In the Peruvian Amazon, 652km drive East of Lima, lies Atalaya; aptly translating to ‘watchtower’ in Spanish, the town stands sentinel over an important Peruvian forestry region covering 3.98million hectares. This corner of Peru’s wider Amazonian Forest (an area totalling 73million hectares and 61% of the entire country) is also home to the Ashaninka, Yine and Asheninca indigenous peoples.
While Peru has made great developmental strides, significant growth, low inflation, macroeconomic stability and poverty reduction, some people have been left behind. Amazonian indigenous peoples suffer high levels of malnutrition, limited access to education and healthcare, and disproportionate maternal/infant mortality levels. Many are living in extreme poverty.
Poverty isn’t the only foe…
120,000ha of forest has been lost annually (between 2001 and 2014). 45% of this deforestation has taken place on lands with no legal status. Increasing pressure on forest-related resources has resulted in social conflict, as forest dwellers see their primary source of income encroached on by competing forces – agriculture is the primary cause of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon. The exploitation of gold, oil and gas also add dramatically to the degradation of Amazonian ecosystems.
The forest offers opportunities for poverty reduction through economic diversification, alongside building climate change resilience…
How the Climate Investment Funds are helping
Authorised in 2018, the $12.2M Integrated Forest Landscape Management Project aims to strengthen the capacity of forest dependent communities to sustainably manage forest landscapes. The project is tied to the Climate Investment Funds (CIF)’ Forest Investment Program (FIP) and is expected to generate huge transformation; significantly reducing emissions produced by deforestation and degradation while carbon reserves in sustainable forest landscapes are enhanced.
The workstreams include:
With the full fruition of all the above in Atalaya, the full power of the Ashaninka, Yine and Asheninca peoples to stand sentinel over their ancient forest home will be returned.