Madre de Dios is the third-largest, and least densely populated, region of Peru. It is home to much of the Peruvian Amazon.
The region has historically been subject to numerous conservation challenges. These include extraction of the rich natural resources in the area – including rubber, timber, and alluvial gold. In 2011, the completion of the Trans-Oceanic Highway – linking Peru to Brazil – presented further challenges to the conservation efforts in the region, dramatically expanding the nearby town of Puerto Maldonado, and producing an uptick in illegal logging in the region, in areas nearby to the highway.
The local community is reliant on the old-growth rainforest, but protecting it from degradation and deforestation activities has been a challenge. Supporting the community to both safeguard the rainforest and to establish sustainable sources of income are therefore top priorities in the region.
The Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) tree is one of the largest and longest-lived trees found in the Amazon – they can grow up to 50m high, and live for over 500 years. Brazil nuts are notable for their rich content of vitamins and minerals, and this makes them an important and valuable non-timber forest product, and their passive harvesting provides a way to generate income from a tropical forest without destroying it.
The Brazil nut concessions project supports the community to produce reliable income through this passive harvesting. This incentivises the protection of the forest and its carbon sinking capabilities, since Brazil nut trees can only be found in old-growth forests. The project has also built a new processing facility, expanding a formerly subsistence activity into a viable income source. Additionally, the community receive carbon finance income generated by the protection of the rainforest.
Visible through careful additional monitoring, there are good indicators that the project has so far been a success in its goal of protecting the rainforest from degradation and deforestation. There has been little evidence of disturbance to the biomass (such as illegal logging) within the project boundary, and carbon storage per hectare has also increased since the project began in 2010.
Incorporated within the project activity is an outreach programme to help local communities understand the benefits of keeping the rainforest intact, including the benefits to the climate and to safeguarding threatened and endangered species.
This project is verified by the the Verified Carbon Standard and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard. You can view it on the Verra Registry here.
UN’s Sustainable Development Goals:
Projects like these are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Here are the goals recognised by the Papop Biogas and Renewable Energy project:
- End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
- Rethink how we grow, share and consume our food. We can provide nutritious food for all.
- Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
- Ensure access to water and sanitation for all.
- Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
- Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.
- Reduce inequality within and among countries.
- Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
- Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.
You can find out more about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals here.