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Main environmental problems in Peru

Currently, many countries are struggling to take measures to limit their polluting emissions and protect the environment. However, there are still countries and areas that face serious problems of pollution and degradation of their natural spaces. For example, Peru is one of them.

With a growing population and a high development model, the country suffers from serious problems due in large part to its precarious exploitation of its natural resources, and sometimes illegal. In this AgroCorrn article we are going to see which are the main environmental problems in Peru .

You may also be interested in: Main environmental problems in Venezuela
  1. Deforestation in Peru
  2. Mining in Peru
  3. Uncontrolled urban growth
  4. Overfishing
  5. Industrial agriculture
  6. Lack of awareness

Deforestation in Peru

Being one of the countries with the largest forested area in the world, illegal logging practices and the appropriation of land for the use of the agri-food industry, with precarious and unsustainable practices, entail extremely high levels of deforestation .

The development of urban areas, oil and mining operations, the construction of a large number of roads, illegal plantations and the pollutants that are generated in these productions are other factors causing this deforestation. Deforestation is also the main emitter of greenhouse gases in this country.

Learn more about the Causes of deforestation in this other post.

Mining in Peru

Much of Peru’s current economy depends on the extraction and export of mineral resources such as silver, copper, lead and gold, among others. Since many of the reserves of these minerals are in the Andes, there is a high level of illegal exploitation that involves the destruction of natural areas and entire ecosystems.

The extraction of gold in the Amazonian areas involves the deforestation of tens of thousands of hectares, with a huge number of illegal exploitations. This mining pollutes areas with high concentrations of heavy metals, which end up in wildlife and even humans.

Here we explain more about how mineral extraction affects the environment .

Uncontrolled urban growth

In 2018, 76% of Peru’s population lived concentrated in large cities. Only Lima, its most populated city, already concentrates almost 30% of the total population of the country, and these huge urban areas have experienced an unplanned or controlled growth that generates a large amount of pollution .

In the absence of efficient and environmentally friendly waste collection and disposal systems, they pollute the atmosphere, water and soil, causing health problems for their inhabitants and significant environmental damage, with, for example, high concentrations of lead in the atmosphere.

This is also due to the obsolete automobile fleet in these cities, with more than half of their cars being at least 15 years old.


Another of the main environmental problems in Peru is that the country’s waters have also suffered what is known as overexploitation of natural resources , and its poor management negatively affects these resources, which are vital for the country. As with mining and logging, there is an excess of activity, much of it illegal, which does not respect sustainability measures and produces high rates of contamination, in this case from the canning and fishmeal industries.

Industrial agriculture

The country’s traditional agriculture has been succeeded by intensive industrial agriculture with a high environmental impact , which does not hesitate to abuse agro-toxic products such as fertilizers and pesticides, in addition to stealing large amounts of hectares from forest and jungle lands.

This industry also implies a high demand for fossil fuels in its machinery, and pollutes and degrades soils and waters while contributing to the deforestation of the Amazon . Agriculture is the second largest greenhouse gas producing activity in the country.

Lack of awareness

Added to all these problems is the lack of awareness of a population and a ruling class that is still far from considering the protection of the environment as one of its main priorities.

Peru being one of the countries with mega-diversity or the greatest biodiversity in the world, the problem becomes especially important due to the large number of animal and plant species that are imminently threatened by this growth model.

In 2018, the country had almost 800 plant species in a threatened state, and in the previous year, more than 10,000 specimens of wild fauna were seized by the authorities as a result of illegal trafficking. If you want more information about this traffic problem, we recommend this other post by AgroCorrn on How to avoid illegal animal trafficking .

If you want to read more articles similar to Main environmental problems in Peru , we recommend that you enter our Pollution category .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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