Analysing Sustainable Development Goals in the Peruvian Amazon

Find out about this project, which aims to strengthen the capacity of organisations to manage data to better support natural resource governance.


Sustainable development is a challenge for diverse rural communities living in frontier regions of tropical forests. A new ESRC GCRF SDAI (secondary data analysis initiative) is working with an NGO responsible for management of a large protected area of rainforest on the Western frontier of the Amazon basin in Peru. Some 250,000 people live in a buffer zone around this national park and surveys on livelihoods, crop yields, and deforestation recorded over the last 15 years provide a resource of data to analyse historic changes and point to future opportunities for improvements.

In order to support local natural resource governance and improve the wellbeing of local people, this project, led by Dr Anthony Alexander, aims to strengthen the capacity of the NGO, CIMA (Centro de Conservación, Investigación y Manejo de Areas Naturales), to enact better data management to benefit the performance of future projects and more efficiently report on recent progress.


This project conducts analysis of existing data on farmer households and agricultural supply chains, alongside geospatial data showing patterns of deforestation in the landscape, to gain a better understanding of current practices, challenges, and opportunities for improving agricultural sustainability in the region.

The project will:

  • examine the data available and benchmark it against relevant indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals
  • seek to measure the impact of sustainable agriculture practices (e.g. Fair Trade and organic certifications) to inform future proposals
  • develop practices of data analysis to help support future projects to improve the quality of life of local communities while conserving forests.

Impact and outreach

The project will result in positive impacts for numerous stakeholders, including:

  • the local NGO partner, CIMA
  • communities living in and around Cordillera Azul National Park who are beneficiaries of CIMA’s conservation development projects
  • local government offices
  • government agencies in Peru.

As part of the project, the research team is working with CIMA staff and will assist in the creation of workshops with the project’s beneficiaries and stakeholders, including local and national government agencies. These workshops will seek to inform sub-national and national policy in Peru and support the nation’s vision for sustainable development.

The team will also develop a series of publications, policy briefs and seminars, which will contribute to academic understanding of links between rural development, agricultural commodity production, including for export to global markets, and environmental conservation.

Further information

Dr Anthony Alexander is the principle investigator on this project, with support from Research Fellow, Dr Izabela Delabre, and co-investigators Drs Alexander Antonarakis and Pedram Rowhani, and. The project began in November 2019 and will continue for 18 months, and extends from work funded by the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP).

This project is funded by the Economic & Social Research Council and run in partnership with the local NGO in Peru, CIMA.