Throughout the Peruvian Andes, deforestation is a growing problem. Deforestation is usually done to make way for pastureland or planting crops. Subsistence farming thrives in the Pampa Hermosa region because of Peruvian land tenure laws and the migration of farmers to the area only exacerbates the problem. Without protection, deforestation will inevitably continue, biodiversity will be lost, and the communities will continue to struggle to develop a sustainable source of income.
In 2009, San Antonio and Calabaza took action to conserve the cloudforest in which they live. The communities prohibited the collection of butterflies and orchids, the hunting of birds and bears, the extraction of wood, and the cutting and burning of forests for pasture. Rainforest Partnership is now working with the communities to help them develop the region as an “ecotravel” destination. This project focuses on creating the necessary infrastructure to support ecotourism in the area.
This project and the development of an ecotourism site will prevent deforestation, provide reliable, long-term income for hundreds of community members, and preserve a rich and diverse ecosystem.