Kichwa people claim property rights over their affected territories while making visible the importance of their productive systems as alternatives to the dominant conservation model. The Wampis Nation has organized its territory creating its own categories of conservation and intangibility, but which as self-validated conservation proposals, still remain outside the imaginary of State environmental decision-makers. From an interdisciplinary perspective, this panel seeks to: 1) demonstrate the configuration of State power in conservation and the different resistances to its exclusionary model, 2) make visible the self-constructed proposals from the collective and rooted in the traditional forms of use, management and governance of the territories, and 3) show that they should be recognized and sustained by a new conservation paradigm at different levels.