New life for the people and the forests of the High Andes
The fragile and vulnerable cloud forest of South America’s Amazon basin is one of the richest ecosystems in the world and home to more than 3½ million people in Peru and Bolivia. Large areas of woodland, the majority of which belongs to native communities, are leased to migrant families who clear them for seasonal crops but given their lack of knowledge or appropriate technology to look after the land, abandon it due to its poor quality. Whilst the farmers are able to provide for their food needs in the short term, this method of farming is unsustainable, driving people to seek new areas to farm, increasing emissions and generating tension between native and migrant communities. Innocent is funding a number of ways to address these issues including reforestation and multilayer agro-forestry systems (thereby improving the quality of land resulting in better coffee harvests), diversifying economic opportunities into new areas such as bee-keeping, strengthening environmental education in rural schools and developing and promoting climate change adaptation and mitigation technologies.