Conditional cash transfers to protect community tropical forests in the Amazon region

Project description

Title: Decentralisation of Peru’s tropical forest protection programme (CBC II)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), through the International Climate Initiative (IKI)
Country: Peru
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Environment (Ministerio del Ambiente - MINAM)
Overall term: 2014 to 2018

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Context

There are around 65 million hectares of tropical forest in Peru’s Amazon region. Titles to more than 12 million hectares of this land have been signed over to 1,500 indigenous communities. The majority of the population lives below the poverty line and, in order to ensure their survival, many people resort to unsustainable forms of forest management. The construction of new roads, illegal logging, gold mining and forest conversion to agriculture are on the rise and pose a growing threat to biological diversity and therefore also to the livelihoods of the indigenous population.

With the aim of strengthening the conservation of forests in indigenous territories and in other areas, Peru’s Ministry of Environment launched the National Forest Conservation Programme in 2011. The programme makes a direct contribution to the country’s National Climate Change Strategy.

Objective

Within the scope of the National Forest Conservation Programme, the Peruvian Ministry of Environment further develops and decentralises conditional cash transfers as an instrument for the protection of indigenous community forests, in particular.

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Approach

In conjunction with the National Forest Conservation Programme, GIZ is developing an effective procedure for providing conditional cash transfers in regional governments. In this context, it is promoting initiatives that support sustainable forest use by the indigenous communities, and thereby protect the forests. The conditional cash transfers provide the regional governments with an innovative instrument for forest conservation in indigenous territories. At the same time, they help improve the livelihoods of the indigenous population.

As part of the decentralisation process, the individuals responsible for the transfers in the regional governments are being trained in adapting national concepts and ideas to regional conditions. They are being taught to use the conditional cash transfers to initiate and manage projects and to monitor forest conversion (deforestation). Another focus of the training is on providing information on alternative sources of finance in order to safeguard the work of regional governments over the long term. The institutional foundations are being laid through pilot measures in the regions of San Martín, Loreto, Ucayali, Amazonas and Madre Dios.

Results

The project is implementing the conditional cash transfer policy for the protection of indigenous community forests in the Amazon region that was developed between 2010 and 2014.

Five regional governments have already institutionalised the conditional cash transfer system. The regional development plans drafted with the support of the Ministry of Planning in Peru take account of the forest conservation instruments. In addition, financing modalities have been developed in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment.

To date, 188 indigenous communities have been covered; over 1,800,000 hectares of tropical forest have been placed under protection. The conditional cash transfers are benefiting indigenous families, who have been able to improve their income levels and livelihoods without endangering their forests.