Peru’s economic development has historically been grounded on the exploitation of its vast, diverse wealth of natural resources, leading to their degradation and (eventual) depletion, while putting enormous and not sufficiently mitigated pressures on the environment, biodiversity, and ecosystems. Aiming for a more sustainable development path with lower environmental impact, reduced degradation and lower consumption of natural resources would seem necessary. However, current plans for the following years still rely heavily on the use of natural resources.


Key policies and governance approach

Aware of its heavy reliance on the use of natural resources and the associated environmental costs, Peru has been recently taking steps towards mainstreaming the concepts of green growth and sustainable development into its national policies.

For instance, the 35 State Policies of the National Agreement [1] set general guidelines for the long-term action of the government to ensure the well-being of people and the sustainable development of the country. The 35 state policies are grouped into four general objectives. The Third objective: Competitiveness of the country, includes a state policy on sustainable development and environmental management. This policy aims, first, to integrate environmental policy with economic, social, cultural, and territorial planning policies, to overcome poverty and achieve sustainable development. Second, the policy aims to institutionalize environmental management, in the public and private realms, to protect biodiversity, facilitate the sustainable use of natural resources, ensure environmental protection, and promote sustainable cities. The Fourth objective: an efficient, transparent, and decentralized State, includes a state policy on water resources. This policy aims, among other objectives, to use water as a renewable and vulnerable natural resource, integrating social, cultural, economic, political and environmental values; as well as articulating water policies with territorial, conservation, and natural resource policies.

Recognizing that environmental protection and economic growth can be compatible, Peru signed in on the OECD's Declaration on Green Growth in 2015. Peru also participates, since 2013, in the implementation of the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) project launched by the United Nations.

Peru’s latest NDC states a clear commitment to decouple the country’s greenhouse gas emissions from economic growth.

In order to assess, in monetary terms, the cost of the degradation and depletion of the country's natural resources, as well as its contribution to the country's economic growth, starting in 2016 Peru embarked on a long-term project to compile environmental and economic accounts. To date, environmental economic accounts for water [2] and forests [3] have been compiled. 


Peru’s rich ecosystemic, genetic, and biological resources offer opportunities for eco-innovation, biotrade, ecotourism, gastronomy, traditional medicine and the development of new, environmentally sustainable opportunities for economic growth.