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Trees in the desert

a suitability assessment for a future community forestry and reforestation project in the department of La Libertad, Peru

Trees in the desert

a suitability assessment for a future community forestry and reforestation project in the department of La Libertad, Peru

Samenvatting

Community forestry is a way to combine forest conservation with economic development of forest depending communities. In the Pacific zone of northern Peru, the rural population heavily relies on the endemic dry forest ecosystem as a source of firewood, timber and as grazing area. Bad management, overuse and conversion of the forest into agriculture have made these dry Algarrobo (Prosopis pallida) forests one of the most endangered forest types in the world. They could be conserved and revived with the establishment of reforestation and forest conservation projects, based on the principles of community forestry. Community forestry is a way of forest management in which participation in management, decision making and benefitting from forest management of forest communities is actively promoted. Community forestry is seen as a way to improve social equity; alleviate poverty of forest users and improve ecosystem health. For this report, ten potential project sites in the coastal zone of La Libertad were identified and their suitability for a community based project of forest conservation and reforestation was assessed. The study was commissioned and supported by the NGO A Rocha Peru. The investigated sites have been assessed on nine different criteria that are important for the establishment of a community forestry and reforestation project, including community organization, legal status of the area and willingness of local authorities to cooperate in such a project. For the assessment, different kinds of research methods were used, including literature study, semi-structured interviews with key-informants, transect walks and village meetings. Analysis of satellite images and spatial data was used to cross-check and visualize information about forest cover, deforestation and landownership.Of the ten investigated sites, only the forest Tronco Prieto, near Santonte, in the province of Pacasmayo, was assessed as suitable for a community forestry project. Four investigated sites got a negative judgement (Bosque Pitura, La Quinta, Cañoncillo and Conache). About the five other investigated sites more information is needed for to conclude the assessment. The main restrictions for the establishment of a community based project of forest conservation and reforestation turned out to be a low interest of local government authorities and communities for a project of this kind, together with a poor relation between communities and local government authorities and unclear legal statuses of the forest areas. These restrictions are often interlinked and can be reduced into two main shortcomings which are an unsatisfactory functioning political and legal system and an absence of motivation for forest conservation at different levels in society. Despite all negative aspects, this study also gives several positive examples of the will for forest conservation and reforestation of private persons, communities and governments.

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OrganisatieVan Hall Larenstein
AfdelingBos- en Natuurbeheer
PartnersHogeschool Van Hall Larenstein
A Rocha Peru
Jaar2015
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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