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

All articles

  • PSG Aims

    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

  • Historical Overview

    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

  • Human Rights

    Human rights violations were widespread during the twenty years after the initiation of armed conflict in 1980. Efforts to convict perpetrators since the war's end have made only limited progress. Today, concerns remain over the treatment of those engaged in social protest, particularly against strategically important investment projects.

  • Why join the PSG?

    • Keep up to date with latest news and developments in Peru
    • Learn about key issues of poverty, development and human rights in Peru
    • Support the work of the Peru Support Group

    Become a member