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Fostering ecosystem services in the Peruvian Andes

15 November 2021

When well conserved, the ecosystems of the high Andes — pastures, forests and wetlands — are a vital source of water for communities living both in the Andean plateau and mountains and in the valleys below.

With this in mind, the FIDA-MERESE project, financed by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and carried out by Peru’s Ministry of Environment, with IFAD as implementing agency, has helped farmers in the Jequetepeque and Cañete river basins become stewards of the ecosystems on which they depend. The project has very much improved the region’s water security both upstream and downstream — and the farmers’ livelihoods.

Through payment for ecosystem services agreements, the project managed to conserve and recover 15,000 hectares of degraded land with the active participation of the farming communities living in the Andean heights. More than 1,500 families directly benefited from the project, and fresh, clean water has also been secured for thousands of people living downriver.

In this video, you can watch the testimonies of some of the project participants and, at the same time, admire the greatness of Peru’s Andean mountains — not at all a small thing.