May 18, 2019 3 min read
Project Spotlight: Peru & The Amazon Rainforest
Want to know what we've been up to in the Amazon Rainforest? Here's a new video to kick off the story!
This project was initiated in partnership with YULA, an energy drink inspired by the Amazon, and giving back to the Amazon through reforestation.
Many of us are likely aware that the Amazon Rainforest is a place of pristine natural beauty and immense biodiversity, and that deforestation has had a big impact in the region for decades. And while things like politics and agribusiness are major challenges, one way that we can quickly and effectively restore landscapes is by working in collaboration with local farming cooperatives, integrating agroforestry, and using sustainable methods that benefit people, wildlife, and the planet. That's what this project is all about!
The reforestation area is in the Madre de Dios region, home to over 10% of the world's bird species. The goal is to restore and protect the "buffer zone" between Tambopata National Reserve, Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, and the city of Puerto Maldonado.
Planting trees here will help conserve habitat for Jaguars, pumas, ocelots, armadillos, tapetis and hundreds of other species living in the protected and surrounding areas, while providing sustainable livelihoods to local farming families and communities. The trees will be mainly cacao trees, as well as supportive species for ecological benefit, including Laurel, Cedar, Caoba, Blanco, Bolaina, and others. Dolomite (the white powder in the photos below) is added to the acidic soil to help balance the pH level and create healthy conditions for new growth, and grafting is also used as part of the cultivation process to help ensure abundant - and reachable - harvests.
Restoration and conservation are essential components of this project.
This model of agroforestry ensures that only previously degraded lands (from cattle and poorly farmed former monocultures) are eligible, AND no primary/intact forest is allowed to be cut down. An example is a landowner that has 30 hectares, who might have 5 hectares for cacao trees, 2 hectares for other crops, and the remaining 23 hectares would be left as primary forest. Overall, approximately 400 farming families will benefit from this project.
All of the farms that are part of this project are Fair Trade Certified, and some of them are Certified Organic.
This initiative meets CCB standards, is VCS certified, and is part of the UN's Redd+ program - which are basically ways of saying that it has been thoroughly vetted and confirmed as having a positive environmental impact and the official seal of approval by several certifying bodies.
Finally, when we asked whether there was any other meaningful information to relay about this project from our partners on the ground, the response was that the lives of farmers are being changed for the better. They are getting new training and education on growing cacao trees and managing land more sustainably, they have more "beautiful crops," and since being a part of a coop is new for many of them, they are also learning the benefits of collaborative farming systems.
This is an ongoing project that will span 3 years and 3 planting seasons in Peru. So far 250,000 trees have been planted, with many more to go! Want to help? Plant a tree here! 🌲😊
p.s. want to know more about Tambopata National Reserve and their impact targets which relate to our efforts here? This should help.
by Diana Chaplin
Canopy Director & Eco-Storyteller
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