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Environmental policy under the Kuczynski Administration: Steps forward for conservation efforts in Peru (commentary)

02 / 11 / 2017, Mongabaycom News

Peru’s megadiversity has placed the country under an international spotlight, as its many ecosystems have become a global conservation priority. However, Peru has suffered from high deforestation rates in recent years, largely due to the expansion of small-scale agriculture. According to an official MAAP report, Peru lost approximately 4.5 million acres of Amazonian forest between 2001 and 2015. The size of this area is larger than the state of Connecticut. Many national and foreign initiatives exist to curb deforestation in Peru; these range from the implementation of sustainable management plans to the purchase of carbon credits. Still, domestic environmental policy remains a key factor in preserving biodiversity. The election of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in June 2016 held the potential for an improved approach towards environmental conservation. While it is still too early to determine Kuczynski’s environmental legacy, a recent series of events suggest that Peru is trying to find a balance between its need for development and the protection of its biodiversity. The following initiatives demonstrate the advances and challenges that the current administration faces in relation to this process. Programa Bosques and Geo Bosques: Efforts to control deforestation and encourage sustainable land use First proposed at the 2008 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP14), the National Forest Conservation Program, known as Programa Bosques, has proven to be a successful conservation initiative under the Peruvian Ministry of Environment. The program aims to preserve 54 million hectares (more than 133 million acres) of tropical forest in an effort to mitigate climate…

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