WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Tropical Forest Foundation (TFF) has launched a 60-day effort to raise $100,000 to help save the forests of Peru. While the South American nation is an increasingly important exporter of tropical timber and the principal exporter of mahogany, Peruvian tropical forests are being lost to slash-and-burn agriculture, mining, and poor and illegal logging.

To ensure a future for the fourth largest tropical forest in the world, TFF plans to establish a Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) training center in Peru. $100,000 in seed money is needed immediately for TFF to begin developing the training center and continue its worldwide promotion of SFM. The Peru facility will require $4 million in cash for operations over five years and $.5 million in in-kind equipment and services.

TFF has established similar training centers in Brazil, Guyana, Gabon, and Indonesia. The Peru center will be the first that will teach in the Spanishlanguage. TFF’s training programs will focus on the companies and communities that work in the Peruvian Amazon, the Peruvian and regional government officials, and university faculty and students.

“When I visited Peru to discuss establishing a sustainable forestry training center, I was received warmly and enthusiastically by thegovernment, conservation NGOs, industry, and international agencies,” says Bob Johnston, Executive Director of TFF. “They believe that this will help their local communities that depend on the resources of the forests see the benefits to the environment and economy, and also see how government would improve with more knowledge. People in Peru are ready for TFF to begin training as soon as possible.”

In March, TFF gained agreement to proceed from U.S. and Peruvian government agencies, as well as a large Peru forest concession where the training center will be located. TFF must make immediate progress before government interests and priorities change.

The Amazon rainforest is renowned for its environmental services and benefits. More than half of the earth’s species of plants, animals and microorganisms reside there—that’s 10 million species, the largest and most diverse collection of life on the planet. This biodiversity provides significant health benefits for humans, with seventy percent of the Amazon’s plants having anticancer properties found only in the rainforest. The Amazon forest recycles carbon dioxide into oxygen and supplies 20 percent of our oxygen.

Rainforests once covered 14 percent of the earth's land surface but have been reduced to six percent. Today, the Amazon Rainforest still covers over a billion acres, encompassing areas in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and the Eastern Andean region of Ecuador and Peru. The Amazon is also home to 200,000 indigenous people.

Created as an alliance of conservation, science, and industry, TFF operates training centers in the world’s tropical forests that teach responsible, respectful, and sustainable harvesting of trees. When conducted correctly, sustainable harvesting adds to the economic value of the tropical forests, helps forest-dependent peoples thrive, and sustains the forests through environmentally sound practices.

To help save the Peruvian Amazon from deforestation and contribute to the Peru Campaign, become a member or contributor online or mail a check to: Tropical Forest Foundation, 2121 Eisenhower Ave., Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Source: Tropical Forest Foundation


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