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Why the western Amazon?

We focus our work on one of the most critical places on Earth. The sweep of land where the Andes mountains meet the Amazon rainforest harbors the greatest known richness of species on the planet and offers millions of plants and animals a refuge from climate change. Unlike flat terrain, the altitudinal relief from the Andes mountains to the Amazon allows plants and animals to readjust their distribution as the world becomes hotter and drier.

Most importantly, these areas remain biologically connected by a sea of forest spanning tens of millions of acres. This expanse of wilderness is blessed with an absence of roads and low population pressure. Dozens of indigenous cultures that remain in the region live in a largely traditional, low-impact manner. Indeed, this is one of the last areas on the planet where rainforest peoples still live without trade, money or metal, beyond modern society’s consumptive reach.

Our area of operation in southeastern Peru and northern Bolivia contains 10-15 percent of all the bird and butterfly species known on the planet. Top predators such as harpy eagles, giant otters, black caiman, and jaguars thrive in the region, signaling a healthy ecosystem. The Andean foothills are also the spawning ground for the majority of large migratory fish that feed people throughout the Amazon basin.

Yet this is no time for complacency. Pressure to log and to colonize this region grows daily. The protected areas are weak and, in some cases, exist only on paper. Large areas of state-owned habitat remain without protected status and have an uncertain land-use future. Government zoning for habitat protection and scientific research are thus a crucial first target for investment. In short, the Amazon continues to face increasing threats from agricultural expansion, wildlife poaching, mining, illegal logging, oil prospecting, and large infrastructure projects. At current rates of deforestion, more than half ot he Amazon rainforest may be severly damaged by 2030. This would have a catastrophic effect on the entire planet.

Our Strategy

To help protect the grestest wild forest on Earth and all those who call it home, we:

  • Work on the ground. Long-term conservation success grow from our local staff working in their own landscape.
  • Advance community solutions. Those who live in the greatest wild forest in the world can offer solutions to help protect these beautiful landscapes.
  • Collaborate. We collaborate with governments, universities, nonprofits, and communities to make better conservation decisions.
  • Innovate. We know that it takes transformative innovation—again and again - to protect he Amazon.
  • Ensure that science informs everything we do. Every day we incorporate the best available science into our real-world solutions.
  • Believe in the future. We train, empower, and learn from conservation leaders of the next generation.

TOP

Headwaters region

The headwaters region of the southwestern Amazon is the greatest priority for the conservation of terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity. Photo: Ronald Catpo

monkey

This is one of the last areas on the planet where uncontacted indigenous peoples still live without trade, money or metal, beyond the consumptive tendrils of modern society. Photo: Andre Bärtschi

Jaguar

Jaguar along a riverbank at Manu National Park. Photo: Miguel Moran



red tapestry