Environmental protection and biodiversity conservation: Peru

Sphagnum moss, naturally found in the Andean region of central Peru, can serve as a sustainable source of income for rural communities when managed correctly.

In partnership with Inka Moss, this 12-month project aimed to support 225 harvesters from five communities in the Huánuco region of the Andean area, enabling them to increase their income through the sustainable harvesting of sphagnum moss.

Pictured: Sphagnum moss harvesters and members of Inka Moss sit at the site of their work underneath a newly installed winch system which helps to transport the moss through the mountains.


As the project progressed and awareness of the moss harvesting activities and income potential grew, the number of communities involved expanded from five to 28, benefiting over 1,000 harvesters. The participants underwent training in sustainable moss harvesting techniques and environmental conservation methods. In order to improve the efficiency of the harvesting process, a winch system was installed.

Prior to this installation, the 40kg sacks of moss would be transported down the hillside using pack animals (usually llamas), or the harvesters would carry them on their shoulders, often for up to two hours. Before this project farmers earned income from growing vegetables, potato cultivation and livestock. 100% of the original participants had not harvested moss before. Following this project, the average monthly income of participants increased from £165 to £300.

Juanjo Ladines, Project Supervisor and Impact Manager at Inka Moss, said:

“The introduction of moss harvesting in a community allows it to thrive in its own land using its own natural resources in a sustainable way.”

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