CITY: Peru
Country: Peru
We are a grassroots organization composed of 60 families, including indigenous Mochica families. Our purpose is to promote the sustainable development of Choloque and its surroundings. We gathered as a result of the need to preserve our forests and find a way to combat poverty. We saw severe logging around us, which we believe was contributing to higher levels of poverty. We realized that if our dry forest disappeared, we would have no way to escape poverty. However, at that time, there were no alternative jobs apart from logging. We came together to seek productive alternatives and to step away from unfair intermediaries. We had to strengthen our organization and improve our management level, and we learned to adjust our production systems to meet to market demand, increasing productivity and product quality.

In 2002, thanks to financial support from the Small Grants Programme (SGP) of UNDP - GEF, we began a participatory assessment to study the potential of dry forest ecosystems for sustainable development. The assessment ideentified a number of productive alternatives such as organic honey bee Apis mellifera, the honey of native stingless bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae Meliponini), the production of carob, fruit jam from home gardens and native fruit, and raising livestock. Past generations of our people consumed the mamey fruit, and we also decided to grow this fruit using the same techniques as our ancestors. Additionally, using reforested species of flowers, we developed honey production. Our organization sells honey as well as mamey jams.

We believe there is conservation is not possible if it does not include a strategy to create jobs for people while exert the least pressure on the forest. Health comes from our farm and is directly related to conservation.

** Profile photo and honey product photo under Creative Commons license.
*** Cover photo: Creative Commons, Dino Giordano -