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Features / archives for : environment


June 15, 2011 12:31:51

Volunteers help Peru’s endangered and exotic animals

A Solitary Eagle is one of Peru's endangered animals breeded at Crax 2000. See slide show.

By Lisa Melendy

Crax 2000, in partnership with Peace Corps Peru, is an organization that offers the opportunity for national and international volunteers to come live at their center and lend a hand in the exciting field of grassroots conservation in the northern region of Peru.

Volunteers perform such tasks as preparing and serving food for the animals, assisting in educational outreach with the surrounding communities, general construction projects that help build the infrastructure of Crax 2000 as well as volunteers have the opportunity to live in Peru, off the beaten track, and get an up close and personal look at the daily life of people in a small corner of the world.

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June 7, 2011 19:40:33

How to recycle in Lima

Take note of the ways you can contribute to recycling efforts in Lima.

By Ines Izarnotegui-Lay

Go green and recycle in Lima! We know it's the right thing to do, but sometimes we get so absorbed by life that simple tasks like taking the trash out in a responsible way get sidetracked. This is often too common in Lima and in fact, Lima produces around 6,500 tons of trash daily - the size of the National Soccer Stadium. However, there is good news: you can recycle in Lima and help many people at the same time if you only give your trash a simple and special treatment. Here are some wonderful ways to recycle in Lima:

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February 21, 2011 10:21:32

Investing in the Amazon: Indigenous and business leaders meet up

Recently, local indigenous leaders in Peru and investors had a rare meeting to find common goals. The setting was Tambopata National Reserve, one of the most biodiverse slices of the Amazon Rainforest. (Photo by Danielle Krautmann)

By Danielle Krautmann

What happens when you mix leaders from indigenous communities in the Amazon with more than a century of experience in sustainable rainforest industries? That is what the Deep in Forest team wanted to find out. Earlier this year, one of the companies in the team, Rainforest Expeditions, RFE, invited 19 leaders from ten Amazonian communities to a four-day retreat at Refugio Amazonas, one of RFE’s three ecolodges along the Tambopata National Reserve in southeastern Peru.

Deep-in-Forest was formed by the diligent networking of Roberto Persivale, a financial consultant who dove head first into the green economy five years ago. He is now neck deep in advanced negotiations with the Yine community to establish a trust fund for their vast primary rain forests.

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February 14, 2011 19:21:13

Be Green: Five Ways to Save

By Fiorella Carrascal

TVs can use up to 30% of power even when on stand-by, so unplugging is any easy way to conserve.
The environment has been a prime concern and discussion for as long as I can remember. So I was thinking to myself, what could we do as individuals to help the world become a greener place and more environmentally friendly?

I’m writing the following as a guideline to you my fellow Peruvians and young adults of the world. These five steps may not change the world but every little bit helps improve the quality of life for our future generations.

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January 17, 2011 16:21:59

Glacier melt in Peru becomes more than a climate issue

By Heather Sommerville
The Washington Post

 Nevado Huascarán, Peru's tallest snow-capped mountain with 6,768 meters (22,205 feet), has diminished its glaciers in the last 20 years. More than 2 million people, stretching from the Andes to the coastal cities in Peru, get their drinking water and irrigation from rivers fed by glacier runoff from the Cordillera Blanca, the highest tropical mountain range in the world. (Photo: Jorge Riveros Cayo)

Glacier melt hasn't caused a national crisis in Peru, yet. But rising temperatures and changes in water supply over the last 40 years have decimated crops, killed fish stocks and forced villages to question how they will survive for another generation.

Without international help to build reservoirs and dams and improve irrigation, Peru could become a case study in how climate change can destabilize a strategically important region, according to Peruvian, U.S. and other officials.

"Think what it would be like if the Andes glaciers were gone and we had millions and millions of hungry and thirsty Southern neighbors," said former CIA Director R. James Woolsey.

Continue reading at the Washington Post

Vicos is one of the mountain communities that will have to adapt to the glacier melt in the Callejón de Huaylas, benefited from the assistance granted by USAID through The Mountain Institute. (Photo: Vladimir Musso)

Laguna Llanganuco is one of the 296 lakes in the Cordillera Blanca that provides water from the Andes for Peru's agriculture. (Photo: Internet)


December 14, 2010 12:37:59

Four ways to help protect Peru's Amazon Rainforest

A Wattled Jacana, one of the 1,000 species of birds in Peru's Manu Biosphere. 

By John Meils

All trees and plants are important to the environmental health of the planet, but rainforests, given the density and concentration of their flora, are particularly crucial. Among other things, trees and plants pull carbon dioxide from the air and emit oxygen as a by-product of their food-making process. About half the weight of a dry tree is stored carbon, which is released when the tree is burned or decomposes on its own. This is why the continued destruction of the world’s rainforests is so devastating—because we’re not just losing more of the planet’s “lungs” each year, we’re typically releasing their stored carbon in the process.

Why it’s important to protect the rainforests:

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November 26, 2010 13:48:38

Glaciers in southern Peru retreat quickly, shows research

 Photo 1: Looking at the eastern face of Ausungate mountain in Cusco. The low water level of the river signals shows the retreat of the mountain's glacier. (Photos: Miguel Bellido/El Comercio)

By Roxabel Ramón,
El Comercio
Adapted from Spanish by Diana Schwalb

“Glaciers in the south are retreating much faster than those in the Cordillera Blanca. It is urgent that we begin to monitor them,” says Cesar Portocarrero, one of Peru's expert in glaciers.

Portocarrero is responsible for the Glaciers Unit of the at the Ministry of Agriculture. “The glaciers of the Cordillera Blanca [in Peru's northern Andes] have retreated by 30% in 30 years. But in Cusco, only in the Ausangate mountain range, the decline has been 50%,” he says.

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October 15, 2010 18:13:40

Al Gore inspires and informs audience in Peru

Al Gore speaks in Peru
See more photos from the event. Al Gore at the conference 3R3 in Lima, Peru. (Photo by Felicia Kieselhorst)

By Andreas Vailakis

This week Al Gore spoke in Lima, Peru in a speech that was as inspirational as it was informative. Gore called upon Peru to act in this time of environmental crisis, relating it specifically to Peru and globally.

The former U.S. vice president and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, Gore was the keynote speaker for a three-day environmental conference in Lima held by 3R3: Towards a Green Peru, a mega-event to preserve the environment and confront the environmental crisis.

Gore’s speech, “Thinking Green: Economic Strategy for the 21st Century,” addressed the rising issues of the emerging climate crisis, and outlined both the challenges for business and the economy, and solutions for the future.

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August 24, 2010 5:26:04

Coveted flower: Illegal orchid gardens operate next to Machu Picchu

Orchid hunters may be operating illegally right by Peru's Machu Picchu sanctuary. Read more here.

. .

By Roxabel Ramón and Nelly Luna, El Comercio
Photos by Giancarlo Shibayama and Miguel Bellido
Adapted from Spanish by Diana Schwalb

Machu Picchu Pueblo, Peru: After paying ten soles and receiving a green ticket similar to those given by the National Institute of Culture (INC) for entry into Machu Picchu, the doors to the biggest clandestine orchid farm in the area are opened for us.

A sign nearby the train tracks invites us to this botanical garden which invades a portion of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Out of the 425 species of orchids registered in the historic sanctuary – according to the National Service of Protected Areas (Sernamp) – 390 can be seen in this circuit. At least ten of the species of orchids in this clandestine garden are native to Peru, and others only grow in Machu Picchu.

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July 13, 2010 11:58:05

Collecting the coveted natural fertilizer, guano, off Peru's coast

The rich natural fertilizer off Peru's coast, guano, or bird droppings, was the backbone of the Peruvian economy in the mid 19th century. Over-extraction, then the appearance of synthetic fertilizers decreased the importance of the guano business in previous decades. But interest has grown again with the rising prices of fertilizers and a recent discovery of 150 million metric tons of guano on islands near Chiclayo, reports

On Guañape Sur island, Peruvian boobies, known as piqueros, are the principal producers of guano. (Photo: Giancarlo Shibayama)

By René Gastelumendi, Somos Magazine
Adapted from Spanish by Diana Schwalb

We walk on a guano island called Guañape Sur, 15 miles off the coast of Trujillo. On the highest part, about 150 meters above sea level, Juan Méndez reminds us once again to be careful not to step on the eggs of the Peruvian boobies (Sula variegatas, or piqueros, as they are called in Peru). The birds lay and incubate the eggs in circular nests made of algae and feathers stuck together with their depositions; these nests are barely visible in the rocky landscape. Strangely, these birds are not afraid of us. They only flap their wings and move away a couple of meters, sometimes leaving their newborn chicks unprotected.

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