PROTECTING THE LOWLANDS
Tambopata in Madre de Dios, Peru is world-renowned as a biodiversity hotspot. Incredibly, it supports nearly 60% of the world’s plant, bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species. Sadly, the region is continually facing destruction from illegal gold mining, logging, and slash and burn agriculture. Simply put, its existence is constantly being threatened.
WHERE IT ALL STARTED
In 2014, ARC acquired the title to its first land – a 616-hectare Brazil nut concession in Tambopata. Brazil nut trees are the giants of the rainforest. They tower over all the other trees and can live for more than 500 years. The nuts from these trees are one of the most valuable non-timber products found in the Amazon. The annual Brazil nut harvest provides sustainable income for local communities while causing no harm to the forest. Since only trees in pristine, undisturbed forests bear fruit, these communities have an economic incentive to conserve the forest.
On our land, we are the proud protectors of over one hundred Brazil nut trees – yes, we are still counting them! Not only do these giant trees store large amounts of carbon, they are also the favourite nesting sites for the Harpy Eagle. These raptors are one of the world’s largest and most powerful eagles. Sadly, their populations are declining due to habitat loss, destruction of nesting sites and shooting.
Since acquiring our land, the Smithsonian Institute has highlighted the region as being critical to the conservation of the Madre de Dios landscape. Protecting this land and expanding our conservation project is crucial to the connectivity of the rainforest there.
PROTECTING THE LOS AMIGOS CONSERVATION CONCESSION (LACC):
ARC provides two forest guardians (Promotores de Conservación) to assist the Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica (ACCA) patrol and protect this 146,000 hectares of pristine old-growth rainforest. LACC is home to an abundance of wildlife, including at least 12 globally threatened species, including giant otters, harpy eagles, spider monkeys and jaguars, with over 550 birds on the bird list.
The land parcel is also adjacent to the Reserve for Indigenous People in Voluntary Isolation. So, it acts as a very important buffer zone to ensure their freedom and right to live their traditional lives.
The forest guardians patrol and protect this vital wilderness from the threats of illegal logging, gold mining, road development and poachers. Drone and high-resolution satellite monitoring assist them by alerting them to occurrence of illegal activities within the concession.
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