Conditional cash transfers to protect community tropical forest ecosystems 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: Ministerio del Ambiente (MINAM)
Overall term: 2014 to 2018

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 1,300 indigenous communities. Most of the indigenous 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 agricultural expansion are intensifying and pose a growing threat to biological diversity and therefore also to the livelihoods of the indigenous population.

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

In conjunction with the Tropical Forest Protection Programme, the project is developing an effective procedure for making 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, this contributes to improving the livelihoods of the indigenous population.

As part of the decentralisation process, the individuals responsible for the transfers in the regional governments are learning how to adapt national concepts and ideas to regional conditions. They are being taught how they can initiate and manage conditional cash transfer projects, as well as monitor deforestation. Another focus of the training is on mobilising alternative sources of finance in order to safeguard the work of regional governments over the long term.
The institutional foundations are being established through pilot measures in the five Amazon regions of San Martín, Loreto, Ucayali, Amazonas and Madre Dios.

The project is currently focusing on 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 started to integrate the conditional cash transfer system into their institutional structures. The regional development plans drafted with the support of the Ministry of Planning take account of the forest conservation instruments. The financing modalities required were developed in cooperation with the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment.

To date, 58 indigenous communities have been recognised, and over a half million hectares of tropical forests have been effectively placed under protection. The conditional cash transfers are benefiting 3,000 indigenous families, who have been able to improve their income levels and livelihoods without neglecting forest conservation.

Peru. Tropical forest Amazonas region © GIZ / Barbara Lehnebach


Paul-Gregor Fischenich