Intern at UBC Centre for SPDA – Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental in Lima, Peru
Working for the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA) I have had the opportunity to assist in community-based conservation projects across 3 communities in the Amazonas region of Northern Peru. I have helped set up various camera traps across the dense forests of the region and processed the resulting wildlife data. The aptly named “Valley of the Waterfalls” is increasingly threatened by unsustainable slash-and-burn practices implemented to expand on short-term profitable crops such as coffee. To combat this, I helped the SPDA team with stakeholder engagement projects with local farmers and ranchers to educate on the impacts of these practices. Additionally, alongside WWF Peru I have helped prepare and follow up with community members on regenerative agricultural and ranching practices. I have also taught an English class twice a week at the local school, and really enjoyed seeing the children quickly pick up the language and greet me in English when I see them in town. This experience has made me so much more comfortable speaking in Spanish and given me the unique opportunity to see how conservation comes to play in some of the most threatened regions of the world.