After five days of intensive but wonderful meeting in Lima, a few of us (me, Miles Silman, Patrick Meir, Ken Feeley, Sassan Saatchi, Norma Salinas and Eric Cosio) head to Lima for a day of meetings with government officials and key NGO stakeholders. Our aim is to give a summary of what ABERG has achieved over the last decade, and to discuss how it can help the Peruvian government and NGOs with their environmental planning and decision makers. We leave Pisaq at 4 am, driving through silent windy mountain roads for a 6 am flight from Cusco airport. I try to tidy up our presentation on the plane to Lima but cannot stay awake. Then a taxi in Lima to the venue, grabbing some coffee just before entering the meeting and tidying up slides until the last second.
The meeting goes well I think, with two hours of presentations by our team on themes ranging from the effects of climate change to the mapping of biomass and forest function. There are plenty of discussions and suggestions, and a new meeting is arranged that afternoon at the Ministry of the Environment (MINAM). So after a great lunchtime cerviche (food in Lima is so good...) we head to MINAM with a new, shortened presentation to about 25 MINAM employees and advisors, and discussions continue until 8 pm. Topics of discussion range from biomass mapping of Amazonia, through fire control in parks and assisting with Peru’s national forest inventory.
By the end of the day we are exhausted and head for a restaurant meal and a few celebratory pisco sours…
Yadvinder Malhi is an ecosytem ecologist and Professor of Ecosystem Science at Oxford University