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Story Publication logo January 14, 2022

Communities with Agreements to Conserve Forests saw Peak Deforestation in the Pandemic (Spanish)


Two people walk near a tropical tree and a blue house in the background.

The vast Peruvian Amazon suffers from high rates of deforestation, and a race to buy up the...


Below is an excerpt of the report, which was originally written in Spanish and posted on the Convoca website. To read the original story in full, click here.

From the edge of the Ene River, one can see the immense forest expanding through the Cutivireni Asháninka community in Junín, in the central jungle of Peru. Not long ago, in a sector of Pamaquiari, community members planned to cut down and burn two blocks (about 200 meters) of trees and bushes to grow cocoa and bananas on the cleared land. This is a traditional practice in indigenous and peasant communities dedicated to subsistence agriculture, which in recent months they have not been able to control. The force of the wind spreads the fire during the felling and burning of the trees and a wide extension of wooded land is razed to the ground.

"To plant sesame, we have to slash and burn, otherwise it doesn't produce. We have not been able to stop the fire," says a community leader from the Pamaquiari annex in Cutivireni, who prefers not to be identified for security reasons. This community is close to drug trafficking zones and recently there have been reports in other regions of the Amazon of the murder of indigenous leaders who protect their forests from criminal networks.

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Forest fires caused by slash-and-burn agriculture by indigenous communities have been one of the main causes of deforestation. Image by Marco Núñez/

In front of the mighty Ene River, community members of the Pamaquiari annex, in Cutivireni, ensure that there are no drug traffickers or settlers dedicated to logging in this town. Image by Marco Núñez/

Since 2011, 274 native communities in nine regions of Peru have received Minam's economic incentive to conserve their forests and reduce deforestation. Image by Marco Núñez/

The resources transferred by the Ministry of Environment to communities committed to conserving their forests should be allocated to a management plan that could be focused on the cultivation of cocoa or coffee. Image by Marco Núñez/

Indigenous community members of the Ene River basin report that during the summer months in the central jungle (from June to September), there are more forest fires.Image by Marco Núñez/

After the Forestry program generates a deforestation alert, the community vigilance committee has to verify what has been happening. Image by Marco Núñez.


a yellow halftone illustration of a truck holding logs





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