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Sustainable, productive landscape with healthy, prosperous and resilient businesses, communities and environment

Sustainable, productive landscape with healthy, prosperous and resilient businesses, communities and environment

Tocache, San Martin region, Peru

The Tocache Landscape is located in the Alto Huallaga Valley, situated on the border between the San Martin and Huánuco regions. This is a key agricultural area with a large presence of cacao and oil palm, two crops that are seeing expansion in Peru. It is surrounded by large tracts of intact forests, borders the new regional conservation area Bosques de Shunté y Mishollo (BOSHUMI), and is located close to two important national parks: the Cordillera Azul Park located to the East and the Rio Abiseo Biopshere to the West. Earthworm Foundation is working with leading actors in the area to develop mechanisms to identify and protect key conservation areas while promoting sustainable production practices and improved livelihoods for the communities and farmers who live in the landscape.

Since 2017, we have been focused on responsible sourcing in Tocache with our members Grupo Palmas and Nestlé, in particular through a Rurality project for oil palm smallholders.


The mission of the Tocache Landscape work is to create a sustainable, productive landscape that is home to prosperous companies, communities and ecosystems, which serves as an inspiring model for other regions and actors.

The key objectives are:

  • Companies in the landscapes are successful due to the competitive advantages of sourcing from a sustainable landscape.
  • The livelihoods of smallholder farmers and local communities are improved.
  • Local government is committed to implementing policies of No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation (NDPE).
  • Forest and key conservation areas in the Tocache Landscape are protected.
  • The Tocache Landscape model inspires landscape projects in other regions.

Key activities

Piloting the High Carbon Stock and High Conservation Value approaches at the landscape level

Earthworm Foundation, together with National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is currently leading a landscape-level indicative High Carbon Stock (HCS) and probability High Conservation Value (HCV) pilot as part of our engagement in the Tocache Landscape. The aim of this pilot is to explore how the HCS and HCV methodologies can be adopted for use across smallholder-dominated landscapes in Peru. Field studies were conducted in 2018, and a map indicating potential conservation and development areas is currently under development in consultation with the HCS Steering Group. Once finished, the objective is to present the finalised map to key stakeholders to be used as an input for land-use planning in the Tocache Landscape.

Photo from HCS field study conducted in November 2018

Training on sustainable production and the sourcing of agro-commodities

Earthworm Foundation is providing training and technical assistance to civil society, business, farmers’ associations and government on approaches to sustainable production and sourcing of agro-commodities.

We are leading workshops and presenting at events to help build this understanding. Our partner, Grupo Palmas, held a workshop where we were able to share our landscape approach, the HCS and HCV methodologies and their connection with No deforestation, Peat and Exploitation (NDPE) policies. It was assisted by technical experts from leading Peruvian NGOs.

Along with the Sociedad Peruana de Ecodesarrollo (SPDE) we have also presented these themes to representatives from both the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture. Moreover, we presented the HCS/HCV methodologies at two events that gathered the leading Peruvian companies in various agri-commodity sectors: the tenth Peruvian Cocoa and Chocolate Show, and the Expoalimentaria Convention – Peru’s most important agri-food event.

Earthworm presents at the tenth Peruvian Cocoa and Chocolate Show, Lima, Peru

Building partnerships with public and private institutions at the national, regional and local level

To date, we have held two rounds of one-on-one meetings with key government bodies the Ministry of Environment (MINAM), the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MINAGRI), and the San Martin Regional Government and Tocache Provincial Government. In these meetings we are exploring how the HCS and HCV approaches compare with national land use planning methodologies, as well as discussing the Tocache Landscape and how Earthworm Foundation is piloting an indicative landscape-level approach to HCS.

Earthworm Foundation has also joined the Peruvian public-private coalition for a low-emission rural development. The main goal of the coalition is to reduce deforestation and promote sustainable agricultural development. Within the coalition, we are actively promoting the landscape approach. Further information about the public-private coalition is available on MDA´s website (in Spanish).

Meeting with the Regional Government of San Martin

Developing an incentive system for promoting protection of conservation areas and sustainable development

Earthworm Foundation is exploring potential designs of a framework for alternative livelihood options and incentives for promoting the preservation of conservation areas identified through the indicative HCS study. The development of the incentive framework is participatory and will involve consultations with key actors in the landscape.

Presentation to NGOs at Grupo Palmas company headquarters


Two ministries, a regional government, provincial government and 14 NGOs have participated in workshops on NDPE policies and the landscape pilot in Tocache
An indicative HCS pilot study has been conducted, with results being discussed with the High Carbon Stock Approach Steering Group
62 farmers from six leading farmer associations in Tocache have been trained on NDPE policies and approaches to deforestation

News & Stories

Nov 15, 2021

Forests of Hope: Helping farmers and businesses in a key sourcing region in Peru

Apr 23, 2020

Part 1 of how our field teams are adapting to movement restrictions

Jan 29, 2020

Despite challenges in meeting 2020 deforestation reduction targets, preservation of key landscapes remains possible and vital