Marisel Allende is a Forest Engineer from the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (National Agrarian University La Molina) and holds a master’s degree in Natural Resource Conservation Policies from the University of Wellington (New Zealand). She has been working as a Natural Resource Specialist in the Office of Environment and Sustainable Development of USAID for three years.
As part of the Cycle of Conferences under the name “Strength and Solidarity of Peruvians in the Face of Adversity,” Marisel spoke to 6th and 7th grade students about deforestation, illegal logging and mining, and how this affects indigenous populations and the environment. She also urged students to look beyond Lima, as well as to learn about and value indigenous culture.
“What are we doing in the Amazon? I will focus on indigenous communities and how we are conserving, mitigating, reducing and facing through them the adversities we know as climate change, deforestation and forest threats. (…) 10 or 20 years ago we talked about protection: ‘Nobody can touch protected areas.’ Nowadays we talk about development and sustainability, about sustainable use. Why? Because we notice there are people who depend on forests, and we can’t prohibit them from using their own resources”.
Additionally, she shared some good practices to take care of the environment such as stop using straws, use fabric bags when shopping, and unplug electrical appliances: “These are details, very small things we can do,” she said.