For over 25 years the Rainforest Foundation has been working to protect the rainforests of Amazon and beyond.
From the Harakambut in the Madre De Dios Region to the Achuar near the Ecuadorian border, indigenous communities of the Peruvian Amazon are heroic stewards of the forests they call home, protecting millions of acres of rainforest against illegal industrial practices such as logging and mining. Often out-funded and nearly always outgunned, they put their lives on the line to safeguard not only their home’s, but also the jaguars, scarlet macaws, and tamarin monkeys that are a sacred part of their cultural lifestyle and worldview.
Respecting Indigenous communities land rights isn’t just the right thing to do, it is the most effective way to protect all the lives dependent on these rainforests–including our own!
Peru contains the third largest rainforest area after Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sadly, it loses more and more of those forests each year to logging, palm oil plantations, oil extraction and mining. The rainforests of South America have been curated over thousands of years by the indigenous communities that live there, and it is under their management that the forests are at their most biodiverse and healthy. Modern profiteers threaten that balance and Indigenous communities need our help to safeguard their homelands for future generations, both for their children and ours.
Land Titling: We work with communities to document and file land claims. After, we follow up with the government to push for titles and title extensions that more accurately reflect the land they have used and protected for centuries.
Putting Information Into Action: We train communities in using smartphones and drones to monitor their lands. Today, communities map their own lands, use technology to identify deforestation in real time, and create and implement strategies that stop deforestation. Learn more about how we put Information Into Action.
Land Management Planning: We partner with communities to build participatory, bottom-up plans to protect their forests, develop an economic presence, and ensure respect for their cultures’ values, beliefs, and way of life.
54% rainforest cover
6th most biodiverse country
Are 45% of the population
51 indigenous peoples
Started working in 2005
Began with the Achuar
Today: Asheninka, Harakmbut, Shipibo-Konibo and more.
Forests controlled by indigenous communities are protected.
Last year, our planet lost rainforsts twice the size of Manhattan. But indigenous lands have 12 times
less deforestation than other areas.
Help Indigenous communities protect their lands & help us protect the future!
-Just $5 saves an acre of Rainforest-
Our Partners: The Shipibo-Konibo of Nuevo Saposoa & Patria Nueva
The Shipibo-Konibo, are fighting back against illegal loggers, miners and coca growers who would destroy their rainforest home. Tired of seeing their rainforest being destroyed, the Shipibo-Konibo of Patria Nueva and Nuevo Saposoa partnered with the Rainforest Foundation to protect their homeland and to begin building a shield that will protect millions of acres beyond their traditional lands.
The Shipibo-Konibo, are fighting back against illegal loggers, miners and cocoa growers who would destroy their rainforest home. Tired of seeing their rainforest being destroyed, the Shipibo-Konibo of Patria Nueva and Nuevo Saposoa partnered with the Rainforest Foundation to protect their homeland and to begin building a shield that will protect millions of acres beyond their traditional lands.
Together we created a strategy to ensure that illegal loggers and ranchers didn’t keep invading their lands.
1) We trained them to map their lands and taught them to interpret satellite data to identify incursions in near real time.
2) We taught them how to fly drones to identify incursions and prove that coca growers, illegal loggers and miners were invading Nuevo Saposoa and Patria Nueva.
3) Together we built a guardhouse at the edge of their ancestral land (on the only access into their forests) ensuring the community knows who is coming in and out of their community’s forests.
4) The Shipibo-Konibo created and implemented a set of strategies to fight illegal deforestation of their lands. One simple method, placing a chain across the river to stop boats from going through their lands without their knowledge. Now all river traffic reports to them ensuring no one brings illegal logs or drugs out of their land.
5) We worked with the government to create eviction plans for those growing coca in the Shipibo-Konibo’s rainforest.
Today, these two communities have not just eliminated deforestation on their lands but become an effective buffer zone that protects the Sierra del Divisor national park–one of the most ecologically significant national parks in Peru which is also home to some of the last communities living in voluntary isolation.
The success of this program has been so dramatic that the community monitors were designated official Forest Rangers by the Peruvian government. We are now replicating and expanding this program and putting Information Into Action in 36 more communities in Peru.
When Edwin Chota and three other leaders of Saweto were killed defending the rainforest, their widows and daughters took over their work and continue to risk their lives to protect our rainforests.
MEET A RAINFOREST DEFENDER
Diana Rios puts her life everyday in order to protect her people and the planet. At only 22, she has already spent 4 years being targeted by illegal loggers just for defending the rainforest.
As a child Diana accompanied her father as he advocated for her people and their land rights, seeing first hand the hard work her community was doing to protect their forests. In 2014, her father and three other community leaders were assassinated by illegal loggers when they were trying to formalize ownership of their ancestral lands. Instead of being intimidated, Diana and the widows of the assassinated leaders took charge of their community. During the last four years Diana has become Saweto Alto Tamaya’s ambassador, the government for land rights but traveling around the world to speak out for land rights and against illegal logging.
Today, Diana knows that there are people around the world cheering her on as she fights for her community and our environment. Yet, Diana’s dedication to our rainforests has put her and others in her community at great personal risk. On this, she has but one thing to say:
We have sacrificed our lives for our land, but we are doing it for everyone. We know that when you kill a tree you are killing living being. Our climate is changing. Why? Because we are killing our trees.
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