Breathing new life into the Earth

March 2, 2017
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6.2 million

Tonnes of CO₂ reduced!

Thanks for your support!

Cars and rain forests go together like oil and water. Thanks to your much-needed support, since 2008, the Alto Mayo project has reduced 6.2 million tonnes of CO₂. To put that into perspective, that’s the equivalent of taking nearly 150,000 cars off the road each year. You see, tropical rain forests act like the Earth’s lungs, taking in troublesome CO₂ and releasing glorious oxygen for all of us to breathe. And the Alto Mayo rain forest in northern Peru is a 450,000-acre (twice the size of New York City) set of lungs that you’ve helped to protect from deforestation. A big milestone for the Alto Mayo project is that it achieved its third verification late last year for reducing 1.36 million tonnes of CO₂ over the last two years.

Meet park ranger Roberto Carlos García Vela. Vela spends days at a time patrolling the cloud forests of northern Peru’s Alto Mayo Protected Forest. Rather than tracking animals or arresting poachers, he spends much of his time talking with local people.

García Vela visits houses, farms, and nurseries throughout the protected area, often walking for hours between sites. “One of the activities of a park ranger is to monitor progress, ask about people’s concerns, find out whether they’re benefitting from the project,” he says.

“The first thing you hear when you arrive is, ‘We live on coffee and livestock,’” García Vela says. “We explained to them, ‘Let’s try to improve that coffee in the small plot you have. This is going to help improve your production.’ They welcome the idea … We started to recover these farms and diversification of other species, and people begin to understand the importance and the benefit of sustainable agriculture.”

More than 240 conservation agreements have already been signed, directly providing benefits for the local families in the Alto Mayo. Clear-cutting has decreased across the region, and baby yellow-tailed woolly monkeys have been sighted by several local residents—a hopeful sign for the survival of the species.

The job isn’t easy, but García Vela likes the challenge. “It is very open-ended work—there is no recipe. We are always trying to learn more and be in harmony with nature.”

If it wasn’t for the support of amazing eco-minded people like yourself, stories like this simply wouldn’t exist. Your contribution may mean a lot to us, but it means the world to people like García Vela.