From the Forest
January 27, 2016
Aldo Soto is the Rainforest Foundation UK’s Programme Coordinator for Peru. He is currently in the Madre de Dios region of the Peruvian Amazon, where we are working with indigenous communities to protect their rainforest.
"I am here to train communities in the use of ForestLink, which enables forest people in the remotest areas of the forest to report threats to the rainforest in real-time. I’m training selected members of each community on how to use ForestLink devices, and am working with our partner organisation and local authorities to ensure that illegal loggers and miners will be apprehended.
I visited Puerto Luz with Jorge Tayori who lives in the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve, a protected area of rainforest managed by indigenous groups. Jorge took me to see a ‘mother tree’ of Tornillo (Cedrelinga Cateniformis) which has been illegally cut down inside the reserve: ‘mother trees’ are the largest trees in a forest and act as central hubs, supporting young trees by ferrying them the nutrients they need to grow.
We then moved on to a whole area that has been cleared for illegal goldmining. The situation here is very challenging with the forest threatened by logging and mining alike, which is why it is important that a system such as ForestLink can be adapted to report on any number of types of threats. With thanks to the support received from our donors, we are starting to help remote and disconnected communities alert authorities about the spread of illegal logging and mining in protected areas and communal reserves".