Before the arrival of Spanish conquistadores and settlers in the Andean mountain range, the high Andes were covered in forests of low-growing, high-altitude trees called Queuña. These trees naturally managed an ecosystem that was home to 150 thriving species. They produced oxygen and absorbed carbon dioxide, and provided firewood and building materials for locals.
Today, the trees are nearly all gone, as are the species that enjoyed the ecosystem provided by them. Over-foresting and non-native, invasive species have all but wiped out the Queuña trees that once thrived.
Luckily, when Global Basecamps sees a barren mountain, we see an opportunity. In 2015, in association with ECOAN, The Association of Andean Ecosystems, Global Basecamps sponsored the planting of 10,000 native Queuña trees during one weekend in December, 2015. Tens of thousands more will be planted over the course of multiple weekends near the community of Cuncani.
Working with more than a dozen local communities in the Lares watershed, near the Sacred Valley of the Inca, we will strive to ensure a new, thriving forest, doing our small part to re-introduce the Queuña to the region.
The benefits of this project include: