Project Area and its Threats
The Cordillera Azul National Park is considered a jewel in the Amazon Basin thanks to its unique location at the intersection of the Andes mountain range and the Amazon Basin. The Cordillera Azul landscape supports a rich ecosystem of indigenous biodiversity, high carbon stock forests and a multicultural population of more than 250,000 people organized in 400 communities living in the buffer zone around the Park boundaries. With almost no economy apart from subsistence agriculture, these communities have a poverty rate of over 40%, or about the double of Peru poverty rate. The Cordillera Azul National Park is under constant threat from illegal logging and the encroachment of subsistence agriculture by small and poor farmers who have no alternative means of income generation.
Climate Change Mitigation & Biodiversity Conservation
The Althelia Climate Fund (ACF) has invested €8.33 million over 6 years to enable the protection of 1.6 million hectares of threatened forest in the Cordillera Azul landscape. This innovative Public-Private Partnership between the Peruvian State through the National Service of Protected Areas-SERNANP, the Centro de Investigación y Manejo de Áreas Naturales–CIMA Cordillera Azul, and the Althelia Climate Fund, the Cordillera Azul National Park REDD+ Project focuses on preserving hectares of pristine montane rainforest within the Cordillera Azul National Park whilst supporting the sustainable land use of its rich buffer zone area of 3.7 million hectares. The Park, which is among one of the largest protected areas in Peru, and bigger than the US state of Connecticut, is home to around 6,000 plant species, more than 80 large and medium-sized mammals, around 180 species of fishes, and over 600 species of birds. 11 of these large mammals are listed on CITES-I, including spectacled bears, giant otters, jaguars, cougar, bush dogs, and giant armadillos; as well as 9 bird species, including the harpy eagle, curassow and several macaws.
The project will protect this unique biodiversity and restore degraded lands with agroforestry systems (cocoa & coffee) in the buffer zone relied upon by small farmers and local communities for their livelihoods. By the end of 2018, the project has avoided 25,240,372 tonnes of CO2 emissions due to its efforts to reduce deforestation.