The Cordillera Azul National Park REDD+ Project avoids deforestation in a magnificent expanse of lowland and montane forests in four departments in central Peru: San Martín, Ucayali, Huánuco, and Loreto. The area encompasses 1,351,964 hectares inside the national park. The park, owned by the government of Peru, is managed and financed by the Peruvian NGO Centro de Conservación, Investigación y Manejo de Áreas Naturales (CIMA) through a public-private partnership piloted by the Peruvian government. The project’s avoided-deforestation objective is accomplished by strengthening park protection, engaging local communities and other stakeholders in land-use management compatible with conservation, and improving the quality of life of the park’s neighbors. Approximately 180,000 people in more than 200 communities – immigrant and indigenous – neighbor the park. Villagers close to the park mostly practice subsistence agriculture; those closer to major roads engage in market activities as well. CIMA and its close advisor, The Field Museum in Chicago, have worked with communities since 2002 to ensure that the project activities incorporate and reflect the values and aspirations of local residents. The project activities are highly participatory, with villagers leading several efforts and developing competencies that will enable long-term success.The biodiversity in the project area is astounding. Intact forests stretch from lowlands (150 meters) to ragged mountain peaks (2,400 meters). This eastern outlier of the Andes has been isolated sufficiently long for speciation to occur: more than 35 species new to science have been discovered in the park to date. The forests harbor rare and endangered species, as well as abundant populations of animals and plants that are crucial to the well-being of park neighbors.