Security & Strategic Review - October 2021

PERU: Deforestation at highest level in two decades

The designation of a new, 4.1m-hectare (ha) biosphere reserve in Peru’s Junín and Cusco regions by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 15 September was celebrated by the environment ministry as the missing piece in a “great belt of biosphere reserves” stretching from the central Pasco region to Madre de Dios, near the borders with Brazil and Bolivia. However, deforestation rates remain sky-high, with figures from the environment ministry revealing that in 2020 Peru suffered its highest rate of forest loss in two decades. Meanwhile, illegal mining continues to flourish in many of the country’s nature reserves and indigenous territories, particularly in Madre de Dios.

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