Peru-based coalition releases roadmap on sustainability and forest protection

The Peruvian Amazon has lost roughly 2.3 million hectares of rainforest in the past 18 years – an area larger than all of Wales. One coalition is trying to turn this worrying trend around.

The Coalition for Sustainable Production is a Peru-based consortium of public, private and civil society organizations committed to revitalizing the low-carbon economy. It has released its roadmap for achieving deforestation-free supply chains and sustainable jurisdictions in Peru.

The roadmap (available here in Spanish) outlines strategies to achieve economic growth while helping Peru meet its commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement.

A central objective of the Coalition is to leverage greater support and investment from the private sector. Nearly half of Peru’s annual emissions come from land use change, partially tied to commodity sourcing (coffee, cocoa), giving the private sector an outsized role in helping to curb forest loss in Peru through market forces and direct investment. Other objectives include a focus on poverty reduction and climate resiliency across jurisdictions.

The roadmap also makes tacit recognition of the shift to jurisdictional approaches to sustainability, with significant attention paid to supporting Regions in these efforts and to connecting them with the growing interest in carbon-neutral sourcing in the private sector.

According to the document, the Coalition will also map out ongoing forest and land use management programs in Peru at the national and sub-national level, identifying areas of potential synergy between state and non-governmental actors and providing a space for multi-stakeholder diologue, exchange and collaboration among member organizations.

Much of the rainforest lost in the Peruvian Amazon has been driven by conversion of forested areas for agriculture or cattle pasture, largely by small-holder producers. Illegal gold mining and illicit coca production are also major contributors to forest loss. Reversing these numbers will require extensive cross-sector collaboration, a key focus of the Coalition.

Within the framework of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, Peru has committed to reducing its greenhouse emissions by 30% by 2030 and has expressed its willingness to increase that to 35% during the upcoming COP26 gathering scheduled for Nov 2021.

Earlier this year the government took the important step of formally recognizing the Amazon Commonwealth, giving greater authority to Amazon jurisdicitions to develop and fund region-wide development and forest protection programs. 

The genesis for the Coalition’s Roadmap traces back to 2017, during the Expo Amazonica, an annual event promoting sustainable development and economic opportunity for states and jurisdictions in Peru’s Amazon region. That year, some 44 organizations signed on to the Declaration of Tarapoto which sought to enhance public-private sector collaboration on slowing forest loss in Peru. Earth Innovation Institute was one of the founding members of the Consortium and a driving force behind its creation.

The following year, Peru’s Ministry of Agriculture initiated a series of workshops that brought together representatives from more than 90 organizations—including governments, civil society and Indigenous groups—to share their experience and identify areas of collaboration.

Those workshops eventually culminated in the development and release of the roadmap.

A member of the Coalition for Sustainable Production, Earth Innovation Institute is working with jurisdictional governments of the Peruvian Amazon, providing technical support and guidance as they develop and put in place low-emission rural development (LED-R) strategies. Seven of these governments have made ambitious commitments to reduce deforestation in their territories by 80%.

EII’s strategy in Peru also aligns with the Coalition’s emphasis on a “Production-Protection-Inclusion” approach, which emphasizes incentives for smallholder producers, Indigenous peoples, and traditional communities to transition to more sustainable practices while safeguarding human rights.

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