About 40% of Latin America is covered by forests and particularly the Amazon forest. This territory represents 22% of the global forest area and it is located in the Amazon basin, which is the largest continuous mass of the world's tropical forests. 64 million hectares of native forests have been cleared for various reasons throughout the region for conversion of vegetation in areas of crop or forest plantations of exotic species (mainly eucalyptus).
Within this context, the tropical Andes is the most diverse in terms of species, sometimes called the "global epicenter of biodiversity". Located in South America, it includes the mountainous forests of the eastern slopes of the Andes of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia: its heart is in the tropical portion of the Andean chain that runs north-south through Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru.
The tropical Andean ecosystem shared by these three countries covers 318,602 km2 of forests and contains a population of more than 800,000 families (about 4 million people), with human development index of about 0.60, which is below the average of each country. In this ecosystem we have identified four core issues common to the three Andean countries:
Its population has a growing situation of poverty and exclusion, in particular among the indigenous Amazonian groups, due to the degradation of natural resources and inadequate technological capacity.
The ecosystem suffers from severe deforestation and degradation that causes environmental problems such as climate change, landslides and other issues that affect livelihoods.
The population, particularly the most vulnerable, are excluded from access to training and extension services.
The regulatory framework has obscured or marginalized them, due to preferential policies favoring economic development on a large scale. The combination of the above problems are manifested in increasing conflicts between different interest groups and in an uncontrollable cycle of degradation, poverty and degradation. The production is unsustainable and the great goal of welfare and human development becomes unviable.
Faced with these problems, Practical Action seeks to improve the livelihoods of poor people in tropical forest ecosystems through the development and use of agroforestry technologies, conservation and sustainable management of natural resources.
Practical Action has been working with Awajun communities in the Alto Mayo region, to facilitate the utilization and recovery of forests through increased seed production, planting of natives trees in coffee farms, and training the community in better agricultural techniques.Read more
Alcides Irigoin is a forester and coffee producer from Dos de Mayo. The Cloud Forest project helped set up a nursery, providing seeds, tools, screens, levers and machetes as well as ongoing training. “Before the involvement of the Cloud Forests project, nobody knew anythi...Read more
Roland Fernández is a producer from the Bajo Naranjillo native community in the Soritor River Annex, and is a promoter of that community’s committee. “I found out about the project when some groups were working in my community and I wanted to join them and plant tr...Read more