Peru Lacks Resources to Protect its Forests

Peru New 057. 17 August 2010

Peru Lacks Resources to Protect its Forests

The government agencies responsible for protecting Peru’s forests lack the staff and resources necessary to protect and monitor the vast area which accounts for 53% of Peruvian territory, according to a report published by the Office of the Peruvian Human Rights Ombudsman (Defensoría del Pueblo).

The report (Forestry Policy and the Peruvian Amazon: Progress and obstacles on the road to sustainability) states that the Amazon rainforest accounts for 91% of Peru’s 68 million hectares of forests. Some 150,000 hectares of this total is lost each year to deforestation, which is in turn responsible for over 42% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Some of the recommendations made in the report include:
- Urging Congress to prioritise the scheduled debate on the new forestry and wildlife law.
- Incorporating into the forestry and wildlife law the participation of all actors involved, especially indigenous communities, in line with International Labour Organisation Convention 169, which Peru ratified in 1993.
- Increasing the power of the National Forestry Authority within government.
- Urging the Ministry of Agriculture to update and implement the National Strategy to Fight Illegal Logging.

British Interest in Peru’s Forests
On 1 July, Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith asked the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department is giving to (a) sustainable forestry management projects and (b) projects to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation in Peru.

The minister, Andrew Mitchell, responded that the Department for International Development (DFID) is providing £3.7 million (2008-12) to campaign group Global Witness to increase transparency in the management and governance of forests in four countries, including Peru.

Full ministerial response
 

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