Peru enjoys a wealth of natural resources and diverse ecosystems, including one of the largest tracts of tropical rainforest in the world. However, Peru also faces important choices in managing natural resources responsibly while leveraging them as assets for economic growth and poverty reduction. Environmental abuses and non-sustainable practices still occur, such as illegal logging, poaching, illegal mining, and coca cultivation. The country is also confronting environmental challenges linked to global climate change.
USAID/Peru strengthens Government of Peru (GOP) capacity to enforce environmental laws and prevent illegal logging, which is vital for compliance with the U.S.–Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA). In FY 2011, USAID/Peru assisted national and local authorities to implement the requirements of the PTPA Forest Annex. USAID/Peru also provided substantial assistance to the GOP to design Peru’s first modern National Forestry Information System (FMIS). Moreover, in response to the increasing delegation of forest management authority to the regional level, USAID/Peru inaugurated leadership trainings for natural resources and forestry professionals from regional governments. In addition, the program assisted the regional government of Loreto, which contains half of the Peruvian Amazon, to design and pilot a forest inventory.
Peru is among a handful of megadiverse countries in the world: It has
84 different ecosystems compared to 101 that exist in the world.
USAID/Peru completed a REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) programming assessment of Peru in 2011. Information from that assessment has helped to inform climate change mitigation interventions in the forest sector that protect biodiversity. For example, USAID/Peru supports the management of Cordillera Azul National Park to protect 772,672 hectares of forest. As this park works to achieve sustainable financing, it will qualify for REDD+ carbon financing, which can be traded on international markets. This project is considered by many to be one of the most advanced REDD+ projects in Peru. Moreover, USAID/Peru helped the GOP to design new regional natural resource management bodies that will be critical in forest carbon measuring and accounting throughout the country.
While Peru works to mitigate climate change, it is also forming strategies to adapt to its impacts. Climate change has increased tropical glacier melt, thus threatening coastal and highland communities dependent on glacial runoff for water resources. Ensuring sustainable fresh water for highland and coastal communities is critical to reducing poverty, mitigating conflict, and maintaining economic growth. USAID/Peru trained 123 male and female community members in field adaptation projects regarding water management. Similarly, USAID/Peru partneredwith a local NGO to help rural farmers secure financing to make irrigation improvements that would conserve water.
Forestry management - “Pueblo Nuevo” native community.
In 2011, USAID/Peru assumed management of South American regional environmental programs, including the second phase of the successful Initiative for Conservation in the Andean Amazon (ICAA) program in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia. A new regional environment team is also developing and implementing new regional programs, such as AmaZONAS Andinas Net Zero Deforestation Zones, to address climate change.
In terms of numbers of species documented within its borders, Peru occupies first place for butterflies and second place for birds and for most classes of animal and plant species.
Some important results include:
- USAID/Peru helped ten municipalities incorporate as a public entity to support the design of climate change adaptation projects that will be important to three different coastal watersheds. USAID/Peru also helped rural farmers to improve water use efficiency in their fields by as much as 140 percent by introducing new irrigation techniques. Lastly, USAID/Peru helped a community in Piura push forward a proposal to protect local wetlands by establishing a Regional Conservation Area.
- During 2011, the Cordillera Azul National Park paid 239 park guards. 203 local villagers participated as communal park guards in the 18 control posts and the 3 refuges surrounding the limits of Parque Nacional Cordillera Azul, and 36 official park guards. Also, given that the average family has five members, the number of beneficiaries is 1,195 (5 times 239).
- During the lifespan of the Certification and Development of Forest Enterprises (CERF) project, which ended in 2011, it provided technical assistance to almost 30 forest concessions and 15 indigenous communities. To date 787,919 hectares were certified by the project, comprising 696,552 hectares in forest concessions (88 percent) and 91,394 hectares in indigenous communities (12 percent).
Partners: The Inter-Amazon Council (CIAM), Confederation of Amazonian Nationalities of Peru (CONAP), Ucayali Regional Organization of AIDESEP, The Americas Fund, National Fund for Natural Areas Protected by the State (PROFONANPE), and Association of Peruvian Exporters (ADEX).
Implementing Partners: Ministry of Environment, U.S. Forest Service, Field Museum of Natural History, World Wildlife Fund, The Society for the Defense of the Peruvian Environment (SPDA), and the Mountain Institute.
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