In Peru, thousands are fleeing urban centers and attempting to return to their rural homes. As communities around the world cope with extended lockdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Peru’s cities are witnessing an exodus the likes of which the country has not seen in more than a generation, as individuals and families look to escape quarantine measures that have decimated jobs and wiped out daily wages. For those who manage to complete the journey, they return to regions—many of them in the Peruvian Amazon—where resources are already stretched thin.
The situation in Peru offers just one example of the pandemic’s global toll. But it also provides a glimmer of hope in resilience, as dedicated people continue the hard work of sustainable development in the face of an unprecedented new age.
On April 24, Peru’s government formally recognized the creation of the Amazon Commonwealth. The culmination of almost 10 years of determined effort supported by EII’s Peru team, this move aligns governments and jurisdictions in an area home to the second largest expanse of rainforest in South America—and hence a central piece in the larger effort to slow climate change—behind an agenda of sustainable and inclusive growth.
It could not have come at a more critical moment.
Earth Innovation Institute’s core proposition has remained constant: there are no silver bullet solutions to climate change and the loss of the world’s tropical forests. What is needed is an approach that is firmly embedded in the realities on the ground, and that is responsive to the needs of frontline populations that need our support, now more than ever.
The Amazon Commonwealth is just one example of how EII’s small, seasoned teams are forging big solutions. In Brazil, where economic uncertainty will inevitably increase pressure on already threatened forests, EII has been working hand-in-hand with local governments and smallholder producers to ensure that models of sustainable and equitable growth have a chance to flourish. Building trust between unlikely allies to win support for forest-, community-, and climate friendly development is no easy task. But the dividends, when they accrue, are priceless.
If there is a lesson to draw from this crisis it is that our ability to respond to the grave challenges we confront, be they from zoonotic disease or a rapidly warming planet, will depend on our ability to meet the needs of those who stand at the front gates, whose efforts will determine the nature of the world we leave for coming generations.
Since its inception, EII has invested in the long game, in building the bridges that are needed to carry the world toward a better future. This time of crisis and uncertainty only serves to strengthen our resolve. We ask on Giving Tuesday Now that you consider a tax-deductible donation to our work, knowing that your support—like nature in its time—will bear fruit in a world that is more prosperous and resilient.