According to the FAO (2020) Peru has around 72 million hectares of forested land, which constitutes to 56% of the total land area. Around 71 million hectares are primary or otherwise naturally regenerated forest and around 1 million hectares are planted forest. Most plantations are located outside the Amazon in the Andes, with the main commercial species being Eucalyptus globulus.
The estimated average annual deforestation in Peru is quite low (around 0.2%), while about one-third of the forest estate is degraded or secondary forest (FAO, 2015). The Ministry of Environment (MINAM) has an interesting website on deforestation, with specified data per province since the year 2000. This website indicates a loss of almost 1.5 million hectares of forests to other land use in 15 years. Present deforestation is about 150.000 hectares per year.
Quoting the Peruvian government, ITTO (2011) identifies a range of direct causes of deforestation which include the development of new infrastructure such as highways; new settlements in the Amazon Basin, including the expansion of urban centres; the expansion of the agricultural frontier by clearing forest, including for cash crops and shifting cultivation; the expansion of oil exploitation and hydro-electric schemes; mining in the southern part of the Peruvian Amazon; illegal logging; and the illicit cultivation of coca. Indirect causes of deforestation include migration to the Amazon region; agricultural policies favouring cash-crop development; development policies that favour energy generation; and new investment opportunities due to globalization.
Peru has around 18.8 million hectares of forested land designated as protected areas, which include national protected natural areas, regional protected areas and privately protected areas.