Restoring the Dry Forest Ecosystem and Promoting Human Development in Talara, Peru (2014 – 2018)
The Dry Forest Ecosystem Restoration and Human Development Project in Talara began in January 2014. This project is the result of a strategic partnership between A Rocha Peru and ContourGlobal, an international energy company that owns a windfarm in Talara, Piura, northern Peru. A Rocha Peru, working in collaboration with eight neighbourhood councils adjacent to the windfarm, is responsible for the design and implementation of the project, whose objective is to restore the dry forest ecosystems and promote human development.
One of the objectives of this project is the restoration of the dry forest ecosystem in Talara. In order to do this, a total of 17 hectares have been reforested: 12 hectares within the wind farm site and 5 hectares on land belonging to the neighbourhood councils in the surrounding area. The project plans to develop a community ecological centre on community land, providing a space for recreation and raising awareness on the importance of dry forest conservation and the use of its resources to the families, educational institutions, other organisations, and the general public. The reforestation component will result in the restoration of a habitat that is crucial to various species, amongst which is the Peruvian Plantcutter (Phytotoma raimondii), a threatened bird species native to the region.
During the first year of the project, we implemented a plant nursery where we exceeded the production goal of 4240 programmed plants to produced native plants. We also carried out additional activities such as fruit and ornamental plant production, as well as the production of compost and biol. As part of the first stage of the project, we completed the installation of an irrigation system for 7 hectares.
Within the research component, we carried out a carbon study. In addition, the project performed a bird monitoring study throughout the dry forests and area surrounding the windfarm. Talara is known as a crucial area for the preservation of endemic species in the Tumbes region.
Within the environmental education sub-component, the project has two objectives. Firstly, to sensitise and train the members of the 8 neighbourhood councils and to successfully engage 20 community leaders who will promote project activities and will eventually be responsible for the sustainable management and use of the dry forest’s resources, in order to generate direct benefits for the local population. Secondly, to establish environmental clubs in 2 schools as part of a program to develop values and leadership skills amongst 30 kids and 30 teenagers.
Currently, the project has two environmental clubs called “Los Amigos de las Plantas” (The Friends of the Plants) and A Rocha Kids. Their members are students at the I.E. General Felipe Santiago Salaverry primary school and the I.E. Victor Maldonado Begazo secondary school. During the course of the over two years of the project, the clubs have implemented an organic garden on school grounds, we also carried out awareness campaigns via talks and workshops, as well as many other social and environmental activities.