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Illegally cut logs lay on the bank of the Putaya River. Illegally cut logs lay on the bank of the Putaya River between the Ashaninka Indigenous communities of Saweto and Puerto Putaya, Peru, March 17, 2015 (AP photo by Martin Mejia).

Peru’s Amazon Rainforest Needs Protecting, Too

Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021

Peru’s portion of the Amazon jungle accounts for more than half the country’s land area and, at 13 percent of the Amazon’s total territory, the second-largest share of the rainforest after Brazil. While the rate of deforestation of Peru’s Amazon forests lags that of Brazil’s, it is the country’s primary source of greenhouse gas emissions. Growing concerns over both deforestation’s contribution to climate change and its impact on the region’s Indigenous peoples have now led the Peruvian government to increase its focus on combatting the phenomenon.  

Though Peru is not a significant producer of greenhouse gases, it is likely to suffer immensely from climate change and has already experienced erratic weather patterns, including prolonged droughts and severe flooding. Glacial melt in the Andes, the water source for the country’s arid coastal strip where most of Peru’s population and economy are located, also threatens to exacerbate chronic water shortages. This explains why, already at the 2015 COP21 summit in Paris, Peru pledged an unconditional 20 percent reduction in emissions by 2030. ...

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