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Peru’s recently-formed Ministry of Environment has made a careful assessment of the country’s Ecological Footprint and biocapacity one of its first priorities.

One of the world’s most geographically and biologically diverse countries, Peru’s Ecological Footprint falls within the “one planet” level of 1,8 global hectares available per person worldwide.  In recent years Peru has experienced its highest economic growth ever and seen significant reductions in poverty. Even so, the country faces constraints on critical resources, such as water, that threaten these gains. It also faces key social challenges, such as chronic malnutrition and regional poverty rates that top 60 percent in some places. In Peru, increasing quality of life in a way that does not spur resource shortages is an especially pressing concern.

Two years ago, Peru created a Ministry of Environment to deal with such challenges, and in 2010, as part of the Ministry’s first full budgetary cycle, it dedicated funds to work with the Footprint.  “For us, it is of particular importance to have information and indicators that account for our growing demand on the biocapacity of the planet to meet our needs,” Environment Vice Minister Ana María González del Valle Begazo wrote in an official letter of interest.

Global Footprint Network is working with Peru-based consultancy Libélula (Dragonfly) to develop a method of analysis that will reflect the broad differences in biocapacity and consumption levels of various regions. Global Footprint Network is helping the fledgling ministry to find funding sources to promote this work, which the ministry hopes to broaden in 2011.