The Amazon Conservation Association (ACA) is a nonprofit organization that is active in Peru and Bolivia. Their directors and staff are experienced ecologists and conservationists. They work to protect biodiversity by studying ecosystems and developing innovative conservation tools to protect land in the region while supporting the livelihoods of local communities.
Their mission is to protect the world's most diverse landscapes, train the next generation of Amazonian conservationists, and partner with communities to support livelihoods that sustain biodiversity. They conserve the Amazon by protecting state, community, and private lands, by working with governments, by supporting local people to improve their management of natural resources, and by developing conservation solutions. Scientific research guides their approach, and is rooted in their biological stations and field programs in the Andes-Amazon.
They envision a thriving Amazon that sustains the full diversity of life.
Since 1999, ACA has been a pioneer in conserving Amazonian forests. Its founding program provided support for Brazil nut harvesters in Peru, as an incentive for protecting the forest. ACA also established Peru’s first conservation concession in 2001. The Los Amigos Conservation Concession comprises 360,000 acres of the lower Los Amigos watershed, as a buffer for world-famous Manu National Park. ACA’s Los Amigos Biological Station has become one of the most active research centers in the Amazon. Then in 2005, ACA created Peru’s only permanent research center focused on Andean cloud forest ecology and management.
ACA has offices in Washington, DC. Their projects in Peru are implemented by their partner organization, ACCA (Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica), and in Bolivia, ACEAA (Asociación para la Conservación e Investigación de Ecosistemas Andino Amazónicos).
Their work is focused on a critical place on Earth. The headwaters region of the southwestern Amazon is a leading priority for the conservation of their planet's terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity. They have developed a series of field sites ranging from the highest elevations of cloud forest along the eastern slope of the Andes down into the Amazon lowlands. This sweep of land 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.
Their 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.
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.
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. To help protect this tropical wilderness and the people who live there, they:
-Develop world-class research centers and model private protected areas
-Train a new generation of Latin American ecologists and resource managers
-Create sustainable economic and social benefits for the local populace
-Develop new ecosystem management understanding and practices
-Maintain the biological connectivity of the mega-corridor
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