La Libertad Dry Forest Project
La Libertad Dry Forest Project at the Pacasamayo site is the first project implemented by the Dry Forest Conservation and Restoration Program. The Pacasamayo site is an area greatly impacted by human activity and urgently needs restoration and protection. The project influences over 1,350 hectares of dry forest including the forests of Cañoncillo, Tronco Prieto, La Yuca, Jatanca, Santa María, la Portada, and more. It is a community-based conservation project collaborating with smallholder farming residents to restore, conserve, and sustainably manage degraded dry forests in Pacasmayo.
The project reforests degraded dry forest landscapes and increases native tree cover on agricultural lands to improve ecosystem health and reduce threats to vulnerable species. It trains local conservation working groups on how to address practices that negatively affect the dry forests, helping to promote forest management and ecotourism plans, and conducting regular forest patrols. The project also installs ecological cookstoves in community households with higher firewood consumption.
Dry forest research provides important information about the region’s endemic flora, fauna, and patterns of firewood use. The information is integrated into the Latin American Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest Floristic Network’s (DRYFLOR) database to improve the understanding of the flora and to promote the conservation of the endangered seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTF) of Latin America.
The project raises awareness among local community members on the importance of the dry forest and develops and strengthens the capacity to sustainably manage dry forests by teaching participants to make non-timber handicrafts for tourists using readily available forest materials. Through environmental clubs, local school students and church members are sensitized and trained on Important dry forest topics and have practical lessons by implementing organic gardens. Applying what they learn, the students can become agents of change for their communities.