30 July 2020, Geneva – Peru’s Coalition for Sustainable Production has today announced a major initiative promoting tropical fruits harvested by indigenous people in Peru’s Amazon forest, to advance the sustainable development of their indigenous economy and protection of the forest. There is growing demand in international markets for these fruits, considered “superfoods”, which include the fruits of the Aguaje palm tree (Mauritia flexuosa), known in Peru as the “tree of life” and the smaller bushy riverside tree camu camu (Myrciaria dubia).
Standing Amazon forests offer enormous income generation potential to local communities and to contribute to the world food supply. This serves to elevate the value of these important forests in Peru and reduce their loss for conversion to agricultural and pasture lands, while still offering agricultural and other essential community benefits.
The Coalition for Sustainable Production was officially launched on 17 July 2020 and brings together producers, traders, companies and government agencies. It is supported by the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) at the World Economic Forum – an international platform for innovative private-public sustainable solutions to producing palm oil, beef, soy, and pulp and paper without causing the loss of valuable forests.
At a 30 June virtual meeting of Coalition members, José Álvarez, Biological Diversity Director General of Peru’s Ministry of the Environment (MINAM) highlighted both the opportunity to improve the quality of life of Amazonian indigenous communities and global sustainable food production. He added that, "The use of Amazon biodiversity, with adequate social and environmental standards, especially those geared towards international markets, also has an important role in the national economy."
The sustainable Amazonian fruit initiative was proposed as a business model by the indigenous communities themselves, to both preserve standing forest and generate income from them. The aguaje and camu camu trees grow naturally and are abundant in Peru’s Amazon forest, while harvesting the fruit does not damage the trees. The government of Peru estimates that 30,820 hectares of forest will be conserved through this private sector, indigenous communities and government partnership.
The initiative is also expected to contribute to the economic recovery of local indigenous communities impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has already resulted in nearly 1,500 COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths in the area. It is also aligned with the mitigation measures outlined in Peru’s Paris Agreement on climate commitment.
Jorge López-Dóriga, Sustainability Manager of Coalition member the AJE Group, a private sector beverage company, highlighted at the meeting that valuing the fruits of the forest as a response to the global pandemic emergency should be a priority. He added, "In this sense, as a company we are leading the development of supply chains with indigenous and local peoples in the region, for the beverage market at the national and international level.”.
The Coalition will continue working collaboratively to develop the fruit processing infrastructure, transportation and the scaling up of investments.
The Coalition for Sustainable Production is a multi-stakeholder space for dialogue, commitment and action that seeks to promote sustainable jurisdictions and free-deforestation value chains in Peru. it was launched on 17 July 2020 and works to generate alliances that tackle problems linked to deforestation free supply chains; and to promote an adequate sustainable business environment by improving enabling conditions that address key barriers.
More information about the Tropical Forest Alliance available at: https://www.tropicalforestalliance.org/
Coalition Executive Committee Members: Laura Avellaneda (Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, firstname.lastname@example.org), Patricia Patrón (Ministry of Environment, email@example.com), Dennis Armas (National Forest and Wildlife Service, firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ada Lis Rosell (Solidaridad, email@example.com)
TFA Communications: Jennifer Ferguson-Mitchell, firstname.lastname@example.org
TFA Coordinator for Perú and Colombia: Javier Ortiz, Javier.email@example.com
TFA Sub-Coordination in Peru: Daniel Coronel, firstname.lastname@example.org