How we save the rainforest

Mein Regenwald is one of the largest private nature reserves in Peru. The success story of saving the Amazon rainforest is based on the commitment of some rainforest savers from Peru and forest sponsors from all over Germany.

The last chance for the rainforest

Most of the rainforests of central Peru have been destroyed. To save the last forest areas from slash-and-burn, the Mein Regenwald Project, with the support of the authorities, has established private nature reserves at several locations. Mein Regenwald makes an important contribution in the fight against climate change, for the protection of biodiversity and for better living conditions for the local population. In concrete terms, we are implementing these goals in this way:

We are saving more and more rainforest

It all started in 2017. After a two-year struggle that took us all the way to the Peruvian president, the forestry authority transferred the first 18,500 hectares of rainforest to us. In 2020, we were able to expand Mein Regenwald to 20,000 hectares. Our goal is to save even the last rainforests in the region and expand Mein Regenwald to 30,000 hectares in three locations. This is roughly equivalent to the area of the smallest German state (Bremen).

We guard the rainforest

To ensure that loggers, poachers and land robbers no longer stand a chance, our local team guards the rainforest around the clock. They patrol the borders of our protected areas and cooperate with the local population. We operate checkpoints, use satellite surveillance and test acoustic monitoring systems and drones.

We are reforesting the rainforest

Around the Mein Regenwald protected areas, most of the forest has been lost in recent years. Together with campesinos, indigenous communities and farmers, we are planting new forests. This is good for people, biodiversity and the climate. Our goal is to plant 100,000 new native trees every year.

We protect the climate

Our rainforests store gigantic amounts of CO2, and each year they absorb up to 150,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. This is roughly equivalent to the annual emissions of an average small German town. By protecting the forests and peatlands, we ensure that all this CO2 remains sequestered and is not released back into the atmosphere through slash-and-burn agriculture. In this way, we contribute to achieving the 1.5 degree target of the Paris Climate Agreement. Protecting the rainforest means doing something for the climate so that we can leave our children a habitable planet.

We fight poverty and promote education

On the edge of our protected areas, smallholders and indigenous communities often live in abject poverty. Since the protection of the rainforest depends on these people, we accompany them to improve the self-governance of their villages and to protect their territories from loggers and land robbers. We train them to become forest wardens and empower them to switch to sustainable farming methods. With organic coffee, for example, farmers can earn more without destroying the forest. This is the only way they can also cut back on drug cultivation. We empower adults and children with holistic education programs. Through our sponsored children program, we enable children to develop undisturbed. In the event of natural disasters and pandemics, we support the population with emergency aid. This creates a relationship of trust between the villages and our project team, the people become strong, escape poverty and protect the rainforest.

You can find out more about Yanesha and our educational offers in our media-library.

We explore the rainforest

In the long run, we can only save the rainforest if we understand it better and better. That's why we want to build a research station so that the scientists who work with us can study the species-rich ecosystem from here. With the help of camera traps, for example, we want to research the populations of important animal species such as the tapir.

We are a strong team

Our project team consists of local experts such as forest managers, forest rangers, agricultural engineers, lawyers, anthropologists and social workers. For the rainforest, they cooperate with the local population, authorities, international research institutions, German as well as Peruvian universities and other organizations.

How a conservation concession works

Most of our protected areas are conservation concessions. They are part of the Peruvian state's strategy to preserve at least 20% of the country as wilderness in the long term (for comparison: the German goal is 2%). Our protected areas were permanently transferred to us by the Peruvian forestry authority as nature conservation concessions. We were registered as owners of these areas in the land registry. Our task, to which we have contractually committed ourselves, is to preserve these areas in their natural state. The success of our work is constantly monitored by the forest control authority.