THE TREES FOR THE WOOD
Although coastal deserts and Andean plateaus are often the first landscapes that come to mind when many people think of Peru, the majority of the country’s land area, around 60%, is actually in the Amazon rainforest, giving Peru the second-largest portion of the Amazon after Brazil.
IN TOTAL AROUND 53% of Peru, or 68 million hectares, is covered in forests, giving Peru the tenth-largest forest resource in the world, and the second-largest in South America after Brazil. The country was previously in ninth place globally, but fell to tenth after losing 2 million ha to deforestation since 1990. Around 92% of Peru’s forest resources are located in the Amazon basin in the northeast, near the borders with Colombia, Brazil, and Ecuador.
Around 83% of Peru’s forested lands are publicly owned, with the rest divided between private and communal ownership. Of the 68 million hectares of resources, around 33.3 million have been designated for permanent production, and of that total, a Little more than half, or around 18.7 million, have actually been allocated to timber operators. Concessions have been granted to around 500 operators, with concessions averaging around 12,900 hectares each. An additional 12.6 million hectares belong to local and indigenous communities, and around 1200 indigenous communities have land rights to portions of the Peruvian Amazon. Plantation style production still makes up a very small portion of the forestry industry, accounting for less than 300,000 hectares.