On the banks of the Ene river, which forms the headwaters of the Amazon river, Cutivireni is Cool Earth’s longest standing partnership. 

Here, the forest is intrinsic to their way of life. Community members speak eagerly of the times when spectacled bears, jaguars and spider monkeys used to call the forest close to Cutivireni their home.

However, poverty and population expansion began to force unsustainable usage of the forest or selling trees, with little other option to make a much-needed income. This expanding agriculture and logging put pressure on the forest and all that lives there. 

Cutivireni is why and where the Cool Earth approach was born; putting people first to protect their trees. By providing funds that the whole community could use to invest in what they needed most, Cool Earth gave Cutivireni another option: to turn away the loggers and continue to live and thrive in their beautiful rainforest home.

Ten years on and Cool Earth now partners with local people in all three of the world’s major rainforest biomes, thanks to what we learned from Cutivireni.

Location: Junín Province, Asháninka, Peru



A lack of sustainable incomes and subsequent poverty places immense pressure on the Asháninka forest. The need for healthcare and cash means offers for the forest become attractive or unsustainable slash and burn farming is seen as the only option.

Unsustainable farming often occurs through shifting slash and burn agriculture, where patches of forest are cleared to grow and sell crops.


“If we’d let the loggers in, they’d have taken all the wood and begun a lot of deforestation. It is something in my lifetime I would never permit because the forest is what we need for future generations. We need the forest. Without it we cannot exist.”

Cesar Bustamante, ex-chief of Cutivireni


Jaime standing next to a tree that he planted in Peru © Cool Earth.

“If you take a good look at the forest here, there is plenty of life left for us,”

Jaime Peña, Cutivireni

Planned outcomes

Reconnecting local people with the forest to understand its intrinsic and economic value helps local people use and learn from their environment without destroying it. This is only possible and effective when basic needs are addressed.

By developing responsible farming systems to address unsustainable farming practices, communities can generate a source of income and help feed a growing population. It all helps to invest in basic necessities that serve the interest of the whole community, such as education and healthcare.


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