Southern Conchucos Polylepis Forest Conservation Corridor (Peru and Ecuador)

Polylepis Tree
Copyright Daniel Byers
Targeting the last remnants of queƱual (Polylepis spp) cloud forests in Ancash Region, this initiative was launched on a small scale in 2000 and scaled up through a partnership with Conservation International and the Ancash Association. It supported mountain communities interested in protecting and restoring these unique high alpine forests that provide a habitat to several endemic plant, animal and bird species. Restoration of these forests contributed to the health of the ecosystem and was linked to the creation of livelihood opportunities that reduce local pressure on forests. It is estimated that protecting these remnant forests provided sanctuary to approximately 55% of all endemic bird species in the Andes of Peru and Bolivia and protected 67% of all birds in danger of extension in this vast region.
Progress in 2009:
  • Twelve forest conservation agreements have been established with communities in Ancash to support restoration and protection of these forest remnants. The community of Huasta, which holds the largest Polylepis forest tracks in Ancash region outside of Huascaran National Park joined the project and initiated restoration of these forests.
  • TMI completed a diagnostic study and community consultation process to develop a Forestry Conservation Strategy in the highland regions of Piura Department (Carmen de la Frontera District). These native forests include large tracks of Polylepis forests. The study included a technical assessment of the potential for carbon sequestration through Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) and Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM).
  • The project included a comprehensive program of community workshops to assess stakeholder interests in projects to reverse environmental degradation.
  • A menu of potential community forestry projects was developed in this region that is the headwaters of a major new irrigation project in coastal Peru.