The second largest portion of the Amazon rainforest after Brazil is located in Peru. The Peruvian Amazon is an area with an outstanding level of biodiversity and the region of Madre de Dios is considered Peru’s richest in biodiversity. Conversion to agriculture and illegal logging activities are the main drivers of forest degradation and fragmentation in this area. The Brazil Nut Rainforest REDD Project protects an area of about 300,000 hectares of rich primary rainforest in the southeast of Peru. The forest provides a habitat for numerous endangered plant and animal species. The local communities, comprising almost 400 families, benefit from an intact forest ecosystem they use for the traditional harvest of Brazil nuts but also from a new nut processing plant that is being financed with carbon revenues. Community members are trained in sustainable nut harvesting techniques, receive additional business support to improve market access and are supported in strengthening their land rights.
The project area comprises about 300,000 hectares of pristine Amazon rainforest. Surveillance and monitoring systems are established to stop forest destruction and to maintain the forest area as a vital carbon sink. The project contributes to the protection of a biodiverse local ecosystem that is also home to a number of endangered species and plants. Local community members are actively involved in project activities and trained in sustainable harvest techniques of the Brazil nuts to ensure that these can also be harvested by future generations.
Social and economical benefits
The project activities are carried out in close collaboration with the Madre de Dios Federation of Brazil Nut Concessioners (FEPROCAMD) to increase the income of local community members through sustainable Brazil nut harvesting. A modern nut processing plant is being built to enable the production of high-quality nuts. Market access to international markets will be improved by better quality of the nuts and business support. The participating farmers now have improved access to microfinance to ensure a sufficient amount of working capital for the harvesting season. Additional jobs in forest management and nut processing are created, which is particularly relevant in the 8 months outside the harvesting season. Importantly, land tenure rights of community members have been strengthened, e.g. through supporting clear demarcations and official land title registrations.