Indigenous communities sign up for forest conservation program

Sixty four indigenous and rural communities in Peru have signed up to be part of a new government initiative aimed at conserving forests, state news agency Andina reported.

The initiative is led by the Environment Ministry and involves paying communities 10 soles (about $3.62) a year for every hectare of forest that is incorporated into the conservation program. 

The program will initially focus on the Apurimac and Ene river valleys (VRAE), where illegal coca cultivation has caused serious deforestation, and areas such as Satipo in Junin and the La Convencion valley in Cusco, also coca growing areas. The program will later expand nationwide. In the first year, the program, known as Juntos Amazonico, is expected to exceed the target of incorporating 300,000 hectares of forest.

It is expected that each of the 64 communities that will initially take part in the program will receive between 30,000-50,000 soles a year. The funds are to be used to for developing environmentally sustainable projects, including coffee, tropical fruit and cacao crops, fish farming and forest management. The program includes workshops on conservation with a special focus on climate change.

The project, which is being supported by Germany’s international cooperation agency GTZ, will be implemented over 10 years and has a final goal of signing up about 1,000 communities.

The program is a first in Peru. Similar initiatives have been implemented in Ecuador and Costa Rica.

About 60 percent of Peruvian territory is forested, but deforestation – caused by logging, industrial-scale agriculture, mining and oil extraction, and infrastructure and road development – have led to the loss of approximately 150,000 hectares per year between 1990 and 2000.

Between 1980 and 1990, the rate of deforestation was 260,000 hectares per year, according to a previous report by the Environment Ministry.

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2 Comments

  1. This is absolutely INSANE. IT is a misappropriation of the UN REDD programme… putting 80% of the money into government rather than communities.

    Absurd.

  2. Also, the deforestation figures are incomplete. Current FAO estimates show current deforestation rate at 300,000 ha/yr…..

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