It’s raining frogs in Peru

By Sallie Grayson. Filed in project news  |  
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Congratulations to our partners in Peru.

They have just been awarded the highly coveted Rainforest Alliance verification mark for high standards of sustainability.

This is a real achievement and well deserved recognition of the fantastic work they do in The Manu biosphere reserve, working with indigenous and displaced communities to increase their income, whilst caring for their precious environment for all of us.

The most sustainable lodge in Manu Bioshere Reserve, Peru

Manu Learning Centre (MLC) eco-lodge and research station has been awarded Rainforest Alliance (RA) verification mark for high standards of sustainability. The MLC is run by CREES, a Peruvian rainforest conservation and community development non-profit working in the Manu Biosphere Reserve, a hotspot of biodiversity. The centre has enabled CREES to introduce people to its projects whether they are researchers, international volunteers or  eco-tourists.

Sustainability has credibility issues and RA sets tough standards, some 320 measurements to make sure everything along the chain is considered; from local suppliers, and building practices, to the education of staff and volunteers. CREES achieved an amazing 74% of the RA points for sustainability, ensuring that the MLC was the most sustainable lodge within the Manu National Park. The assessment team looked at the infrastructure of the MLC, assessing everything from rooms, paths and trails to solar panel systems, septic tanks and orchid gardens. The consultants meticulously studied CREES’s sustainability policies and management plan of sustainable tourism at the MLC and interviewed staff and volunteers to check they understood fully the plans and policies, and how to implement them during daily activities. Waste disposal and Energy consumption were also assessed and lastly the RA representative checked CREES paperwork, guestbook and volunteer feedback forms.

The achievement came thanks to CREES dedicated team of Peruvian staff participated in workshops, during 2009 and 2010, that focused on three big topics: Environment, Cultural and Economic impacts of operation around the Manu Biosphere Reserve. In December 2011 CREES staff member Harol Alagon Huaman guided two representatives from the Rainforest Alliance around the MLC for a further assessment.

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