Water, Wind, and Trees: How GNT supported Peruvian farmers hit by climate change

Promoting better agriculture is one of four crucial pillars in GNT’s sustainability roadmap for 2030. As well as building a greener approach to crop cultivation, we’re committed to supporting five social livelihood projects along our supply chain.

The first sees GNT contribute €25,000 to “Peru: Water, Wind, and Trees.” This non-profit project, which began in 2019, was created to support people living in the remote highland communities of Peru’s San Marcos Province.

Climate change has had a dramatic effect on rainfall levels in the region, with droughts frequently leaving residents with limited water supplies for both drinking and farming. In an area in which many live off the land, this has posed a serious threat to both food security and livelihoods.

The water scarcity issue has been compounded by the actions of large-scale mining and timber companies operating in the area, which have caused pollution to water sources and severe damage to local ecosystems.

In 2019, ACICA launched “Peru: Water, Wind and Trees” alongside GLS Future Foundation for Development (GLS ZSE) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project helped communities and the natural environment in San Marcos Province by improving the water infrastructure, promoting reforestation, and training farmers in organic practices.

The first part of the project concluded in April 2022 – and the impacts were remarkable. Hundreds of water storage facilities of various sizes were constructed, while overflow basins, small-scale irrigation systems, and water filters brought further improvements to the water infrastructure. Furthermore, 160,450 native, fast-growing tree varieties were planted across an area spanning 98.11 hectares. This included the planting of 12,559 fruit trees in suitable areas to provide both nourishment and additional income. The training courses, meanwhile, educated farmers on topics such as determining soil and seed quality and how to examine animals for parasites and common diseases.

The participants have seen crop yields and incomes improve while their livestock has thrived. They have also improved their resilience to drought as well as their knowledge of sustainable forestry and farming practices.

The first phase of “Peru: Water, Wind, and Trees” helped more than 500 smallholder families across 12 San Marcos communities. GNT is now proud to be helping to fund a second stage, which will take place over three years.

Building on the success of the initial project, it will enable ACICA to deliver further life-changing improvements for the people of San Marcos, providing them with the support they need to create a successful, sustainable future.

To find out more about GNT’s sustainability work, read the company’s ‘Sustainability Report 2021’ now.