Alto Mayo Protected Forest (AMPF) protects nearly 450,000 acres from deforestation and avoids ~ 500,000 tonnes of Greenhouse Gas emissions per year– more than 6 million tonnes to date.
Alto Mayo is part of the Abiseo-Condor-Kutukú Conservation Corridor, one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world and home to many unique animal and plant species. Runoff from the Alto Mayo forests also feeds into several major rivers, providing clean and consistent water supply to the communities who live in the basin and their rice crops. The forest itself abates soil erosion. Despite its protected status, Alto Mayo suffers from poor management and financial constraints, construction of a major highway, and high rates of migration into the Amazon. It is one of Peru’s Natural Protected Areas (NPAs) with the highest rates of deforestation due to widespread settlement.
As the cost of coffee, the main crop grown in the area, rose, Alto Mayo’s future appeared bleak until Conservation International and regional allies designed the Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative (AMCI) to promote sustainable management for the forest and its ecosystem services. Prior to AMCI, most coffee farmers were not using organic fertilizers, pest control methods, or effective post-harvest management techniques causing farmers to deforest new plots to continue. By establishing conservation agreements between Alto Mayo Protected Forest (AMPF) and local communities, the productivity and sustainability of the coffee plantations improve, resulting in higher family incomes and a reduced need to deforest.
AMCI also focuses on technical assistance for sustainable agriculture, environmental and educational awareness in the local communities, and strengthening the governing capabilities to reinforce AMPF’s protected status. Carbon financing enables conservation and climate change mitigation while improving the sustainable development of local communities.