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Urakuza

Located on the banks of the Marañon River, the main stem source of the Amazon itself, Urakuza is the largest of Cool Earth’s Awajún partnerships.

The indigenous Awajún population are famous for having resisted the Inca and today continue to fiercely defend their land against external threats such as loggers, miners and narcos. Keeping their rainforest intact will ensure the next generation retain their most fundamental asset for years to come. 

To do this, Cool Earth is helping diversify income streams that benefit the forest, increase financial resilience and improve nutrition.

By joining forces with the Inga Foundation, Cool Earth is supporting local people to grow inga, the Swiss army knife of trees. This miracle plant grows under the canopy, fixes nitrogen into the soil and improves yields of other crops. When grown in ‘inga alleys’, this approach may reduce deforestation, increase nutrition and support the community financially long term.

 

Urakuza village on the Rio Marañon, Peru

Urakuza village on the Rio Marañon, Peru

 

CHALLENGES

Access via a newly constructed road has increased infrastructure in the surrounding areas, leading to monetary value being placed on the forest. While the road provides good access to markets, it has brought with it other problems relating to HIV, alcoholism and drugs.

Illegal logging and mining is persistent due to road access, with runoff flowing into local rivers, polluting them and the fish that live there.

The movement of people from the Andes & coastal region has seen a change in traditional ways of life. Religious interventions and pressure to develop is beginning to put a strain, not only on the forest, but the communities themselves.

Activities

Planned outcomes

Cool Earth is working with local people in Urakuza to identify any patterns of deforestation and its long-term consequences. The first priority is addressing financial security within the community.

Improving the quality of cacao, diversifying diets with fish and developing inga as an alternative to slash and burn agriculture are all opportunities for the community to help reduce deforestation in the area. 

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