ASCART, a Conservation Association of Amazon Chestnut Producers, Safeguarding 39,765 Hectares of Biodiverse Forest in Peru’s Tambopata National Reserve
ASCART, the “Association of Amazon Chestnut Producers at the Tambopata National Reserve (TNR) – Peru” has over 12 members, who are responsible for the conservation and management of 39,765 hectares of tropical forest. The TNR in southeastern Peru is an incredibly biodiverse area that is home to over 10,000 species of plants, 600 species of birds, and 200 species of mammals. It plays a crucial role in protecting the Amazon rainforest and maintaining the global climate. The reserve is also significant culturally, as it is home to indigenous communities who have lived in harmony with the rainforest for centuries.
The Amazon Rainforest is now Emitting More CO2 than it Absorbs, Says Recent Study – Urgent Action Needed to Combat Climate Change and Deforestation
However, the Amazon rainforest is facing significant threats from climate change, deforestation, and other environmental pressures. According to a recent study, the Amazon rainforest is now emitting more carbon dioxide than it is absorbing due to increased deforestation and forest degradation (Gatti et al., 2021). This is a concerning trend that underscores the urgent need for action to address the underlying causes of climate change and preserve the rainforest’s ecosystem.
Amazon Nut Production: A Key Driver of Sustainable Forest Management and Livelihoods in the Region, but with Challenges to Sustainability and Pollinator Dependence
The production of Amazon chestnuts is significant in the region as it provides income and employment opportunities for local communities, and helps to promote sustainable forest management practices. However, Amazon chestnut harvesting is a complex and labor-intensive process, and it requires careful management to ensure the long-term sustainability of the industry and the surrounding ecosystem. In addition, the Amazon chestnut tree is dependent on a specific group of pollinators, making it particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and other environmental pressures.
For ASCART, the production of Amazon chestnut in Madre de Dios involves a complex supply chain, with different actors involved in harvesting, processing, and trading the nuts. The chestnuts are harvested from the wild in a sustainable manner by indigenous communities and small-scale farmers, who are associates of ASCART. The chestnuts are then transported to processing plants, where they are shelled, sorted, and packaged for export.
ASCART’s Complex Supply Chain for Sustainable Amazon Chestnut Production: From Harvesting by Indigenous Communities to Export
ASCART has made a significant commitment to addressing climate change and promoting sustainable practices in the Amazon chestnut industry. The efforts of ASCART towards climate neutrality, which started in 2020, earned them a competitive fund “ProCompite“ from the regional government of Tambopata valued at $45,000 thousand dollars. In 2021, ASCART introduced climate action as a key aspect of its business model, with the technical assistance of Green Initiative. As part of this process, the climate positive effect of the conservation efforts of ASCART were measured, making it visible that ASCART’s best practices were supporting the carbon capture of 29 tons of CO2 per year.
ASCART Leads the Way in Climate-Smart Agriculture: Using Biodiesel and Regenerative Practices to Decarbonize its Value Chain and Support Global Climate Goals
The climate smart agricultural practices applied by ASCART make this association a live example of how climate smart agriculture can support the global fight for the decarbonization of the economy. ASCART’s climate action commitment has taken them to the production of biofuels, from the chestnuts shell remainders, and the development of other regenerative practices that are decarbonizing its value chain CO2 emissions. Through the Climate Pledge signed in 2022, ASCART is now formally committed to a decarbonization agenda, with clear goals, making this association a consistent supporter of the SDGs goal 13 and the Paris Climate Agreement strategic vision.
ASCART’s Sustainable Practices and Climate Neutrality Commitment – A Model for Organizations to Preserve the Amazon and Build a Sustainable Future
ASCART’s commitment to decarbonization and sustainable practices is a model for other organizations to follow. By promoting sustainable forest management practices, supporting local communities, and working towards climate neutrality, ASCART is playing a critical role in preserving the biodiversity of the TNR and ensuring the long-term viability of the Amazon chestnut industry. With their ongoing efforts towards climate neutrality and decarbonization, ASCART is helping to build a more resilient and sustainable future for the Amazon.
This article was prepared by Marc Tristant, from The Green Initiative Team.