San Martin is a region in Peru containing some of the most diverse landscapes in the world. It is also home to many farming communities, specifically coffee growers, that rely on the rich soil created by this environment. Unfortunately, along with diversity, comes vulnerability to climate change. Coffee farmers are under stress from changes in climate that have led to unsustainable farming practices, such as slash and burn, that in turn make the region more susceptible to climate change. Conservation International is working within the region to end this cycle. As a student partner, I am aiding with organization and development of a workshop in the region. The goal of the workshop is to implement scenario planning to highlight tradeoffs and opportunities so that governments, businesses and communities can make decisions knowing what the likely positive and negative consequences to the landscape and their livelihoods may be.
In the end, Conservation International is more specifically seeking to aid in the optimization of the use of nature’s benefits in the region. The scenario development approach that will be used for the workshop is the quadrant method, where values of the region are used to create an axis that will show four different futures in four different quadrants depending on the direction. An example is using the axis of rainfall (increase or decrease) and the prevalence of slash-and-burn farming (increase or decrease). The findings of the workshop will be used to construct new policies based off of the Peruvian National Coffee Plan to encourage new farming techniques for the coffee growers. While the conclusion of the overall workshop will not be determined during the span of the MSUS culminating experience, the conclusion from my work will revolve around having a successful workshop, with success being defined by participation and usable results; the work, such as a literature review and interviews and running the work plan up to the workshop, that allows the workshop to occur.