Famous for the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu and its varied cultural history, Peru is also rich in natural resources including copper, silver, lead, zinc, oil and gold.
Over half of Peru is covered by the Amazon rainforest. The rate of deforestation is also relatively low compared to other countries in the region. Most is the result of subsistence agriculture, which can largely be attributed to the migration of farmers from the highlands, encouraged by Peru's land-tenure law which gives citizens ownership rights once they have occupied the land for five years.
Increasingly, though, deforestation is the result of activities like logging, commercial agriculture, mining, gas and oil operations, and road construction.
Peru is one of South America's biggest producers of coca, the raw material for cocaine.
(Sources: Conservation International, FAO, mongabay.com, Oxford University Environmental Change Institute, UN, WWF)
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