Peru: The state pays the natives to take care of the Amazon rainforest

In 2008, the P & Ã rsquo; is engaged & oacute; at the United Nations keep two-thirds of its tropical forests in the Amazon region. To get there, the Peruvian government has decided to ...

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A view of a part of the Amazon rainforest affected by deforestation in southeastern Peru. REUTERS / Guadalupe Pardo

In 2008, Peru pledged to the United Nations to conserve two-thirds of its tropical forests in the Amazon region. To achieve this, the Peruvian government has decided to mobilize the natives of the region and to motivate them a little ... by paying them.

The natives are the first protectors of the Amazon rainforest, it is often said. This is probably true for tribes in voluntary isolation, those living in and out of the forest, but not always for the poorest communities. In Peru and the countries of the region, when indigenous people do not have resources, they too can sell precious wood or engage in illegal mining. Hence the idea of ​​the Lima authorities to pay them to protect their environment.

Income from 5,000 to 150,000 euros.

Thus, communities whose leaders agree to protect the environment and sign a zero predation agreement will receive 10 soles per hectare. 10 soles, it's 3 dollars, 2,50 euros. The sum may seem insignificant but if we multiply it by the protected territory, it ends up counting. According to officials from the National Forest Conservation Program of the Ministry of the Environment, some indigenous communities have a land area of ​​2,000 hectares and the largest of 60,000 ... so this can make regular cash flow from 5,000 to 150,000 euros.

The government will pay every six months, but the community will have to live up to its commitments. The Ministry of the Environment to ensure this will mobilize its agents on the ground and especially regularly examine satellite images of the territory of the community. It must not find traces of deforestation or illegal mining.

150,000 hectares of forest affected ...

This program is not new, but the government has decided to revive it, especially with this economic motivation. The idea actually comes from 2011. At the time, Peru had made a commitment to the United Nations to protect 54 of its 73 million hectares of forest, roughly two-thirds. At the time, there was urgency, today even more. In 2017, for example, Peru lost more than 150,000 hectares due to deforestation, colonization, mining, farming or livestock farming. The authorities hope to put an end to it thanks to the mobilization of the natives. Between 2011 and 2014, this initiative mobilized only 16 communities for a variety of reasons including the slowness of the bureaucracy, they are today 200 that protect nearly 2 million hectares. The goal now is to secure the protection of 5 million hectares of Amazon rainforest by 2021.