- Forest conservation initiatives in Peru in the past decades have had little to no effect, as deforestation continues to skyrocket in the country, according to a new study by the International Forestry Research Center, CIFOR.
- Peru has attracted millions of dollars in forest conservation initiatives and has 254 public and private parks and protected areas, yet deforestation has been rising steadily since 2001 by more than 326,000 acres per year. In 2020, forest loss peaked, reaching 502,000 acres of tropical forest, the equivalent of 379 football fields.
- CIFOR’s research includes a literature review of 17 studies evaluating the impact of conservation initiatives in the country over the years. REDD+ mechanisms consistently performed poorly, having the least effect both on forest cover and community economic situations.
- Researchers call for strengthening government agencies and creating a better dialogue with academics who are studying and monitoring conservation mechanisms and their impacts.
Peru has attracted millions of dollars in forest conservation projects over the years, has a series of international agreements and targets to protect forests and has 254 public and private parks and protected areas — but these mechanisms have had little to no effect as deforestation skyrockets in the country, says a new study.
Peru, which has the second-biggest share of the Amazon Rainforest after Brazil, has lost an average of more than 326,000 acres of forest per year since 2001. This spiked in 2020 when it lost nearly 502,000 acres — the equivalent of almost 379 football fields. The new study by the Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF) says conservation mechanisms in Peru have had at best a moderate effect on forest loss, but in many cases, haven’t had any effect at all. The impact on the well-being of the communities involved has ranged from positive to negative, according to the research.
“Across the region, I would say that given the high pressures to convert forestland into more agricultural land, I wouldn’t be surprised if we could have found the same in similar Amazon Basin countries,” says Manuel Guariguata, one of the study authors and a specialist in tropical forest ecology and forest management who works with CIFOR.