Gastronomy, a way to saving Peru´s biodiversity

The search for solutions so that preserving a forest will be more profitable than cutting it down has come to the world’s best gourmet restaurants, thanks to which many Peruvian jungle communities have exchanged deforestation for preservation. One of the non-governmental organizations that has managed to make gastronomy a means for protecting biodiversity is Peru’s Amazon Residents for Amazonia (AMPA), whose representatives presented their achievements at the World Conservation Congress being held until Sept. 10 in Hawaii.

Up until 10 years ago, it was assumed “due to a lack of understanding” that Amazonia could not produce food and instead of expanding the use and marketing of local vegetables, fish or fruit produced by the indigenous population there, the rainforest was cut down or burned to replace it with more commercial cultivation, Karina Pinasco, a spokesperson for the NGO told EFE.

Along those lines, the challenge for young residents of Peru’s Amazon region who got this project started was to create an appreciation and value for products of the rainforest. One of the first initiatives was to bring the forest to the most renowned chefs of Peru, a country where innovation in gastronomy is booming, and teach them about all the delicacies it offers, said Miguel Tang, another AMPA spokesman.

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