National

Peru's Cusco region sees widespread deforestation

By Manuel Vigo

A government report published in 2012 found that between 2000 and 2009 over 731,800 hectares of forest areas in the Cusco region were cut down.

Peru's Cusco region sees widespread deforestation

(Photo: Ralph Zapata/El Comercio)

The Cusco region is in the midst of widespread deforestation, caused by illegal mining and logging activities.


According to El Comercio, a government report published last year found that between 2000 and 2009 over 731,800 hectares of forest areas in the Cusco region were cut down.


The fast-paced deforestation has reportedly left 76 species of trees in danger of extinction.


The Alto Urubamba Valley, the report said, has been the most affected area. Other places, such as Cosñipata, Camanti, and Bajo Urubamba — home to the Machiguengas and Asháninkas native communities — have also been affected.


The main causes behind the deforestation, the daily said, was the persistent illegal mining activities, as well as illegal logging and migratory farming.


Cusco’s regional government has announced it is working to design a strategy to reverse the deforestation. However, according to El Comercio, this process could take at least 3 months.


Local officials have warned that most of the logging is taking place in Pilcopata, an area near to the Manú National Park, a biosphere reserve.