Why should I get involved with nature in Peru?

Unique and species-rich nature

The tropical rainforest of the Madre de Dios region is a unique ecosystem. Its virgin forests are home to the world's greatest biodiversity. Nowhere else has the earth developed such a diversity of life forms. Mysterious jaguars and playful monkeys are as much at home here as clumsy tapirs and liana-clad jungle giants. There are ten times more reptiles and amphibians here than in Germany, about 10% of all bird species in the world can be observed here and on one hectare of forest you can find more tree species than in the whole of Europe, to name just a few examples.

Climate Conservation

For the greenhouse effect, the heating of the atmosphere, the rainforest plays a major role in two ways.

Once, large amounts of CO2 are bound in the biomass of the rainforest. If the forest is cut down, huge amounts of CO2 are released into the atmosphere, where they additionally contribute to climate change. This happens, for example, through slash-and-burn agriculture, which is unfortunately still practiced, e.g. for cattle farms, where very large amounts of CO2 are released. It is estimated that around 10-15 percent of annual CO2 emissions can be attributed to slash-and-burn agriculture.

Secondly, tropical forests are also of outstanding importance for the climate because they balance temperature differences and regulate the global distribution of rainfall.

Greenhouse gases are distributed evenly in the atmosphere. According to the principle of climate neutrality, it is therefore irrelevant where emissions are caused or saved. The decisive factor is rather that the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is reduced globally. Protecting Peruvian rainforests is therefore a tangible contribution to climate protection. Learn more here

Wilderness has a positive impact globally

Protecting wilderness areas has many positive effects: Stable precipitation, clean air, clear water, biodiversity, climate preservation, resting places for retreat and recreation, fantastic landscapes, space for adventure and challenge, reflection on our roots. Where we protect these places has no bearing on how much we can benefit globally from these positive impacts.

There is still wilderness in Peru

Wilderness or untouched nature is the only place where natural processes can take place undisturbed. Only here can countless species find a suitable habitat. Wilderness areas are therefore a refuge where species can survive in the long term. When nature reserves are established, biodiversity can spread out again from there. In Germany, too, there were once primeval forests with old trees all over the country. The fact that there is nothing left of them today shows that wilderness cannot be taken for granted. It is our responsibility to protect the remaining wilderness areas, no matter where they are.

Saying thank you to nature

The natural balance is only maintained if we no longer just take, but also give. Therefore, it is time to finally give back to nature. Let's say thank you for everything she provides us with - let's protect her.

Legal certainty and permanent protection

The land is purchased by Wilderness International and our sister foundations Wilderness International Peru as well as Wilderness International (Canada) by land registration. Our statutes specify with the foundation's purpose that the lands will be left untouched and visited only for research and documentation purposes. The foundation construct prevents the rights over the disposition of property from resting with any one person. Rather, the foundation, and thus its land, always belongs to all the people involved in the foundation at the time. This ensures the long-term protection of the purchased land. We always make an advance payment when purchasing land. Your donation refinances the purchase. In this way, we ensure that the exact piece of forest you have selected is actually protected for your donation. In Peru, Council member Chris Kirkby is on the ground with our partner organization Fauna Forever. In addition, local people monitor the protection of the areas as part of our forest rangers program and earn a living in this way.

Acute threat

The scientific community describes the impact of rainforest destruction as the greatest natural disaster since the last ice age. According to FAO, about 10 million hectares of tropical rainforest were lost annually between 2015 and 2020, with the Amazon being the most damaged annually (FAO and UNEP 2020). Amazon Conservation (ACCA) estimates over 2 million hectares of primary forest loss in 2020 in the nine countries involved , an area the size of Israel. Peru holds a sad record in third place (Finer/Mamani 2020). The extinction of a single plant species is often associated with the extinction of another 10 to 30 animal and plant species, since most organisms in the rainforest are interdependent (Spitzer et al. 2004). Millions of species have thus disappeared together with the forest in recent decades.

The last areas are exposed to various threats, such as gold mining and deforestation and slash-and-burn agriculture or cattle grazing.

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