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Name of Project: Reforestation of the Peruvian Coastal Belt

Number of Trees to be Planted:10,000

Directly Benefits: Area residents

Location: Ica, Peru

Year: 2011

Goals

·         Address desertification, poor soil quality, salinization, and falling water tables through reforestation of the huarango dry forests

·         Protect forests by changing attitudes towards the huarango tree

·         Revive traditional food uses of the huarango fruit

 

Notable Highlights

American Forests is partnering with Trees for Cities and the Association for Children and the Environment (ANIA), a local, non-governmental organization, to continue a collaborative effort that began in 2009.

The ecosystem of the intended reforestation area is dependent on the huarango tree (Prosopis pallida) but about 98 percent of its former environment has been deforested. The huarango trees are especially vital to maintaining the area’s water cycle because they capture both seasonal flood waters from the Andes, and moisture from night time fogs. A single huarango tree can capture 9 liters of water in its canopy each night. These trees are also nitrogen-fixing which means that they enrich typically poor soils.

The educational aspect of the project is especially important as the program gives local children a hands-on learning experience. The project sponsors a club that gives each child his or her own small vegetable plot, located near newly-planted huarango trees that provide natural fertilizers. These vegetable plots contribute to added tree cover and provide nutritious fresh fruit and vegetables to the community.

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Critical Issues