Manu National Park is a park in Peru that has been around since 1973 and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site while also being the largest park in Peru by area and thus the way that the Peruvian government sets its policy in protection if this land will set precedent for the other parks in Peru and more so other parks in the Amazon River Basin and even more so the national parks around the world that are home to indigenous populations. Manu is home to indigenous tribes, such as the Matsigenka, and these tribes are permitted to live within the government land of the Manu Reserve.
Manu is also one of the most biodiverse locations in the Amazon and therefore one of the most biodiverse locations the world and the purpose of the National Park designation is to protect this biodiversity and environment in the park. There are ethical issues surrounding the protection of the tribes and the environment when it comes to development and land use of the indigenous tribes within the park. The Matsigenka utilize Swidden agriculture, ecotourism, subsistence hunting, and also logistically have rights to the land within the park they live on even though it is owned and protected by the Peruvian government. These issues all raise questions about whether these are sustainable for the environment of the protected national park land.
The research has found that the Swidden agriculture is sustainable up to a population that is well above the current population and subsistence bow hunting is sustainable as long as the Matsigenka maintain their current hunting technique and do not being using firearms for hunting instead. The Matsigenka’s ecotourism was not economically successful but essentially kept up with operation costs and does provide positive relations with the Peruvian government which is important for policy making. The researchers also conclude that it is not advantageous in any form to relocate the Matsigenka outside of Manu territory.
The scientific research suggests these as recommendations for sustainability and solutions that will be environmentally viable but the ethical issue of whether it is right to limit the practices of the indigenous population still remains, whether it would be morally right to deny the Matsigenka from altering their way of life potentially for their own benefit in favor of protecting the environment. These are issues not just within Manu but in the rest of the Amazon and the rest of the world because there are many instances of conflict between indigenous populations and their ownership and land use of government land. How Peru decides its policy for the Matsigenka in Manu will set precedent for other government policy pertaining to the indigenous rights within government land all over the world.