Tropical forests slow climate change by absorbing and storing carbon. But in Peru’s Alto Mayo Protected Forest, many coffee farmers clear-cut the trees to use the land for their crops.
But with this method, the soil’s fertility is depleted quickly. So often, farmers move to new parts of the forest and cut down more trees.
Hank Cauley, a former senior vice president with Conservation International, says the nonprofit is working with coffee farmers to slow deforestation in the region.
“What we did was we engaged the communities at helping them identify ways in which they could more intensively manage their coffee farms,” he says, “and improve … the quality of the coffee as well.”
So for example, they trained farmers to grow coffee in the shade and to make organic fertilizer that can replenish the soil so the same area can be farmed year after year.