Approximately two-thirds of Peru is covered by forests. Only Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Indonesia have more standing tropical forest than Peru, which also has one of the highest rates of biodiversity in the world. Peru’s National Forest Heritage Map identifies a total of 73,294,958 hectares of forests: 53,432,618 hectares of lowland forest; 15,736,030 hectares of montane forest; 3,235,012 hectares of dry forests; and approximately 1 percent of other forest types. In the Amazon Region, where primary forest (lowland and montane forest) is prevalent, a loss of up to 7.9 million hectares was recorded between 2000-2009 (MINAM, 2011a). During the 2005-2010 period, according to the Global Forest Assessment Report, Peru had a low 0.22 percent national deforestation rate (FAO, 2010). However, historical deforestation rates were much lower, with studies from before 1990 indicating a deforestation rate of less than 0.1% (MINAM, 2009).
Peru has a long history of formulating and implementing forest policies and regulations, both related to protected areas and to forest management (SERNANP, n.d. and DGFFS, 2011). However, Peru’s engagement with REDD within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change began in 2008 at the COP 14 in Poznan (MINAM and FONAM, 2008). At this conference in 2008 the new Peruvian Ministry of Environment (MINAM, by its Spanish acronym) stated its intention to preserve a total of 54 million hectares of forest and reduce net deforestation to zero by the year 2021, requesting the support of the international community to reach this target. It was the creation of the MINAM, and its’ Climate Change, Desertification and Water Resources Board (DCCDRH) that allowed the country to facilitate internal governance changes that contributed to the REDD+ readiness process. Externally, Peru’s involvement with the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) has enabled the country to take important steps to establish its’ national REDD+ strategy (MINAM, 2011b). As a recent development, the New Forestry and Wildlife Law N. 29763 was published in July 2011, replacing the former Forestry and Wildlife Law N. 27308. The new law requires a mandatory consultation process with indigenous people.
Peru is active in international REDD+ initiatives. It is a Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Participant Country and its Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) was assessed in March 2011. Peru is a pilot country to the Forest Investment Programme (FIP) and it has already agreed the Investment Plan Preparation Grant (April 2011) and the Joint Mission Statement (March, 2012) for developing a long term REDD+ investment plan for Peru (FIP, n.d.). Peru is also a partner country to the UN REDD Programme (UN REDD Programme, n.d.). At the national level, as part of the National Forest Conservation Program for the Mitigation of Climate Change (PNCBMCC), Peru has set a zero net deforestation target by 2021. There are also numerous forest carbon projects in development and some active REDD+ projects validated under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCBS), the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Carbonfix standard
Management and coordination
The main agency responsible for REDD+ activities in Peru is the Ministry of Environment (MINAM). This agency is the focal point for climate change considerations, as well as being the national environmental authority. However, REDD+ also directly includes other public institutions. Peru’s Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) highlights the following core institutions that will contribute to the establishment of a REDD+ strategy in the country. These include: the General, Forestry and Wildlife Agency (DGFFS) of the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG). MINAG draws up policies that will be implemented at the national level for the planning, management and supervision of wildlife and forestry resources, and coordinates the implementation of these policies with the regional forestry and wildlife authorities; including forestry investment; and the National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SERNANP) of the MINAM approved the National Forest Conservation Program for the Mitigation of Climate Change (MINAM, 2010a).
There are also other state institutions involved in the implementation of REDD+ schemes including: the Economy and Finance Ministry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the Forestry and Wildlife Resources Supervisory Body (OSINFOR), the National Strategic Planning Centre and the Intercultural Vice Ministry (indigenous people) within the newly-created Ministry of Culture. Peru’s regional governments also indirectly participate in the definition of REDD+ strategies in their spheres of jurisdiction. Regional governments have decentralized forest responsibilities, and are in a position to grant rights to individuals (such as concessions, permits and authorizations). Such regions include Loreto, Ucayali, Madre de Dios, San Martin, Amazonas, La Libertad, Cuzco and Callao.
The Peruvian government has also recognised the need to create a Forest and REDD+ Coordination Body (OCBR), to coordinate the institutions with specific REDD+ responsibilities (MINAM, 2011 and FCPF, 2012). It is proposed that OCBR has full administrative, technical, communicative and public awareness responsibilities for REDD+ coordination. A Steering Committee composed of the relevant ministries and regional governments would be in charge of the management of the OCBR including: MINAM, MINAG, MINRE, MEF, MINEM and regional governments. The proposal is also to have an articulation role with groups from civil society such as the REDD Technical Group, the National REDD Roundtable, regional committees and indigenous REDD committees.
Stakeholder engagement and participation
Peru’s approved Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) describes the current processes and the proposals related to the consultation processes and the participation of stakeholders relevant to REDD+. The Peru R-PP includes a strategy of more significant forest stakeholder involvement in the REDD+ process. The Peruvian state has received contact from bodies representing indigenous peoples, indicating that better and greater efforts should be made to include indigenous groups in the REDD+ discussions (AIDESEP, 2010).
Both national and international non-governmental organizations are actively participating in the development and implementation of REDD+ strategies within Peru. The REDD Working Group/REDD Roundtable, which was created by NGOs in 2008, provides a space for the exchange of views and experiences by different organizations (private, public and civil society) to improve REDD+ implementation in Peru (Grupo REDD Perú, 2011). The National REDD Roundtable has three specific roles: advocacy, consultation and raising awareness of the national REDD+ process. The National REDD Roundtable is organized into working groups that deal with technical, legal and institutional arrangements, safeguards, communication and financing. In addition to the National REDD Roundtables, the regional governments of Madre de Dios, San Martín, Cusco, Loreto, Ucayali and Piura regions have begun to organize regional REDD roundtables (DAR, n.d.). Each regional REDD roundtable is developing agendas that are regionally tailored but complimentary to the national REDD+ process. For example, the REDD and Environmental Services Roundtable of Madre de Dios has prioritized the establishment of regional reference levels, whereas the San Martin REDD Roundtable has prioritised stakeholder engagement and the participation of indigenous peoples. Indigenous REDD Roundtables are also established in Peru, and the Inter-Ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon (AIDESEP), has established and coordinates four roundtables in the Madre de Dios, San Martin, Ucayali and Loreto regions (AIDESEP, 2012). In these roundtables, the indigenous organizations themselves seek to establish direct dialogue with the Peruvian state regarding their concerns about the implementation of REDD+ initiatives and the effects on indigenous people.
Rights and tenure
The Peruvian state owns more than 80 percent (public and other ownership) of the total 68 million hectares of forested land in the country (FAO, 2010). This public land is divided into protected areas, forestry concessions (which cover 10 million hectares) and territorial reserves for indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation of 2.8 million hectares (Llanos and Feather, 2011), amongst others. The Peruvian state can also grant forest concession rights to third parties, which transfer the usage rights and/or the management rights of the forest resources to the concession holder. The state maintains ownership over forested lands and in the event of the concessionary not meeting the conditions of the grant (for example, the approved management plan), the area is returned to the state.
Around 18 percent of the total forested land is privately or communally owned (FAO, 2010). Over 1200 communities hold land title to their customary lands, covering a total of 10.7 million hectares (Llanos and Feather, 2011). The exact definition of titled or transferred land of in indigenous use (or communal land) is of vital importance for REDD implementation in Peru, given that communities have the right to use the resources and services on the communal lands allocated to them. However, the Inter-ethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon (AIDESEP) points out that there are gaps in the titling of indigenous land, and requests that further implementation of REDD+ at the national level ceases until titling is clarified. AIDESEP has published reports expressing concerns of the effects of REDD+ implementation on indigenous lands, indicating that gaps, lack of information and transparency are potential sources of conflict for indigenous communities (AIDESEP et al., 2011).
Compliance (incentives and enforcement)
The power to enforce strategies and management plans of protected natural areas and forestry concession lies in the hands of the state, through public authorities such as the National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SERNANP) and the Forestry and Wildlife Resources Supervisory Body (OSINFOR). Several analyses have reflected that great efforts must be made to ensure genuine rule of law and compliance with the existing regulatory framework in Peru, such as the National Forestry Strategy (MINAG and FAO, 2002). A recent report on illegal logging in Peru highlighted that despite international support for REDD+ activities in Peru, there is low institutional capacity for adequate law enforcement, monitoring of forest concessions and the prevention of illegal logging (EIA, 2012).
However, the Ministry of Environment (MINAM) has made significant progress with establishing incentives for forest preservation with the formulation of a strategy for evaluating, assessing and financing national heritage areas, and has prioritized natural forests within this strategy (MINAM, 2011). Another example is the National Forest Conservation Program for the Mitigation of Climate Change (PNCBMCC) (MINAM, 2010a), which involves an incentive system for forest conservation.
In terms of sanctions for deforestation activities, illegal logging and the destruction of forests, the Penalty Code was modified in 2008 to include tougher penalties for ecological offences. In 2009, public prosecutor roles that specialized in dealing with environmental offences were created, and the role of the MINAM as a public prosecutor for the prosecution of these crimes had been strengthened. The Forestry Appendix of the Trade Promotion Agreement with the USA also focuses on the improvement of law enforcement and the improvement of governance in the forestry sector.
Peru has chosen to consider the sub-national level as the unit of analysis for establishing reference scenarios for its projected baseline. Peru will implement REDD+ in a nested approach, which will allow the sub-national regions to develop at their own pace as they develop their technical capacity. Peru is currently in the early stages of developing a harmonised national reference level, with project level reference scenarios being independently developed and regional reference levels yet to be constructed (Busch, 2012). Reference scenarios will first be established in the regions with the greatest technical capacity and data availability, which then will be used for the development of the national reference scenario. Sub-national projections are to be developed in accordance to the modalities and procedures proposed at the national level and are to be updated at least every 10 years. These projections will be adopted by sub-national authorities, and will serve as a reference scenario for emissions, and as a baseline for early initiatives, thus guaranteeing consistency between the local level and the subnational level.
The regions of Madre de Dios and San Martin are the most advanced in developing their regional reference levels and they receive support from the Strengthening of Technical Capacities for the Implementation of a REDD+ Program in Peru supported by the Moore Foundation and the German Development Bank (MINAM, 2011). The regional government of San Martin is also working with Conservation International to develop their regional reference scenario (CI, n.d.). Peru has expressed an interest in the Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ Initiative of the Verified Carbon Standard (MINAM, 2011) which is open for public comment until the end of July 2012 (VCS, n.d.).
The Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) of Peru, submitted in 2011, proposes the design of a Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA), and of a monitoring body, the Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF), in addition to developing an information system to register initiatives and to monitor the application of these safeguard frameworks. The National REDD Strategy that is currently in development is also intended to incorporate the social and environmental safeguard principles of the World Bank and the UNFCCC (MINAM, 2011). The government proposes to facilitate the coordination between civil society and indigenous peoples groups via national, regional and indigenous REDD Roundtables, and an initial national REDD safeguards workshop, with the inclusion of these civil society groups, took place in March 2012 (FIP, 2012 and MINAM, 2012). Peru’s plans have been praised for identifying the relevant REDD+ stakeholders and for proposing a transparent and participatory process (WRI, 2011). The Forestry and Wildlife Law (29763), published in July 2011, now mandates a free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) process with indigenous peoples on matters affecting their lands. Some indigenous groups have however voiced their concerns regarding the extent to which their interests and rights are guaranteed by the national REDD plans of Peru (FPP, n.d.).
As part of the planned national MRV system for REDD+, Peru proposed a National System for the Inventory of Greenhouse Gases (SNIGEI) that will generate sectoral GHG data, with special attention given to the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector (MINAM, 2010b). The Ministry of Environment (MINAM) will be in charge of developing the National GHG Inventory. Other proposed MRV initiatives are the National Forest Inventory Project (IFN), which is led by the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG) and the MINAM (MINAM Geoserver, n.d.) and the Geo-referenced Information System (MINAM-DGOT) for the monitoring of the dynamics of land use changes (MINAM, et al., 2011). The proposed MRV system is intended to support community forest monitoring techniques and envisages a bottom-up approach that allows for regional data generation. Although Peru has existing gaps in the completeness of the GHG inventory, frequency of monitoring and in the carbon pool reporting capacity, Peru does have good capacity to monitor forest area changes (Romjin, E. et al. 2012). Peru currently receives international support for building MRV capacity, from USAID and the FAO-Finland Program.
Peru is the world’s fourth largest tropical forest country and it has the second largest area of tropical forest in the Amazon basin after Brazil. Peru’s forests are an important source of environmental goods and services (MINAM, 2011), although it is not reflected as an important component of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). While the contribution of the agricultural, livestock and forestry sectors as a whole reaches approximately 7 percent of GDP, forestry sector data suggests a lower estimate of between two and three percent, according to information from the National Statistics and Information Institute (INEI) taken by the General, Forestry and Wildlife Board (DGFFS, n.d.).
Deforestation and forest degradation is the main cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Peru, representing 47.5 percent of the country’s total emissions. Peru has a relatively low deforestation rate, however this is increasing. During the 2000-2005 period, Peru had a 0.14 percent national deforestation rate, which increased to 0.22 percent during the 2005-2010 period (FAO, 2010). The principal drivers of deforestation and degradation can be attributed illegal land use changes for agriculture and cattle farming, settlements, illegal mining, mismanagement of road infrastructure, among others which also continue to increase (Dourojeanni and Others, 2010).
The main institutions are the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG) and the Ministry of Environment (MINAM). MINAG is the national forestry authority which is responsible for granting forest concessions, forest sector policies and overseeing the regional governments (Che & García, 2011). The MINAM is the national focal point to the UNFCCC, the Forest Investment Program (FIP) and the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and is instrumental in the establishment and implementation of natural resources, climate change and REDD+ related policies and strategies for Peru (Che & García, 2011). Institutions involved in REDD+ operating under the MINAM include the National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP), the Environmental Assessment and Oversight Agency (OEFA), the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute (IIAP), the National Environmental Fund (FONAM) and the National Fund for Natural Protected Areas (PROFONANPE).
In order to coordinate these institutions the Ministry of Environment is planning to establish a Forest and REDD Coordination Agency (OCBR), which will be responsible for establishing functional and thematic links to contribute to a coherent national REDD+ strategy. The initial tasks of the OCBR upon its creation will be to provide structure and coherence to REDD+ early implementation actions, within the framework of the implementation of a future REDD+ National Strategy, and to provide a link to international support and improvement initiatives for REDD+ (MINAM, 2011a). The OCBR will be led by a Steering Committee comprised of MINAM, MINAG, MINRE, MEF, MINEM and the regional governments (MINAM, 2011b)
Other government institutions participating in the national REDD process include the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of External Relations and some regional governments. A key non-governmental body is the National REDD+ Roundtable (Mesa REDD Nacional) that was established in 2008. It is a collective group of over 60 civil society, indigenous peoples and private sector organisations that provides input into the national REDD process. International NGOs like Conservation International (CI) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and local NGOs like the Association for Research and Integral Development (AIDER) and the Amazon Conservation Association (ACA) are active in implementing activities on the ground.
As part of its Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) process, Peru completed an assessment of its forest policy and governance frameworks and has identified key regulations relevant for the establishment of its REDD+ scheme. Peru’s Political Constitution is fundamental and Article 66 in particular defines that all natural resources are owned by the state and are national assets. The General Environmental Law guides natural resource management and establishes mechanisms and economic instruments to maintain ecosystem services. The former Forestry and Wildlife Law N. 27308, amongst other things, defined natural, primary and secondary forests and the process to obtain commercial rights via permits, concessions and authorisations. The new Forestry and Wildlife Law N. 29763, was published in July 2011 (and will be complete once its regulations are finalised), is replacing but maintaining most of the provisions of the former forestry law. Article 3 of the new forest law is significant as it prescribes a mandatory Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) process with indigenous peoples in matters affecting their territories. The Promotion of Investments in Reforestation and Agroforestry Law was enacted in 2006 to specifically regulate reforestation activities and the length of concession grants. Under this law, concession grants for afforestation and reforestation can be granted for 60 years as long as a commitment is made for investment. The Natural Protected Areas Law sets out the conservation and management of designated areas, aiming to conserve a representative sample of the country’s biodiversity.
Plans and policies
The National Forest Conservation Program for the Mitigation of Climate Change (PNCBMCC) contains key national targets, to achieve zero net deforestation by 2021 and to conserve 54 million hectares of forest. Peru is in the process of developing its National REDD+ Strategy as part of its R-PP commitments, coordinated by the Ministry of Environment (MINAM). Peru proposes to develop the National REDD+ Strategy using a nested approach and aims to address the direct and underlying causes of deforestation and degradation.
In addition, a large number of forest-related public policies have been approved in the country throughout the past few decades. Some of the policies include: the National Forest Strategy (MINAG and FAO, 2002), the National Multisectoral Strategy against Illegal Logging (MINAG and others, 2004), the National Reforestation Plan, as well as sub-national plans such as San Martin’s Regional Forest Plan. These plans include guidance on crucial aspects related to REDD+, such as the implementation of legislation related to land use, fire risk management, coordination of activities between sectors relevant to REDD+, the implementation of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for forest resources and forest research policy.
Key REDD activities at the national level are Peru’s participation in the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and the Forest Investment Program (FIP). Peru’s Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) was submitted to and assessed by the FCPF in March 2011 and the final R-PP will be submitted at the 13th Participants Committee (PC) meeting (FCPF, 2012). Once approved, it will enable Peru to receive its R-PP Preparation Grant, which was allocated to Peru at the 8th PC. Peru is developing its National REDD+ Strategy as part of the FCPF process. Peru is also one of eight pilot countries to the FIP and in March 2012 it has agreed a Joint Mission with the Multilateral Development Banks of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) to develop a long term and strategic investment plan for REDD in Peru (FIP, n.d.). The Moore Foundation and the German Development Bank also supports Peru in its’ REDD readiness process. The National Forest Conservation Program for the Mitigation of Climate Change (PNCBMCC) was created by MINAM and is an important national initiative aiming to conserve 54 million hectares of forest and to steer Peru to achieve zero net deforestation by 2021. Peru has experienced a proliferation of sub-national activities in the past few years with strong engagement from civil society and indigenous federations. There are active forest carbon projects validated under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCB), the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the CarbonFix standard. The first validated REDD project in Peru was the Madre de Dios REDD Project, which aims to conserve 100,000 hectares and reduce deforestation in the project area. The project gained the highest CCB Standards Gold level validation in 2009 and is also Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. It is estimated that the project activities will generate US$135,912,633 over 25 years in carbon credits. There is also one registered reforestation project under the Clean Development Mechanism in the José Ignacio Távara’s dry forest.
The main sources of finance for REDD activities in Peru are international. The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) committed a US$3.6 million grant (FCPF, 2011) for Peru, with the Moore Foundation and the German Development Bank (KFW) also providing funding for Peru’s REDD readiness for US$2 million and US$7.8 million respectively. Peru is set to access funding of up to US$30-50 million under the Forest Investment Program (CIF, 2012) and in 2011 CIF approved the Investment Preparation Plan Grant for Peru (FIP, n.d.) for US$250,000 (CIF, n.d.). The Peruvian and the Japanese Government agreed a long term loan for US$40 million for the National Forest Conservation Program for the Mitigation of Climate Change and the German and American governments provide bilateral support for Peru’s forest and climate change initiatives. There are a few REDD+ projects which have already received validation for selling carbon credits and are already generating carbon finance at the project level. The Madre de Dios REDD project and the reforestation of degraded lands in Reforestation with Native Commerical Species on Degraded Lands for Timber and Carbon Purposes in Campo Verde have both been validated by the CCB Standards, with the second one also being validated under the Verified Carbon Standards (VCS).