Sustainable Agriculture in Tambopata National Reserve, Peru
Tambopata National Reserve is located in the Tambopata Province, in the Peruvian Amazon. Located between the equator and the tropic of Capricorn. The average annual temperature is just over 25 Celsius ranging from 10-38 Celsius, with generally high humidity.
The reserve protects 1.5 million hectares of humid tropical forests, designated to protect the forests located between the Tambopata and Heath River.
The main agricultural products of the region, linked to global supply chains are Cocoa, Brazil Nut and more recently acai berry. They have other subsistence agriculture, mainly destined for local consumption such as papaya and many other local fruits, as well as yuca, rice beans, etc.
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Peru is the 8th largest cocoa producer in the world and its production has seen an increase in the last three years. Hence farmers in rural areas want to take advantage of the booming market opportunity and are increasingly turning their attention to cocoa production. In Tambopata the locals are for ever looking for ways to improve their agricultural methods making sure that their products are sustainably produced. This ensures that their produce can remain competitive, by meeting certification standards, as well as protecting the natural resources.
For these reasons in Tambopata National Reserve government institutions and local businesses are working hard with the local communities to help implement sustainable methods of cocoa production, as well as Brazil Nuts and other fruits.
The sustainable agriculture project in Tambopata-Venado aims to develop and implement different agricultural strategies and share these with the local communities in the nearby villages of Filadelfia and Florida Baja, to help improve the livelihood of those that depend on the local sustainable agriculture. The primary produce is cacao but they also work with Brazil Nuts and a variety of local fruits. As well as reforesting trees in the forest.
We also aim to learn more about conservation challenges locally and propose adaptation mechanisms; so the locals can adapt to changes to ensure a better future.
Activities are subject to seasonality and they may include (but will not be limited to).
- Planting and harvesting cacao
- Fermenting and drying cacao
- Collecting Brazil nuts and other local fruits
- Help develop and implement sustainable agricultural techniques
You will be taught the agricultural techniques employed and will work alongside locals learning from their lay knowledge and supporting their work.
In this project you will learn about sustainable development, more specifically that related to suitable agricultural practices.
You will get an insight into local sustainable practices and gain an understanding of how locals obtain certain products (such Brazil nuts, Acai-berry etc.) that depend on a healthy and protected forest for its production. You will also be exposed and will gain better understanding of the Cacao production process in the Amazonian region.
Working in this project you could also get involved in discussion with the local communities (depending on the dates you visit) which will give you an opportunity to make a contribution towards improving sustainable practices and people’s livelihood. With the view of ensuring a healthy environment for future generations and protect the Amazonian Forests and the benefits that this environment provides to human kind.
Volunteers stay at Venado Eco House which is located about one hour from Puerto Maldonado. All accommodation is shared dorm style rooms with shared bathroom facilities.
On site at Venado lodge, volunteers/interns can swim, fish, hike and canoe during their free time. You may also get the chance to do other activities at Tambopata Lodge where participants are also given the chance to do kayak, zip lining and visit the largest Macaw claylick in the area.
Food will be provided by Eco-Decisions and volunteers may help preparing meals.
3 weeks 4 weeks 6 weeks 8 weeks
£968 £ 1,246 £1,865 £ 2,302
The price includes: Accommodation and food + airport transfer to hotel on arrival (other transport is not included).
The day starts early in this part of the world.
You may get up between 6-7 am and help prepare breakfast. Some times the Sustainable Development participants have the chance to join the fauna monitoring project, those days you will get up at 5 am and walk along a forest transect recording signs of mammals living in the area. This takes an hour and you will be be back between 6-7 in time to join preparing breakfast.
After breakfast until late morning you work on whatever job is installed for you that day, it can be watering plants, harvesting, planting, etc.
Around midday you come back for lunch. As it is normally ver hot, the locals have a long siesta or rest in the middle of the day and go out to work again at the end of the afternoon.
As the sun is going down you come back to prepare dinner.
After dinner, bed time is early again. Some times you may join the biologists and recorders on night walks to explore the local wildlife at night.