For nearly a decade, conservationists have pushed for increased protection of Peru’s Sierra del Divisor Reserved Zone. This weekend, their dream became a reality, with official declaration from the Peruvian government making Sierra del Divisor the world’s newest national park.
“The creation of the Sierra del Divisor National Park is a historic event,” wrote Peru’s Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal on Friday. “It is a confirmation of the Peruvian government’s commitment to conservation, sustainable development and the fight against climate change.
On Sunday President Ollanta Humala officially designated the national park to much fanfare in the Nuevo Saposoa indigenous community, which is near Sierra del Divisor.
The new park spans 1.3 million hectares (5,470 square miles), making it significantly bigger than Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. and four times the size of California’s Yosemite National Park. It is located in eastern Peru along the country’s border with Brazil and contains vast tracts of undisturbed rainforest.