13.06.2014

Federal Environment Ministry supports protection of tropical forests of indigenous communities in Peru

Peru and Germany have a longstanding cooperation in the field of climate action, adaptation to the impacts of climate change and biodiversity conservation. The Federal Environment Ministry has now made almost 5 million euros available for a project for the protection of tropical forests in the Peruvian Amazon region.

Peru has the world's fourth largest area of tropical forest coverage. This makes the country an important actor in biodiversity conservation and global climate action. Approximately 15 percent of the Peruvian tropical rainforest is owned by indigenous communities living mainly off subsistence farming. The majority of these communities lives below the poverty line. The rate of logging in these tropical forests is increasing every year, posing a threat to a number of ecosystems, animals and plants and encroaching upon the living space of local communities.

In order to improve the protection of rain forests, the Peruvian Environment Ministry has developed a new approach, which makes indigenous communities strategic partners in forest protection. Communities that protect the rainforests on their land will receive financial compensation for their contribution to climate mitigation and biodiversity conservation. This allows the financially struggling communities to make long-term investments in their own development.

The project funded by the International Climate Initiative (ICI) supports the Peruvian Environment Ministry and national and the regional authorities and environmental offices involved. Together they are developing regulations and instruments for the implementation of the compensation payments and setting up the necessary institutional framework.