Using our expanded network of forest plots in the Peruvian Amazon for the first time we are able to show that Peruvian Amazon protected areas act as a carbon sink: a key ecosystem service of international importance.
This has been quantified as 0.52 Mg C ha-1 year-1 (1990-2017) for the intact Amazonian forest in the protected areas and associated buffer zones of Peru. Thus, the conservation of intact forests in protected areas has helped to remove 9.7 million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere per year, equivalent to approximately 86% of the emissions from fossil fuel combustion in Peru during 2012.
It is vital to include this carbon sink in the national inventory of greenhouse gas emissions for two reasons. Firstly, because it is a an important flux, it would help for estimating the carbon balance of Peru more accurately. Secondly, it would strengthen the need to maintain the integrity of these forests, for their role both as a stock and sink of carbon and for their biological diversity.
The provision of this service as a sink can only be assured with effective and adaptive management of the protected areas of Peru. Reporting of this environmental service at a national level will benefit greatly from long-term monitoring of the carbon dynamics and impact of climate change on these forests via the RAINFOR (Amazon Forest Network) network of permanent forest plots and the MonANPerú project.
VICUÑA MIÑANO et. al. (2019) El sumidero de carbono en los bosques primarios Amazonicos es una oportunidad para lograr la sostenbilidad de su conservacion Folia Amazonica Vol 27 101-109 https://doi.org/10.24841/fa.v27i1.456