Discover Adventure has supported this project to re-plant trees in the Polylepis forests of the Vilcanota mountain range in Peru since 2010. The project is a collaborative effort involving 21 rural communities in the Lares watershed, near Cuzco, Peru. It was pioneered by Paul Cripps of Amazonas Explorer together with NGO ECOAN and organisation One Percent for the Planet, and it is a project we have passionately supported for many years through our own donations and that of many of our challengers.
These forests are home to a wide biodiversity of endemic species including the Royal Cinclodes, a critically endangered bird as well as the endangered White Browed Tit-Spinetail and Ash Breasted Tit-Tyrant. Aswell as carefully preserving the home of these birds, the forests are also critical to providing erosion control, provide essential microhabitats for a plethora of species and help to balance the oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The trees planted are native Queuna trees, which thrive in habitats close to the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, between altitudes of 3500m and 5000m. Donations made by our challengers in the last 12 months have helped to aid the most recent tree
planting season. December 2016 saw over 52,000 trees planted over the course of two days, with help from the communities of the Rumira Sodormayo, Patacancha and Huilloc. Planting takes place whatever the weather, rain, snow or sunshine and it is very humbling to see the local people persevering with this essential work to revive these diminished forests.
The re-planting project has enabled over 500,000 trees to be planted since it began in 2007 and Discover Adventure, on behalf of all those who have donated through us, is proud to have helped plant over 67,000 of those trees.
The goal of the project this year is to plant over 100,000 trees by the end of February (2017) and in the next two weeks, 10,000 Queuna trees will be planted in the Community of Mantanay and a further 10,000 will be planted in the community of Tacllapata, near the Cancha Cancha route to Lares, Peru.
A tree planted on your behalf, costs just $1 and the cost of each re-planting event is $7000 - this covers ECOAN logistics, transport of the seedlings, support, monitoring and food for the 300 members of each community member involved in the planting day(s). You can see what the project involves in this video (although it is in Spanish!)
Last year, the project introduced to us the possibility of buying fuel efficient, ecological clay stoves for the communities of Rumira Sodormayo and Patacancha. These stoves further support the drive towards sustainability in the region and the goals of the tree planting project, by reducing the need for firewood and the amount of woodsmoke the locals inhale. Discover Adventure are proud to have enabled 67 stoves to be purchased for the families of these communities and this year, with your help, we hope to purchase many more.
ECOAN works in partnership with the American Bird Conservancy and Protected Conservation Areas as well the native communities of the Vilcanota mountains in the Peruvian Andes and our friends at Amazonas Explorer.
"Thanks to Discover Adventure for your continued support in our reforestation campaigns in the Andes with Queuña seedlings. ECOAN has been conducting a comprehensive monitoring of these trees from 2002 to 2015, looking at a total of 800,000 trees, 500,000 of which come from the support of our donors led by Paul Cripps. Prior to this monitoring we have mapped all the forest areas of the Vilcanota project, and the second stage is monitoring the seedling survival rate." - Goyo, Project Co-ordinator