Inadequate and illegal use of fire and the lack of awareness about its negative effects on the environment and human health are causing major forest fires, leading to a loss of large forest areas and the disturbance of countless natural processes. In Peru, and particularly in the departments of Cajamarca, Pasco, Junin and Cusco, this problem is aggravated in communities with an ancestral tradition of burning practices to attract rain or as a technique to clear stubble vegetation left behind by agricultural activities. This results in a high incidence of wildfires in natural forests, other wild vegetation formations and forest plantations, eventually leading to the loss of forest cover and natural wild flora and fauna habitats; damages to the physical integrity, health or property of individuals; greenhouse gas emissions; and loss of economic value of forest lands and wildlife resources.
The development objective of this project is to contribute to the conservation of forest ecosystems and other wild vegetation formations threatened by forest fires, while its specific objective is to reduce the occurrence of forest fires through capacity strengthening in forest fire prevention and response aimed at local communities and local authorities. Positive impacts of the project will include a reduction in the loss of forest cover and natural habitats of wild fauna and flora; increased response capacity of social stakeholders in the prevention and management of forest fires; reduced greenhouse gas emissions; and social stakeholders’ awareness about forest fire impacts so as to facilitate the implementation of regional action plans.
Expected project outputs include: best forest and agricultural waste practices; public and private institutions effectively managing forest fire prevention and response protocols; efficient forest fire monitoring system; and population trained on forest fire impacts. In order to achieve these outputs, the project will raise awareness among agricultural producers regarding best forest and agricultural waste management practices, will strengthen social organizations and will ensure coordination between public and private institutions. In addition, the project will coordinate with institutions equipped with early-warning and information systems and will disseminate forest-related regulations. The sustainability of the project will be ensured because it is of institutional interest and will be part of the management actions of SERFOR’s General Directorate for Sustainable Forest and Wildlife Heritage Management.