Day Four - Managing nature sustainably in the Amazon

Written by Jessica Morgan

"Our objective is to manage forests sustainably while also supporting local communities' adaptation to climate change," said Jaime Guillermo Nalvarte Armas from Asociación para la Investigación y Desarrollo Integral (AIDER) Perú.

Speaking at a side event on Indigenous peoples: Mitigation and adaptation in practice in Amazonia he was joined by representatives from Confederación de Nacionalidades Amazónicas del Perú (CONAP) and Fundación amigos de la naturaleza (FAN) Bolivia. 

Climate change is threatening the Amazon rainforest causing rising temperatures and decreased rainfall. Precipitation has fallen by 10 percent since 1985. These issues are in turn causing more problems leading to flash floods, unreliable seasons and increased chances of forest fires. This is a huge issue for local people as floods and fires damage vast areas of forest affecting their sources of food and income. 

Armas explained that AIDER manages community forests, negotiation the territorial rights of indigenous peoples, manages environmental services, and integrates institutional policies and local knowledge to create adaptation and mitigation strategies. 

AIDER works with indigenous Amazonian communities so they can better provide food and income for their families in a changing climate. Simultaneously these projects will manage the forests sustainably and conserve biodiversity.

A pilot project running in the Esta community in the Ucayali region in the Amazon is showing promising results. The Peruvian government has recognised the community's property rights which is the first step to deterring illegal loggers from the area. Building a school for training and introduction of low-impact technology has resulted in an increase of food and monetary income for the 300 residents. This increase means the community can better manage its natural resources and live in harmony with the environment. 

AIDER and CONAP believe that through projects like these conserve the Amazon rainforest. IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme is also working with small farmers and indigenous peoples to protect their environment for future generations.