San Martín forest restored after illegal logging and coca planting

One ongoing problem in Peru is illegal mining and logging. Many once virgin rainforest areas have been devastated by clear cutting. As the forest is cut, biodiversity diminishes dramatically and is accompanied by a loss in wildlife and also results in loss of air and water quality, not just in the immediate area, but throughout the entire watershed.

Part of a sustainable future for coffee farmers is recognizing that working with nature vs clear cutting accompanied by composting residual crop waste as opposed to burning is the best way to maintain soil stability (critical on the hillsides,) and preserve nutrients over the long term.

Some areas are being restored according to this report via Peru This week:

Thousands of hectares of land in Peru’s dense and diverse forests have been deforested in the last decade. This is arguably the most devastating activity contributing to climate change, as the Amazon is the largest acting filter for the world’s pollution-heavy air.

Members of Nueva Reforma in San Martín have recovered 400 hectares of lands that had been both deforested and planted with illegal coca leaves with native plants, reports El Comercio.

In this region of land, as in many other isolated forest regions, farmers cut down hectares of dense forest to plant coca crops. By producing five kilos of leaves every 3 months, a farmer could sell the load for S/. 6,000, a profitable activity for locals.

Farmers in the San Martín region, however, have stopped this activity and have moved to the community of Nueva Reforma where the locals are moving toward more sustainable practices and reforesting what has been lost.

Illegal loggers have taken down hundreds of cedar, tornillo, huaiuro, shiringa among others to sell as timber and have therefore destroyed hundreds of years of growth and diverse wildlife life. As locals began realizing the devastation upon their community, they asked DEVIDA for funding to help reforest the area. DEVIDA has since invested S/. 3 million to reforest 600 hectares, reports El Comercio.

Source: San Martín forest restored after illegal logging and coca planting – Peru this Week

©2015 Ben Gangloff

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