Located in Pisaq in the Sacred Valley of Peru, the Potato Park is a one of the few conservation initiatives in the world where the local people are managing and protecting local genetic resources and traditional knowledge about their health, food, and agriculture.
The Park covers more than 12,000 ha between 3,150 and 5,000 masl. About 600 varieties of native potatoes grow in the Park, most of them unique to this habitat. Six Quechua communities live in the Park. Some had been struggling for land tenure for years until the Quechua-Aymara Association for Sustainable Communities (ANDES in Spanish) brought them together in this in-situ conservation project.
Since 2004, the Potato Park and CIP have collaborated to preserve and promote the Park’s native potato varieties through repatriation of disease-free cultivars, as well as to identify traditional and scientific practices for food security and self-sustaining development, particularly in light of climate change.
The Potato Park is a model of how other microconservation centers may work along the Ruta Condor.