Forest plantations in harmony with the environment
For years, the Santa Isabel village, located in the district of Paucartambo, province of Pasco, suffered from the indiscriminate felling of forest trees, which resulted in the erosion of agricultural lands. Villagers have the custom of burning crop residues to remove the soil and prepare it for the new planting, but without the technical support, which causes landslides that affected the ground.
In view of this situation and looking to find opportunities for development together with the Santa Isabel villagers, in 2013 Statkraft Peru implemented a project for the “Installation, assessment and maintenance of pine plantations” to better use agricultural lands and avoid soil erosion. This project started in Santa Isabel, and in 2015 it was expanded to other communities within the area of direct influence of Statkraft, in the regions of Pasco and Junín.
With this initiative, the communities are learning about forest plantations to preserve soils for agroforestry and timber production purposes, which will contribute to improve their household income in the future. With the implemented system, the agricultural crops can be diversified, such as granadilla, coffee and rocoto in the pine plantations, also timber trees can be produced and edible fungi for sale. The project also fosters carbon capture and builds capacity for protection of natural resources and the environment.
“This piece of land was poor, which is why Statkraft Peru suggested that we plant pines, we looked at the benefits and decided to accept. Thanks to this project, in the next few years we will sell the mushrooms that grow in the pines, and in 15 years we will sell the timber. We also protect the environment as these trees are additional lungs for the world,” remarked Joaquín Osorio, a project beneficiary.
In 2013, 20,596 pine seedlings of the Tecunumanii variety were planted. These pines are now 3 m tall, and their development is being monitored by the company and the villagers. In 2015, 5000 pines were planted at El Milagro annexed village, and the pines already planted at Santa Isabel village were monitored. In the long run, these seedlings will grow into timber trees and will provide revenues in addition to the agricultural activities of villagers.
During 2016, this project expanded with the planting of 70,000 pines in La Victoria de Paucartambo, Yungul, La Victoria, El Milagro and Pampa Seca, located in the Pasco and Junín regions. To date there is a projection of 90 thousand planted pine trees.
This project evidences the commitment of Statkraft Peru with the protection of the environment and the building of capacity in the communities through the promotion of an environmental awareness culture.