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Peru: Deforestation in Times of Climate Change, English edition

Servindi, february 20, 2020.- A good news. The book Perú: Deforestation in times of climate change, part of the publications of the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), is already translated and published in English version.

The book comprises a total of 14 articles addressing the issue of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon and its impacts, not only on the Amazonian environment and wildlife but particularly on the societies inhabiting the area.

It was published in the framework of the project Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

Download the book here:

Perú: Deforestation in times of climate change

By Alberto Chirif

First published in Spanish in 2018, this English edition does not follow the exact same format as the original because, in addition to several new works, two have been removed because they are on topics that are no longer current or which have changed in the last two years and several more have been updated by their authors.

This publication forms part of a project on the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) mechanism. The project is being funded by Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) and is providing support to Servindi (Intercultural Communication Services), Onamiap (National Organisation of Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Women of Peru) and Coharyima (Harakbut, Yine and Matsiguenka Council), this latter being a member organisation of Fenamad (Federation of Native Communities of Madre de Dios and its Tributaries) in Madre de Dios.

The key aim of the project is to provide training for indigenous communicators and to produce and disseminate information on indigenous rights with a focus on climate change issues, the Norway-Germany-Peru cooperation agreement on REDD+ and the indigenous REDD+ proposal aimed at titling the communal territories. This work is being undertaken largely in the REDD+ pilot areas: Madre de Dios, Ucayali and San Martín. One of the project’s themes is the drivers of deforestation.

To consider this issue in more depth, a workshop was held in Puerto Maldonado (Madre de Dios, Peru) on 26 March 2017 with the participation of communities affiliated to Coharyima and the leaders and technical staff of Fenamad. The primary aim was to analyse the issue of road infrastructure, not only the Southern Interoceanic Highway linking the Madre de Dios region to Acre State in Brazil but also other planned roads that are likely to cross the indigenous territories and protected natural areas.

This work brings together a number of the speeches and discussions that took place during that workshop along with articles written especially by the authors. It comprises a total of 14 articles addressing the issue of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon and its impacts, not only on the Amazonian environment and wildlife but particularly on the societies inhabiting the area.

These impacts are being facilitated by informal dynamics for which the State is largely responsible. It has failed to act promptly enough to put a stop to these dynamics and redirect their drivers towards a sustainable use of the environment and its resources which would, in turn, result in prosperity for the region and the country as a whole. The most harmful of these dynamics is the expansion of illegal coca growing and alluvial mining.

The environmental impacts are, nonetheless, also the result of oficial policies aimed solely at promoting economic growth that benefits the investment companies to the detriment of the population and the environment. The State has promoted such policies through a strategy of tax reduction (meaning less public investment in social services such as education and health) and a lowering of environmental standards and social rights, such as job security.

Their policies have also included the construction of roads that enable companies and extractors alike to gain easy access to new areas rich in natural resources, and which are then rapidly plundered. As recent judicial inquiries have shown, these infrastructure projects are based on a logic of corruption rather than national interest.

As for the indigenous peoples, they are suffering serious aggression aimed above all at minimising, or even trying to abolish, the rights protecting them, such as the guarantee of free, prior and informed consultation as provided by ILO C169, the aim of which is to reach an agreement on initiatives affecting them.

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