The Ministry of Agriculture and Water have successfully led a reforestation campaign through the agrarian development program AgroRural that has helped around 1,500 families escape poverty.
The Reforestation Campaign of 2017-2018 took place in the Sonche region and thousands got involved. The Ministry’s website reports that men, women, children, even old people and pregnant women all got took part planting trees in the area.
The pines planted in their regions has had a huge effect, as many of the communities had found themselves in economic dire straits. Now they have resources that help them earn money, through the production of wood and edible mushrooms. The trees also improve the microclimate of the region and the site is now an attractive tourist destination which will bring more revenue to the area.
The campaign started in 2017 with four hectares, but they closed the campaign at the end of March with over 700 hectares successfully reforested. Flor de Maria Valle Culquicondor, the managing director of Natural Resource Management of AgroRural expressed her contentment with the project.
“We have seen satisfactory results and I want to emphasize the participation of tourist representatives, seeing as in this community there is a lot of potential, even more so now you can see the work done in the reforested areas,” she said. “It is necessary that we take care of our nature, our environment.”
The members of the community are aware of the importance of the campaign and La Republica reported that there were emotional thanks given at the closing of the campaign.
Felicita Inga, a member of the community, spoke to the ministry.
“Our children will see the most benefit from this, they are going to enjoy it, and for this reason we want express our gratefulness to the support of Agro Rural on behalf of the community,” she said. “They have given us a great inspiration to keep going.”
Peru is a mine of natural resources and diversity and the Ministry is working hard to protect this and slow down the unnecessary destruction of the forests, especially in the Amazon region. Global Forest Atlas labels Peru as the country with the fourth most rainforest area, as it takes up almost half of the landmass of Peru. José Manuel Hernández, a member of the Ministry, told Spanish speaking news provider Andina that Peru currently has 73 million hectares of forest, but it was imperative that it be safeguarded.
“Between 150,000 and 160,000 hectares of forest are being lost every year, meaning that we have to work closely with legislative powers,” he told the newspaper.
The main reasons behind deforestation in the country are crop farming, oil production and gold mining, report nature news site Mongabay. However, deforestation in 2017 had dropped by 13% from 2016, with ‘only’ 143,435 hectares of land being deforested.
MAAP (the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project) uses satellite images to track the levels of deforestation, giving them an up-to-date picture of the situation in areas that in the past would have taken them months or years to find out.
Peru’s wealth of natural resources needs to be protected, along with the indigenous people who live there and rely on their surroundings, and AgroRural and the Ministry of Agriculture and Water are taking steps in the right direction.