Lima, May 31 (EFE).- Biodiversity resources and ecosystem services contribute between 15 percent and 20 percent of Peru’s Gross Domestic Product, a government official said Monday.
Jose Alvarez, general director at the Environment Ministry’s Biological Diversity department said some 2.2 million rural families in the country, distributed in peasant and indigenous communities, depend to a great extent on these goods and services to survive.
“For this sector of the population, the enhancement of biodiversity resources and ecosystem services are the best opportunity to get out of poverty and ensure their nutrition and health,” he said in an official statement.
Álvarez said the enhancement of biodiversity in production chains “with a biotrade approach” is one of the best strategies for conservation and to comply with international commitments in this area, as well as on climate change and sustainable development.
The ministry said it promotes a strategic alliance between conservationist families and private companies, to promote “bio-businesses” along the lines of “green growth,” especially in the Andes and the Amazon.
The markets for “sustainable” products, organic products and “functional foods” (which in addition to being nutritious contribute to prevention and health care) are growing at higher rates than the food and cosmetic sector in general, Alvarez said.
The ministry said Peru is one of the main world centers of origin and diversification of species of importance for food and the global economy, and close to 65 percent of its agriculture and a good part of its gastronomy (which moves 9.5 percent of its GDP) depends on native resources such as potatoes, corn and tomatoes, among others.
For this reason, he added that, within the framework of the Moratorium Law, “guarantees” the protection of native breeds and varieties “from potential contamination with Living Modified Organisms and contributes to the competitiveness of agriculture,” especially of organic producers that exist in the country.
In addition, the baselines of the species potentially affected by the organisms are being established and biosecurity capacities are being strengthened in the face of contamination risks. EFE