WHY PERU?

The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest and a vital part of it lies in Peru. Historically, Peru’s forests have been less attacked that those in other Amazonian countries. However, the loggers and prospectors and agri-businessmen have been up their game their century and the rate of deforestation has doubled since 2012 - to an area a bit larger than the size of Herefordshire, about 250,000 hectares.

Rampant illegal logging is going on in Peru - about 80 per cent of Peru’s timber export illegally logged!

Oil and gas exploration in the Peruvian Amazon is almost completely out of control - concessions to the oilmen cover more than three quarters of the Peruvian Amazon. Frequent spills from pipelines are severely degrading the forests and destroying their eco-systems.

Peru is in a mess with regard to its rainforests.There’s endemic corruption and criminal gangs, so that much of what is going in the rainforest is illegal. In the rainforest area of Madre de Dios where there’s major gold prospecting going on, over 97 per cent of the gold found is illegal!

There’s poor environmental planning, weak and corrupt state and local government. There are loopholes everywhere, allowing primary forest to be classed as ripe for agriculture.

The local, indigenous people of Peru are up against it. Often they are criminalised for trying to protect their forests.  And although about 20 per cent of the Peruvian Amazon currently enjoys some form of recognition as indigenous lands, there’s great overlaps with oil and mining concessions, so that a 'protected forest area' may turn out to have a major oil company producing there.

There's a national plan to recognise a further 20 per cent of Peru’s forests as belonging to the indigenous peoples, but this plan is in the 'pending' folder, and has no legal protection. With Peru’s government intent on maximum economic growth and massive investment into oil and gas, the peoples of the forest need all the help they can get.

This is why The Size of Herefordshire has chosen two charities to support, both doing vital and marvellous work with the peoples of the Peruvian rainforest.

 

One is the Forest Peoples' Programme. From its base in Gloucestershire, the FPP supports indigenous forest people all over the world.  It is particularly active and effective in the Peruvian Amazon.

The other is Cool Earth which has a particularly effective and innovative approach to saving the rainforest.  (Follow Cool Earth tab)