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For Norbil Becerra, a career dedicated to protecting hummingbirds and their forest habitat in Peru’s Alto Mayo Protected Forest (AMPF) was an unexpected — but welcome — change.
After years of earning his livelihood by illegally cutting down trees for logging companies in the Peruvian Amazon, Becerra heard about a new opportunity for coffee farmers in the AMPF, which despite its protected status had Peru’s second-highest deforestation rate at the time. As part of a new conservation initiative, farmers received help to improve the quality of their coffee crops in exchange for not clearing additional forest.
Recognizing this opportunity, Becerra began working as a coffee farmer — but his focus took an unexpected twist after a visit to a community-owned reserve that provides habitat for birds and other wildlife.
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Sophie Bertazzo is a staff writer for Conservation International.
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