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Implementing Forest Conservation in
Peru’s Alto Mayo Region


CI is protecting and restoring the Alto Mayo Protected Forest thanks to landmark carbon financing by Disney. CI and its partners are engaging communities in conservation, safeguarding vital forests and securing livelihoods.

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      EditImage Description: Map of Alto Mayo, Peru
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      What if you didn't have to choose between green and growth? In Peru's Alto Mayo Protected Forest, local communities are finding that the two concepts go hand in hand.

      A vital part of the planet's life-support system, tropical forests like the Alto Mayo act as the Earth's lungs, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Forests provide other criti​​cal ecosystem services such as filtering water, preventing soil erosion and regulating climate.

      The Alto Mayo Protec​​ted Forest is located in the San Martín region of northern Peru and spans 182,000 hectares (450,000 acres) — an area twice the size of New York City.

      Despite ​its protected status, the forest had some of the country's highest deforestation rates. Contributing factors included lack of enforcement of the protected area, a national highway built through the forest, an influx of people settling in the region and unsustainable farming practices. As a result of depleted soil, farmers cut down more trees in order to maintain production levels.

      To help halt this cycle, C​​I began working with partners — including local communities, corporations and Peru's government — to protect the Alto Mayo forest.

      In developing a REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation 'plus' conservation, the sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks) project in the​ Alto Mayo, CI and its partners are placing an economic value on the forest's services. REDD+ projects are innovative because they seek to mitigate climate change through protecting forests and providing local communities with financial, social and environmental benefits.

      In 2009, the project received a significan​​t boost when Disney provided US$ 3.5 million for CI's forest protection and conservation efforts in the Alto Mayo region. With Disney's support, CI is addressing the main causes of deforestation with incentive-based conservation agreements. To date, 235 families have pledged not to cut down the Alto Mayo's trees in return for agricultural training, as well as for other benefits like educational materials and medical supplies. Farmers who signed conservation agreements are benefitting from increased productivity and higher incomes.

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        EditCaption Title:Peruvian Students Learn to Tell Alto Mayo's Story
        EditCaption Description:CI-Peru and SERNANP, the National Protected Areas service of Peru, host the School Communicators Program with support from the Walt Disney Company.
        EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Carmen Noriega

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        EditCaption Title:Peruvian Students Learn to Tell Alto Mayo's Story
        EditCaption Description:Teens from two small cities located in the buffer zone of the Alto Mayo Protected Forest (AMPF) learn communication and media skills around environmental issues.
        EditPhoto Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Carmen Noriega

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        Edit Caption Title:Peruvian Students Learn to Tell Alto Mayo's Story
        Edit Caption Description:"The goal is to give youth the skills and information that will empower them to educate their communities on the importance of protecting their natural home," says Carmen Noriega, CI Peru.
        Edit Photo Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Carmen Noriega
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        Edit Caption Title:Peruvian Students Learn to Tell Alto Mayo's Story
        Edit Caption Description:Park Ranger Roberto Carlos Garcia leads the teens on a field trip to the Yuracyacu sub-basin of the AMPF to see the beauty of the forest as well as the impact of deforestation.
        Edit Photo Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Carmen Noriega
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        Edit Caption Title:Peruvian Students Learn to Tell Alto Mayo's Story
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        Edit Caption Title:Peruvian Students Learn to Tell Alto Mayo's Story
        Edit Caption Description:"The most important thing that I learned is to share the beauty of the forest because if we lost it, the future generations would not be able to enjoy it," says Jacqueline Perez, Rioja.
        Edit Photo Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Carmen Noriega
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        ​​​The project also helps strengthen management in the protected area and includes an environmental awareness component. CI and the Peruvian National Park Service host a series of workshops for youth from the Alto Mayo's buffer zone aimed at providing the skills and information that will empower them to educate their communities on the importance of protecting their natural home.

        In November 2012, the Alto Mayo REDD+ project was successfully validated under the Verified Carbon Standard and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards through ​​​an independent audit of the project's design and methodology. It has generated almost three million metric ​tons of emissions reductions between 2009 and 2012 — the equivalent of taking more than 500,000 cars off the road for a year.

        The project demonstrates how multi-sector partnerships among government officials, the private sector, civil society and local communities can have an enormous impact. By providing benefits to​​​ local communities in the Alto Mayo region, CI and its partners are offering people the opportunity to become conservation allies — seeing them not as enemies of the forest, but as its guardians.

        Success in the Alto Mayo is a h​​opeful sign that Peru no longer has to decide between protecting its forests and enjoying economic growth. The green path of REDD+ projects — safeguarding both ​forests and the communities that rely upon them — is proving to be the optimal road to both.

         

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        EditSection Title:Results
        EditSection Description:Success in the Alto Mayo is a hopeful sign that Peru no longer has to decide between protecting its forests and enjoying economic growth.
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        EditText:Spanning 182,000 hectares in the region of San Martin, the Alto Mayo Protected Forest is twice the size of New York City.

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        EditResult value:240,000
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        EditText:More than 240,000 people in the Alto Mayo basin are benefiting indirectly from the project.

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        EditText:From 2009-2012, the Alto Mayo project generated close to 3 million metric tons of emissions reductions — the equivalent of taking 500,000 cars off the road for one year.

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        EditResult value:$3.5
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        EditText:Disney made this landmark commitment to safeguard the Alto Mayo Protected Forest and offset carbon emissions.
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        EditSection Title:Working Together
        EditSection Description:CI works with many partners – from the heads of families to heads of state – to restore our planet's balance so that people everywhere can thrive. It's a serious mission but, as these stories highlight, it's a personal one as well.
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        EditImage 1 Alt Text:Roberto Carlos García Vela
        EditImage 1 Photo Credit:© Conservation International
        EditImage 1 Header:The Giving Trees
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        EditImage 1 Content:In the cloud forests of Peru, park ranger Roberto Carlos García Vela is showing local farmers the value of leaving trees standing.
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        EditImage 2 Alt Text:Segundo Guevara
        EditImage 2 Photo Credit:© Conservation International/photo by Carmen Noriega
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        EditImage 2 Content:Peruvian farmer Segundo Guevara used to clear trees from the land in search of fertile soil. Now he practices sustainable farming and protects the forest.
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        EditTitle:Disney Partnership
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        EditImage Alt Text:Tree in Manu National Park, Peru

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