Smart Infrastructure. Designing necessary infrastructure to have no net impact on natural capital.
Resultados a la fecha
- Development of two pilot projects of environmental offsets in the Peruvian Amazon that have incorporated the loss and possible positive impact in biodiversity and ecosystem services. These results have generated specific recommendations that contributed to the creation of the Methodological Guide for Environmental Offsets.
- Change in the route of the Pucallpa – Cruzeiro do Sul road project, protecting the area of the Isconahua Territorial Reserve and the Sierra del Divisor National Park (3,2 million acres).
- Creation and strengthening of the Megaproject Monitoring Group for the Ucayali Region, that comprises more than 40 civil society and governmental organizations, aimed at monitoring infrastructure projects in the area and having a preventive influence through the strengthening of capacities to promote a transparent decision-making process and citizen participation.
- Strengthening of capacities for civil society and public sector organizations in issues regarding Mitigation Hierarchy and mainly in the Environmental offsets process.
- Endorsement and publication of the Guidelines for Environmental Offsets through a Ministerial resolution, which are based in the Mitigation Hierarchy approach and seek to obtain no net impact in the development of the public and private infrastructure projects.
In some regions of Peru, the direct investment by the year 2021, will amount to more than 80 billion dollars, and will mainly be focused in the areas of energy, forestry, oil, mining and transportation. Large investments in energy, transport and extractive industries require intelligent planning to conserve and compensate the natural wealth and the ecosystems of the region, seeking that the development of new infrastructure projects will have no net impact on biodiversity and ecosystems, getting a positive impact on natural capital. While there is an existing legal framework in the System of Environmental Impact Assessment that is being improved and takes into consideration the Hierarchy of Mitigation to achieve net zero impact on natural capital, the specific set of rules for implementing an Environmental Offsets scheme are yet to be established, and to become mandatory for all ecosystems.
Through our Infrastructure Strategy, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) seeks that all the energy generation, transport and mining projects have zero impact on nature and its surrounding communities or even a positive impact on them. To achieve this goal, TNC promotes the implementation of the Mitigation Hierarchy that consists in avoiding the environmental impacts derived from new infrastructure projects, in a first place. If these impacts cannot be avoided, the next step must be minimizing the possible negative effects; to finally offsetting those impacts that couldn’t be avoided or minimized in the previous steps.
TNC has prioritized the implementation of the Mitigation Hierarchy through two large projects in Peru, embedded in its Infrastructure strategy: i) Hydropower by Design and ii) Comprehensive Offset Strategy. Both strengthened by a crosscutting strategy for Community Empowerment.
Strategies in action
Environmental Offsets: Develop tools and instruments to strengthen the Mitigation Hierarchy approach, focusing in compensating for loss in biodiversity in Peru. Providing support to the Ministry of Environment (MINAM) and the National Certification Service for Sustainable Investments (SENACE) in the implementation and monitoring of the Environmental offsets policy, whose guidelines were formulated in December 2015. Likewise, we work in a strategy to strengthen the authorities’ capacities in order to support the effective implementation of these policies.
Hydropower by Design: This conceptual model developed by TNC at a global scale, promotes the implementation of the Mitigation Hierarchy (avoid, minimize, offset) in the development cycle of hydropower projects: planning, design, construction and operation. It is a comprehensive solution that seeks to improve the sustainability of the hydropower sector. An early and strategic watershed planning contributes to balance power generation with the conservation of water resources and its biodiversity, reducing also environmental and social conflicts. The Hydropower by Design model is currently being proposed for the upper basin of the Ucayali River in Peru, to support the strengthening of the energy strategies of the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines.
Community empowerment: This cross-cutting strategy is aimed at creating and strengthening platforms for discussion, regarding specific infrastructure projects, in order to ensure that the public is properly informed about the social and environmental implications of the proposed projects, allowing for an adequate implementation of the participatory tools for citizen oversight. Since the indigenous communities are in higher vulnerability compared to other social groups, this strategy focuses its efforts in the strengthening of the capacities of the indigenous organizations.
As Peru stands poised to see major energy, forestry, oil, mining and transportation development, The Nature Conservancy is developing innovative tools to avoid, minimize and offset environmental impacts.
We safeguard Peru's economy, communities and environment by:
- Protecting and restoring critically important habitats
- We safeguard ecologically important places; guiding development towards sites with the least impact on nature.
- Transforming how we use nature to sustain ourselves
- We partner with local communities and indigenous peoples, providing them with science and other tools to be the best stewards of their own resources.
- Inspiring collective action
- We galvanize collective action (from policymakers, to rural and indigenous communities, to government agencies) to promote the adoption of sustainable development models at scale.
With our smart infrastructure strategy, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) seeks to ensure that all energy generation, transportation and mining projects have no net negative impacts on nature or local communities. Our Mitigation Hierarchy consists of first avoiding negative environmental impacts in the first place. If these impacts cannot be avoided, we work to minimize their impact, and finally, mitigate impacts that can be neither minimized or avoided.
- We support local communities in the building of green infrastructure (trees along rivers that filter and regulate water flow) to minimize the need for industrial water filtration infrastructure downstream.
- We are implementing a payment for ecosystems services program in the Cumbaza river basin jointly with the Federation of Kechwa Indigenous Communities of the San Martin region (FEPIKRESAM), through which we compensate local farmers to plant trees along and protect the areas surrounding the Cumbaza river, which provides water to the downstream city of Trapoto, one of the main cities in the Peruvian Amazon.
Transforming how we use nature to sustain ourselves
Above, Nelson Ciejas, Director of Environmental Management, Ucayali Regional Government explains, “This has been a success. We have been able to offset that road proposal thanks to information and support from TNC”.
Working closely with indigenous communities, we help map and codify indigenous territories to protect them from the negative impacts of development and infrastructure projects.
- With Nelson Ciejas and other community members, we were able to change the route of the Pucallpa-Cruzeiro do Sul road project, protecting the Isonahua Territorial Reserve and the Sierra del Divisor National Park (3.2 million acres).
Together with more than 40 civil society and government groups, we led the creation of the Megaproject Monitoring Group for the Ucayali Region.
- We are strengthening the government's capacity and incentive to promote transparent, decision-making processes and incorporate citizen participation.
- We also published and implemented a Methodological Guide for Environmental Offsets with monitoring tools to provide feedback and improve the system regularly.