Thursday, September 25, 2014

Norway pledges $300 million to protect Peru's forests

During the United Nations Climate Summit in New York last Tuesday, Norway announced that it plans to spend as much as $300 million through 2021 to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to the destruction of Peru's tropical forests.

As Deirdre Lockwood noted in her guest post last month ("Speaking for Peru's Trees"), deforestation and forest degradation account for approximately 15% of anthropogenic emissions of CO2. Any honest effort to reduce CO2 emissions must therefore incorporate strategies to protect and expand the world's forests.

Apart from wildfires, the primary causes of deforestation are agriculture, animal husbandry, logging, and mining. In Peru, these activities go hand-in-hand with economic development, which makes preserving the country's forests particularly challenging. Even were the Peruvian government not ambivalent about the economic tradeoffs, curbing deforestation begins with the people, who often ignore environmental laws and clear forests to meet their immediate needs.

Norway's pledge is intended to give Peruvians a strong economic incentive to forgo activities that cause deforestation.
The deal runs up to 2021 and payments for emissions reductions are expected to start as of 2017.  
In agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emission, the donor country typically measures the amount of avoided emissions in tonnes of carbon dioxide and sets a price per ton. The host country is then entitled to receive the payments, which it usually distributes to landowners working on the projects to stop deforestation. 
(Marcelo Teixeira, "Norway to pay Peru $300 million for forest-based emissions reductions," September 23, 2014)
The return on Norway's investment will depend, of course, on whether the economic incentives ultimately pencil out for rural Peruvians.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Losing Edwin Chota

Indigenous communities of the Amazonian region straddling the border between Peru and Brazil lost an environmental warrior a few days ago. Edwin Chota, leader of an Ashéninka village of Saweto and noted activist against illegal logging on indigenous lands in the Amazon, was reported killed along with three others en route to a neighboring village. Authorities have not yet recovered the bodies.

Diego Leal and David Salisbury have published an important tribute to this brave man.
Chota dreamed of a borderland Amazonian forest with indigenous people thriving alongside the region's biodiversity. He envisioned a new generation of indigenous families living in peace while teaching others at the border how to protect and use the forest. In Chota's dream, Saweto would become a model indigenous community leading the way towards a more sustainable Amazon. 
(Leal and Salisbury, "Edwin Chota's Dream," September 9, 2014)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Climate Change and Peru (July 2014 presentation at Awamaki)

Back in July, Cassie gave a presentation in Ollantaytambo on the current and future impacts of climate change in Peru. Awamaki, a nonprofit with a mission to empower women in the Sacred Valley, hosted the conversation. Jesse Zimmerman, Awamaki's Director of Operations, translated.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

T-shirt campaign

How about a little t-shirt campaign to drive awareness and help us continue publishing Cusco Running Club through the end of the year? We've written a lot, but there's so much more to say...

Our goal: 75 shirts in the next three weeks.  Pitch in if you can!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Spanish I Learned Watching the World Cup

In between gasping my way up hills, losing potential dinner invitations with my Global Doom and Gloom, job searching and tending to endless, indescribable digestion issues, I have also been attempting to improve my mostly-non-existent Spanish during our time in Peru. As luck would have it, the World Cup started the week that we arrived in Lima and was on for the duration of our stay in Cusco, leaving me with some key, invaluable phrases:

"Le mordió el hombro."

"El sueño terminó de la manera más humillante."

"Me abrí el ano y por eso sufrí tanto dolor. No quiero ser grosero, pero fue así."

And of course:


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lost and Found: Isaac Cordal

Casus Pacis (St. Petersburgh, Russia - 2014)

Follow the Leaders (Brussels, Belgium - 2012)

More about the artist.


Companion piece: Jane da Mosto and Caroline Fletcher, The Science of Saving Venice