Reforestation in the tropical Andes

The Tropical Andes Biodiversity Hotspot is the most biologically diverse region on Earth with an estimated 15,000 endemic plant species, and 75 endemic mammal species. Due to rapid human population growth and high levels of deforestation, it is also one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world. Less than 25% of this hotspot’s original area is still available as habitat for wildlife.
Local human populations where we work often suffer from severe poverty. Environmental problems such as localised climate changes, impoverishment of soils, landslides and growing scarcity of natural resources, such as wood and water, are also increasingly noticeable. For these reasons our reforestation projects are highly valuable for local people as well as native flora and fauna. Indeed, more and more communities are requesting our help in realizing reforestation and conservation work.

Our reforestation work includes the traditional recuperation/rewilding of clear cut areas, but also enrichment planting of selectively logged forests with hardwood trees and the creation of multiple-use forest buffer zones. We’re also involved in enriching pastures and coffee and cacao plantations with legumes, fruit trees, and other plants that improve land productivity and attract wildlife. This reduces the need for clear cutting new areas by increasing the lifespan of existing pastures, and provides shade for crops and habitat for wildlife. We also raise public awareness of the importance of reforestation with native species, as opposed to using exotic trees such as eucalyptus and pine which damage soils and lower water tables.


Since we began our work we have built over a dozen tree nurseries in different communities and with local schools and universities across northern Peru. Together these have produced hundreds of thousands of trees, all of which have been planted in rural areas where our focal primate species live and/or in the buffer zones of the community managed conservation areas we help create and manage