Glaciers in Huascarán National Park, Peru

Environment Progress on environmental protection, risks caused by climate change

The Peruvian government has been stepping up efforts to align economic development with the country’s social and ecological needs.

For instance, Peru has committed to various goals, some of them very ambitious, at the national and the international level, for instance through its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and by endorsing the Aichi Biodiversity Targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity. As part of its efforts to become an OECD member, Peru is also very active in boosting its environmental sector.

The forestry law, which came into force in 2015, and the strategy for forests and climate change focus on protecting forest ecosystems. The national and regional authorities responsible for enforcing the rules and regulations are implementing measures to control illegal logging, in particular. However, Peru is still a very long way away from having a comprehensive national forest strategy. In addition, there are still major gaps with regard to establishing statutory environmental standards. There is no viable concept for formalising the forestry sector and for effectively fighting deforestation.

Residents attempt to salvage their belongings after flooding in the Peruvian city of Piura in March 2017

Residents attempt to salvage their belongings after flooding in the Peruvian city of Piura in March 2017

Residents attempt to salvage their belongings after flooding in the Peruvian city of Piura in March 2017

As a result of its geography, Peru is especially affected by the effects of climate change. Global warming is already triggering extreme weather events, irregular precipitation patterns and major variations in temperature, and causing the glaciers in the Andes to melt.

In many parts of the country, glacier run-off is used to irrigate fields and to supply drinking water. If glaciers continue to shrink and the supply gap increases, this will lead to extreme water shortages.

Droughts, flooding, landslips and mudslides are a recurring threat for people living in coastal regions and in the Andes, and are leading to increased crop risks.