Sustainability in the trinational frontier

Seen from the sky, the Amazon seems like a great and uniform green carpet, but up close the truth is very different. Even very small territories may harbour different ecosystems. Consequently, instead of being suitable for timber harvesting, a certain type of forest may be suitable for Brazil nut gathering, these are exactly the type of details that must be considered when determining the activities to promote local sustainable development.

One of the most critical areas in this regard is the Southeastern Amazon Peruvian region located in the Brazil-Bolivia border. There, among these biodiverse forests, we find a combination of protected areas, indigenous territories and increasing human pressures generated by the Interoceanic Highway.

WWF Peru works along with partners in Bolivia and Brazil, as well as with the population and local authorities to promote specific options for sustainable development that allow for the consolidation of the protection of the forest and the mitigation of the impacts projected by the construction of the road.

Sustainable productive alternatives
The border between the southern Amazon region of Peru and Brazil is very graphic. When crossing it, one may note a drastic landscape change between the – still conserved – Peruvian forests and the vast agricultural and ranching plains of the neighboring country. Today, large-scale investors (agricultural, ranching and others) have set their sights on the territories adjacent to the new highway, including the Peruvian stretch.

Through its local partners, WWF works in the field along hundreds of families. On one hand, it combats one of the largest current threats in the region: the increasing forest fires, by training farmers and promoting less intense practices to raise awareness regarding the vulnerability of the local forests to these practices.

On the other, WWF concentrates its efforts on developing agroforestry systems with local species such as the Brazil nut, copoazu and shiringa - or natural latex - in former degraded lands and others close to the highway. This is how deforested areas are recovered and productive areas are consolidated for the inhabitants, who simultaneously curb deforestation and the advance of activities such as intensive agriculture in areas that must be conserved.

WWF provides supportive guidance to the inhabitants during the entire cycle, fostering the local production of seedlings, developing agroforestry capacities and supporting the creation of productive and commercial associations, which jointly benefit over 5000 families, providing stability for their territories and improving their quality of life through additional incomes. Today, families located along the highway value and actively protect the forest.

An institutional framework that protects the forest
Despite the growing commitment of the population, facing the pressures to transform these forests requires an additional support. Therefore, WWF works alongside local authorities; training and assisting them in order to promote the consolidation of a land zoning that will acknowledge and prioritize low impact activities in the forest– such as the agroforestry systems -. By doing so, these practices are promoted formally, the inhabitants are given security and pressures such as the new Interoceanic Highway are prevented from turning into disordered migration, ranching and intensive agriculture, and resulting in the loss of forests. It is a joint effort on the part of the population, authorities and local partners that begins to consolidate a promising sustainable development strategy.

Key facts:
  • 5000 families close to the Interoceanic Highway benefit from sustainable and productive activities that contribute towards forest conservation.
  • As a result of an agreement with the regional government, today land zoning in the region fosters the agroforestry systems promoted by WWF in sensitive areas.
We work with: Asociaciones de Castañeros La Novia y Alerta, Asociación de Artesanos en Shiringa de Iberia - Tahuamanu (ASARSHIT), Miembros de la Asociación de Agricultores del Tahuamanu, Mesa de Concertación y Diálogo de la chiringa, Empresa Comunal Jebe Natural del MAP Tahuamanu (ECOMUSA), Arte en Shiringa La Iberiana (ASHIBE), Municipios de Iñapari, Iberia y Tahuamanu, Gobierno Regional de Madre de Dios, Iniciativa Madre de Dios Acre Pando (MAP), Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental (SPDA), Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica (ACCA), Fondebosque, y Bosques y Sociedad y Desarrollo (BSD)
La castaña (Bertholetia excelsa) o nuez de Brasil, es una de las mejores oportunidades para valorizar al bosque en pie y promover su aprovechamiento sostenible.

For more information regarding the experience, please contact: