Forestry project promoter Isabel says the impact of climate change is already clear in her community.
According to both the Stern Review and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Peru will be one of the countries in the world most affected by the effects of climate change. And within Peru, those most affected will be the Andean Communities who depend on small scale agriculture for food security and survival. But as I learned last week in a field visit to a number of these communities where World Vision is working, climate change is already having a severe effect on livelihoods and food security.
Isabel is a mother of two sponsored children in the Kana ADP and the forestry promoter of the forestry project that World Vision Australia is supporting. She told me, “before we knew when the seasons were, when it would rain and when was the time to plant our crops, but now that has all changed. Now the rains don’t come when they used to, the days are hotter, the nights are colder and so we have less food and so do our animals.”
For the past four years World Vision Australia has been supporting a forestry project designed to reduce climate change and its impact through the planting of almost 500,000 trees. Twenty six year old Militon, President of the Forestry Committee and father of two sponsored children, explains, “we know the climate is changing which is why we have been motivated to take action and plant these forests that will benefit the generations to come.”
This project not only benefits the communities involved by restoring damaged soils, increasing grass, reducing erosion, mitigating the effects of frost and improving yields in nearby crops, but will also supply timber for cooking, an income stream for the communities through the sale of carbon credits and a timber asset that is estimated to grow in value to over five million dollars in twenty-five years’ time, the benefits of which will be distributed among the communities involved.
This project was established by World Vision Australia’s Climate Change and Food Security team as a pilot project to investigate ways in which World Vision Australia can play a leading role in creating solutions to climate change and the associated problem of declining food security. Its success means there is great potential to undertake similar projects, but on a larger scale, where World Vision Australia is working with Andean communities.
The benefits of the forestry project were summed by one of the forestry promoters, Aparcio, who said to me, “I was born here 55 years ago. There were no trees then. The benefits for our land and our children will be good and they will have a better life than us. That is what we want.”
This is what we all want and we don’t want it to cost the environment in the process. These types of innovative projects, made possible through the generous support of World Vision Australia sponsors and supporters, mean it is possible to have both.