Giving Tuesday: A Different Way to Give

Sparkling Violetear photo by Trond Larsen taken at WayqechaEven in a year as unexpected and uncertain as 2020, our supporters have continued to show up when we’ve needed you most. So this Giving Tuesday we’re not asking for you to lend us hand with a financial contribution (although, of course, we always welcome donations to make conservation happen!), but we’re asking you to do one simple thing: SHARE!

Help us spread awareness about the Amazon Rainforest by sharing one post – any post – from our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn pages and tell your friends and family why it matters to you.



Here are some ideas, but feel free to choose something else and make it your own!

Support Conservation in the Amazon While Holiday Shopping

Photo of a Jabiru by Sean WilliamsDid you know that you can help save the Amazon while holiday shopping? Support our conservation work and get your holiday shopping finished in one fell swoop by shopping through AmazonSmile or the Good Deeds App.


The AmazonSmile Foundation recently surpassed $200 million in donations to charities worldwide. By shopping AmazonSmile you receive the same products, prices, and services, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of a product purchase price to Amazon Conservation. Shop Amazon and help save the forest that inspired its name at no cost to you by using this link:

Give back while you holiday shop on Good Deeds

The holidays are just around the corner, and we’ve partnered with Good Deeds, an impact-driven shopping app that makes it easy to shop deals, earn cash back, and then automatically give back all (or a portion) of those earnings directly to conservation programs in the Amazon. This app is available on both Apple and Android, and it only takes a few minutes to set up. See the video for a tutorial.

How It Works

  1. Shop your favorite brands and deals on the Good Deeds app
  2. Save by earning cash back on those purchases
  3. Give all (or some) of that cash back automatically to Amazon Conservation
  4. Together we can make a difference. Invite your friends and family to start fundraising together!

Next steps
Download the Good Deeds app and choose us as your nonprofit of choice — it only takes a few minutes to start shopping.


Protecting the “River in the Sky” With Help From the Cloud Appreciation Society

Cloud Appreciation Society LogoEveryone has a part to play in conserving nature, and our friends over at the Cloud Appreciation Society created an unique way for its members to get involved. If you haven’t heard of this niche group, their mission is to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the sky and our atmosphere, and this year they have been supporting efforts to protect what is dubbed the “world’s largest river in the sky” – the Amazon Rainforest.


What’s the  “River in the Sky”?

Wayqecha Cloud Forest Station, Peru

If you observe the Amazon Rainforest from space and compare it to other parts of Earth, it appears to almost always be obscured by clouds. This is because of the massive amount of trees and forest, which are like “400 billion geysers shooting water into the sky”. Evaporation draws water from a trees’ roots to the tree top, and a large tree can release up to 1,000 liters of water per day. Given that figure, trees in the Amazon overall release about 20 billion tons of water which is what creates the “river in the sky”. Though the Amazon is home to the largest river system in the world, more water flows in the sky above the Amazon basin than within its extensive waterway system. 

Water released by trees condenses into clouds, lowering nearby air pressure. The decreased air pressure creates the winds that steer the “sky river” from the Atlantic to the Andes. Clouds in this unseen yet expansive deposit pour essential rain over vast areas of South America.


How the Cloud Appreciation Society is Helping Protect the River in the Sky

Since trees provide the ingredients for cloud formation, throughout this year the Cloud Appreciation Society has committed to supporting our drone monitoring training programs headed at the Southwest Amazon Drone Center. This center, launched in 2017, focuses on training local landowners, indigenous communities, students, and officials in Peru to actively monitor and report illegal deforestation in the western Amazon as well as providing drone overflights for the local government upon request.

The Southwest Amazon Drone Center allows for local community members to get training, certifications, and access to high-tech drones that can be used as remote sensing tools to monitor deforestation in tropical forests in a safe, fast, and scientific way. By providing these services, we empower people to protect their forests by giving them the tools needed increase legal responses to illegal activities. Presenting evidence, such as drone photos and videos of ACOMAT member flying a drone for monitoring. Source- ACCAunlawful deforestation or mining, can be used to prosecute offenders which then deters future illegal activities. Moreover, the use of drone technology is important due to the vastness and remoteness of the Amazon Rainforest — it is a challenge to patrol by foot and stop incidents of illegal deforestation. Face-to-face encounters with those conducting illegal deforestation for financial gain can also be extremely dangerous, and potentially deadly. With technology, Amazon Conservation is changing that. 

Cloud Appreciation Society supports our activities by donating 5% of all 2020 membership revenues to the programs at the Southwest Drone Center. Their support enables us to train hundreds of local people to use this technology to fight in the front lines to protect the Amazon Rainforest, one of the last wild places left on Earth. Visit their website here.



AmazonTEC 2020: Science and Technology for a Sustainable Amazon

AmazonTEC is a premier forum for discussing science and technology’s connection to policy and governance in the Amazon. Developed by Amazon Conservation’s Peruvian sister organization Conservación Amazónica – ACCA, AmazonTEC brought together forest users, technology experts, NGOs, governments, and other stakeholders in a forum to discuss the use of cutting-edge technology (satellites, mobile apps, drones, and more) in the advancement of public policy for environmental protection in the Amazon.

In this 2020 edition, the event was virtual, with five interactive webinars. With support from Norad, Amazon Conservation hosted its first-ever English-language session as part of AmazonTEC. 


AmazonTEC 2020 Key Takeaways: Building a Sustainable Amazon Through Science, Technology, and Governance

AmazonTEC FlyerAmazonTEC is a premier forum for discussing science and technology’s connection to policy and governance in the Amazon. Developed by Amazon Conservation’s Peruvian sister organization Conservación Amazónica – ACCA, AmazonTEC brings together forest users, technology experts, NGOs, governments, and other stakeholders in a forum to discuss the use of cutting-edge technology (satellites, mobile apps, drones, and more) in the advancement of public policy for environmental protection in the Amazon.

The last of five sessions of the annual AmazonTEC event, titled Building a Sustainable Amazon Through Science, Technology, and Governance focused on the value and future of technology for fighting deforestation and how it can be used by governments and local people to protect forests and resources. Click here to watch the recording of the English session.

Henrik Filflet at AmazontecAfter Amazon Conservation Executive Director John Beavers welcomed panelists and attendees, Henrik Fliflet, Senior Adviser at Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) gave opening remarks and shared the major news from earlier this year regarding the conservation technology initiative from Norway’s Kongsberg Satellite Services (KST). Henrik elaborated on the agreement, speaking about how it provides free and accessible high-resolution satellite images of tropical forests, and its importance for conservation. Later in the conference, Dan Irwin of NASA commended this initiative by Norway and highlighted the importance of data availability in his presentation about new satellite technology. 

Manuel Pulgar Vidal at AmazonTECManuel Pulgar-Vidal, who currently serves as the Leader of the Climate & Energy Global Practice of World Wild Fund for Nature International, added to Henrik’s opening remarks, contextualizing why and how technologies can be used for conservation. He said that, “We should identify needs based on information provided by the actors of the Amazon. It’s important to create opportunities that can be translated into actionable information and that can also be scaled .”

Dan Irwin at AmazontecEnrique Ortiz,  Senior Program Director for the Andes Amazon Fund, served as the moderator for the panels throughout the conference, and introduced the panelists for the Technology Solutions for Conservation segment. The first panelist was Dan Irwin who currently works as a Research Scientist at NASA and is also the Global Program Manager for the NASA/USAID program SERVIR. SERVIR is a partnership between NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which provides satellite-based Earth observation data and science applications to help developing nations. Dan gave an overview on the latest satellite technology noting that,“it enables up to take pioneering observation of our home planet. The power of the SERVIR network really enables services in one region to be transferred and scaled to another region or even the entire planet.” He also noted the increase in destructive forest practices saying , “Across the region, mining activity has increased and with satellites you can now see it. This information is given to officials and others that can use it.”

Matt Finer at AmazonTECActionable information was a major theme of this AmazonTEC webinar. Matt Finer, Director of the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP) at Amazon Conservation talked about MAAP’s real-time satellite monitoring takes satellite data of deforestation or fires and turns it into actionable information. During his presentation he spoke about this year’s destructive fire season, which according to him, was even more severe than last year’s. This year Amazon Conservation released an updated real-time fire monitoring app that combines aerosol emissions information provided by the new SENTINEL-5 satellite with data from traditional heat-based fire alerts. He notes that, “the great thing about focusing on aerosol emissions is that they’re directly related to the amount of biomass being burned. Thus this app filters out the hundreds and thousands of smaller fires, and focuses only on what will become major fires.” 

Sidney Novoa at AmazontecSidney Novoa, Director of GIS and Technology for Conservation at our sister organization Conservación Amazónica – ACCA added to Matt’s presentation saying that all of the satellite advances that Matt had mentioned are becoming more impactful due to the integration of other types of technologies. Sidney noted that, “some of the greatest innovations are in the use of new devices, such as drones and radar, and computer-based resources derived from the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud computing.” He also emphasized Amazon Conservation’s drone monitoring program by people on the ground, further elaborated on by Flor Rumayna’s and Daniel Rodriguez Fernandez’s presentations later on. 

Adrian Forsyth at AmazonTECAdrian Forsyth, Tropical Ecologist and Strategic Advisor for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation emphasized how accessible technology is nowadays to citizens who want to participate in conservation efforts. This is done by crowdsourced apps, camera traps, drones, etc that can be accessed by your smartphone or purchased for a reasonable price. Additionally, he gave examples of some of the newest technology advances, such as an electric vest in development, “that can be put on a tapir or peccary, and when that animal moves, the stretching of that fabric generates electricity. That animal can be carrying an acoustic sensor that detects a chainsaw, shotgun etc. Or it could carry an aerosol sniffer, and the animal itself can participate in the management of a forest and its own salvation.”

Daniel Rodriguez at AmazonTECDaniel Rodriguez Fernandez, who is a specialist in uncontacted indigenous peoples’ protection and a Technical Advisor for FENAMAD (an Indigenous Federation in southeastern Peru) spoke about how technology helps protect uncontacted peoples from encounters with external actors. Putting it in the context of COVID-19 he emphasized that, “it is more important than ever to prevent encounters due to the threat of COVID. The threats were further illustrated by camera trap photos that were taken of uncontacted peoples at the nearby Forestry authority control post. Daniel also spoke about how community-level forest monitoring is one of the central protective measures implemented, which provides the basis to prevent forceful contacts and other risky situations involving external actors. He elaborated on the monitoring system, which is organised around a network of control posts operated by FENAMAD, the communities and government authorities.

Fabiola Munoz at AmazonTECFabiola Muñoz Dodero, a Peruvian attorney with a passion for conservation, served terms as Minister of the Environment, Minister of Agriculture, and the Executive Director of Peru’s National Forest and Wildlife Service (SERFOR). She gave an insider perspective of how the Peruvian government has used technology to more effectively stop deforestation, and as the base of its innovative “National System of Control and Monitoring”. She also spoke of the success story of Operation Mercury, which decreased illegal gold mining in the affected Madre de Dios region by over 90%. During the question and answer session, she was asked about current events in Peru, as an audience member was worried about ensuring that this progress would continue throughout all these changes in the Peruvian government. She responded by emphasizing the importance of regional governments and national governments working together, saying that, “one way is that we must all work to close the gap between the capacities of the national government and local/regional governments.”

Hector Gonzalez, a Technical Advisor at Colombia’s government agency “Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology, and Environmental Studies” (IDEAM) was also an AmazonTEC panelist but unfortunately was not able to give his presentation during the conference. You can read more about his organization and work here. 

Flor Rumayna, a local sustainable business owner and forest guardian in Peru was not able to present in person, but told her story via video. She was one of the first women in Peru to be trained and licensed to pilot drones for conservation and spoke about how technology changed the way she protects her forest concession.

Click here to read more takeaways from #AmazonTEC2020:


AmazonTEC 2020 Key Takeaways: Experiences from Local People Using Technology As a Tool for Conservation

AmazonTEC is a premier forum for discussing science and technology’s connection to policy and governance in the Amazon. Developed by Amazon Conservation’s Peruvian sister organization Conservación Amazónica – ACCA, AmazonTEC brings together forest users, technology experts, NGOs, governments, and other stakeholders in a forum to discuss the use of cutting-edge technology (satellites, mobile apps, drones, and more) in the advancement of public policy for environmental protection in the Amazon.

Tomorrow is the English session of AmazonTEC. Register now to join Amazon Conservation and a host of technology, government, and science experts in an English-language live panel on the value and future of technology for fighting deforestation and how it can be used by governments and local people to protect forests and resources. Click here to download the full English session agenda.

The first of five sessions of the annual AmazonTEC event, titled Experiencias De Campo En El Uso De Tecnología Como Aliada De La Conservación, focused on how technology is being applied on the ground by forest users, such as concessionaires, indigenous groups, NGOs, or authorities working on the ground. Click here to watch the recording of the first session (in Spanish). All Spanish recordings are also available on Conservación Amazónica – ACCA’s Facebook page.

 The event started with welcoming remarks from many speakers, including Peru’s current Minister of Environment, Kirla Echegaray, and Einar Telnes, Senior Advisor at the NORAD Department for Climate, Energy and Environment. Another was Jene Thomas, Director of USAID Peru, who highlighted the successes of the MAAP initiative in detecting illegal logging with very high resolution satellites. USAID Peru supports MAAP through their Prevenir project. He said,

The recent report from MAAP helps us detect events related to illegal logging by identifying the presence of trails in the Peruvian Amazon, using high-resolution satellite images in real time. It is important to have information in real time because it allows us to do preventive work, and to identify the emergence of new sources of deforestation…these new sources of deforestation affect the life and safety of the local and indigenous communities, and this detection was possible due to analysis of satellite images.”

He also noted that he was eager to hear the visions from the four women on the AmazonTEC panel, saying that “you don’t as often see women in technology and sciences.” Thus, it was a highlight to hear from a diverse array of voices and experiences.

After the opening remarks, Sidney Novoa, Director of GIS and Technology for Conservación Amazónica – ACCA gave a short presentation about using satellite and drone technology to protect the Amazon. He said, “Our existence has become a constant threat to the environment and to combat it we need a strategic, multisectoral approach. But first, like a doctor, we need a diagnosis.”

Each of the featured panelists then introduced themselves and gave short presentations about their area of expertise. Panelists included:

Flor Rumayna, a forest concessionaire in Madre de Dios, Peru, who is also a part of ACOMAT, an association of forest concessionaires. 

Forest concessionaires like Flor’s family lease land from the Peruvian government that they can use for any purpose, as long as they protect it. Therefore, concessionaires must report illegal activity on their lands. Many concessionaires use the land for conservation, sustainable harvesting of forest fruits and nuts, or ecotourism, which is what Flor and her husband uses their concession for. This is a part of the Peruvian government’s plan for sustainable forest management.

The full title of ACOMAT, which is the association that Flor Rumayna and her husband are a part of, is the “Asociación de Concesionarios Forestales Maderables y no Maderables de las Provincias del Manu, Tambopata y Tahuamanu.” This association connects concessionaires across Madre de Dios and provides resources to its members in the form of training and legal assistance when reporting environmental crimes. Read about ACOMAT’s recent role in using drones to report environmental crimes here, and click here to learn more about the Southwest Amazon Drone Center, where many ACOMAT members train.

Reyna Gonzaga, Coordinator of Community Environmental Monitoring of the Union of Affected Persons by the Petroleum Operations of Texaco (UDAPT), partner organization of the Todos los Ojos en la Amazonia in Ecuador. Reyna spoke about technology-based decisions regarding the indigenous peoples of Ecuador and nearby Colombia, saying that “technology has been very useful for our organization, helping indigenous communities with early alerts for illegal logging, and has helped compile evidence that we can give to communities that need it so they’re able to file legal complaints.”

Rosa Baca, Coordinator of the Forestry oversight of the Federation Native to the Madre de Dios River and Tributaries (FENAMAD), Peru. Rosa elaborated on technology and the connection to the Amazon from the indigenous perspective. Moderator Gustavo Solano asked her about connectivity in the Amazon, to which she responded, “It is a system of real-time alerts at the satellite level, which allows users to send alerts with an internet signal or by satellite. Through these systems, we monitor what is happening in the communities through the alerts that the indigenous people receive, and thus with this we have been able to reach the authorities.” 

Photo of Andrew WhitworthAndrew Whitworth, Executive Director of Osa Conservation in Costa Rica, who spoke about the use of technology to monitor biodiversity in tropical forests. He noted that for him, the biggest advancement was the availability and ease of technology to anyone who wants to monitor biodiversity. “With cell phone applications–it’s now more accessible to people where they can upload their own data, their own records. For me this is the biggest advance, that this technology is simple so that everyone can monitor biodiversity.” One attendee asked about the strength of cell phone connections in the Amazon to be able to upload photos of biodiversity or illegal activity. He responded that though that is their biggest challenge right now, there are applications that geotag where you are when you take the photo, so you can then upload it when you have service again.

Asvín Flores, Coordinator for the indigenous Amarakaeri Reserve of SERNANP (National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State of Peru), who spoke about opportunities in the use of technology for the protection of natural areas. He said that, “early monitoring alerts like MAAP & ones like it, help give us a first glance at what’s happening. This helps us reduce risk to our staff and community, but also helps us have better surveillance.”

Karina Garay, the Chief Environmental Prosecutor for the Karina Garay photoFiscalía Especializada en Materia Ambiental in Madre de Dios, Perú presented on the role of satellite monitoring in the fight against illegal mining. She was recently dubbed “Peru’s Wonder Woman” in an international news article by Reuters for her work combating illegal gold mining.  She noted that, “since we have implemented technological tools, the process for legal action is much quicker and more efficient. We don’t have to wait for the prosecutor to tell us the place because the technological system gives us the route; it helps us plan immediate actions.”

On November 12 from 2-3:30 pm, Amazon Conservation is hosting an English AmazonTEC webinar: Building a Sustainable Amazon Through Science, Technology, and Governance on the value and future of technology for fighting deforestation and how it can be used by governments and local people to protect forests and resources, whill will include speakers and panelists from government agencies in Peru, Colombia, and Norway; and experts from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, WWF,  NASA, FENAMAD, IDEAM, Amazon Conservation, and our Peruvian sister organization Conservación Amazónica – ACCA. Click here to register now, or here for more information.


Click here to read more takeaways from #AmazonTEC2020:


MAAP #129: Amazon Fires 2020 – Recap Of Another Intense Fire Year

Base Map. Major Amazon fires 2020 (orange dots) within Amazon watershed (blue line). Data: MAAP.
Base Map. Major Amazon fires 2020 (orange dots) within Amazon watershed (blue line). Data: MAAP.

Following the intense Amazon fire season of 2019 that made international headlines, here we report another major fire year in 2020.

Using our novel real-time Amazon Fires Monitoring app,* we documented over 2,500 major fires across the Amazon in 2020 (see Base Map).

Of these, 88% (2,192 major fires) were in the Brazilian Amazon.

The other 8% (205 fires) and 4% (88 fires) were in the Bolivian and Peruvian Amazon, respectively.

We highlight four major headlines:

  • In the Brazilian Amazon, most fires (51%) burned recently deforested areas, emphasizing the current high deforestation rates.
  • Also in the Brazilian Amazon, in September there was a major spike in forest fires, impacting vast areas of standing forest.
  • In the Bolivian Amazon, many of the fires burned savanna and dry forest ecosystems within protected areas.
  • In the Peruvian Amazon, most fires burned recently deforested areas and high elevation grasslands.

See below for major findings by country.*


Brazilian Amazon

Image 1. Major fire burning recently deforested area in Brazilian Amazon (Mato Grosso). Data: Planet.
Image 1. Major fire burning recently deforested area in Brazilian Amazon (Mato Grosso). Data: Planet.

We emphasize the following major findings for the Brazilian Amazon:

  • Over half (51%burned recently deforested areas, defined as areas where the forest was previously cleared between 2018 and 2020 prior to burning (Image 1). These fires burned an estimated 1.8 million acres (742,000 hectares), highlighting the massive current deforestation in Brazil.
  • A striking number (41%) were forest fires, defined here as human-caused fires in standing forest. A rough initial estimate suggests that 5.4 million acres (2.2 million hectares) of Amazon forest burned.
  • Over half (52%) occurred in September, followed by August (26%). September was also when we documented a major shift from recently deforested area fires to forest fires.
  • An important number of major fires (13%) occurred within indigenous territories and protected areas. The most impacted were Xingu and Kayapó Indigenous Territories, Jamanxim National Forest, and Nascentes da Serra do Cachimbo Biological Reserve.
  • The vast majority of the major fires (99%) appear to be illegal, occurring after the fire moratoriums established in July.
  • Para (39%) and Mato Grosso (30%) states had the most fires, followed by Amazonas (16%), Rondonia (11%), and Acre (4%).

Bolivian Amazon


Image 2. Major fire in Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, in the Bolivian Amazon. Data: Planet.
Image 2. Major fire in Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, in the Bolivian Amazon. Data: Planet.

We emphasize the following major findings for the Bolivian Amazon:

  • Many of the fires (46%) occurred in savannas.
  • Another 42% of the fires were located in forests, mostly in the dry forests of the Chiquitano. Note, in November there was a major spike in these fires.
  • Importantly, 25% of the major fires were in protected areas. The most impacted were Noel Kempff Mercado National Park (Image 2), Copaibo Municipal Protected Area, Iténez National Park, Keneth Lee Reserve, Rios Blanco y Negro Wildlife Reserve, and Pampas del Río Yacuma Integrated Management Natural Area.
  • Most of the fires occurred in the department of Beni (51%), followed by Santa Cruz (46%).
  • August had the most fires (27%) followed closely by each of September, October, and November (24% each).

Peruvian Amazon


Image 3. Major fire in higher elevation grassland of the Peruvian Amazon. Data: Planet.
Image 3. Major fire in higher elevation grassland of the Peruvian Amazon. Data: Planet.

We emphasize the following major findings for the Peruvian Amazon:

  • Most of the major fires (56%) burned recently deforested areas. Although the pattern is similar to the Brazilian Amazon, the burned (and previously deforested) areas are much smaller.
  • Most of these fires occurred in three regions, Madre de Dios (40%), Ucayali (21%), and Huánuco (15%).
  • There were also numerous major fires (28%) in higher elevation grasslands across several regions (Image 3). We underestimated the number of these fires because, due to the lack of biomass in these ecosystems, they didn’t always register as a major fire in the app.
  • October had the most fires (49%) followed by September (38%).


The data, updated through November 8, is based on our analysis of Amazon Conservation’s novel real-time Amazon Fires Monitoring app. The app displays aerosol emissions as detected by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5 satellite. Elevated aerosol levels indicate the burning of large amounts of biomass, defined here as a “major fire”.

Also, check out Mongabay’s real-time Brazilian Amazon fire tracker based on our analysis.


The app was developed and updated daily by Conservación Amazónica (ACCA). The data analysis is led by Amazon Conservation in collaboration with SERVIR Amazonia.



Finer M, Villa L, Vale H, Ariñez A, Nicolau A, Walker K (2020) Amazon Fires 2020 – Recap of Another Intense Fire Year. MAAP: 129.


AmazonTEC 2020 Key Takeaways: Towards a Regional Agenda for Action in the Amazon

Day4 Amazontec infographicAmazonTEC is a premier forum for discussing science and technology’s connection to policy and governance in the Amazon. Developed by Amazon Conservation’s Peruvian sister organization Conservación Amazónica – ACCA, AmazonTEC brings together forest users, technology experts, NGOs, governments, and other stakeholders in a forum to discuss the use of cutting-edge technology (satellites, mobile apps, drones, and more) in the advancement of public policy for environmental protection in the Amazon.

The fourth of five sessions of the annual AmazonTEC event, titled Evento De Alto Nivel: “hacia Una Agenda Regional Para La Acción Amazónica”  focused on considered the challenges facing the Amazon, and panelists discussed the role of science and technology in achieving its protection and brainstormed the necessities for an actionable agenda for the region. Click here to watch the recording of the fourth session (in Spanish).

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez at AmazonTECCarlos Manuel Rodríguez, currently the CEO and President of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Former Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, began with a keynote presentation about human impact throughout the years on the environment. He said, “Human indicators have evolved, however, there is less wildlife, fewer hectares of forest, and more concentration of carbon. We must see how we can make a lesser impact with the resources we need.” He adds his vision for the future saying that, “I hope that in 30 years, countries have understood the importance of managing their natural capital, as we do for the financial/human capital. Then we can create a framework that doesn’t guarantee use of natural resources because of social objectives.”

Maria Elena at AmazonTECMaría Elena Gutiérrez, Executive Director of our sister organization, Conservación Amazónica – ACCA, gave a brief introduction about combining technology and politics for the protection of the Amazon towards a regional agenda. She said that “AmazoTEC is a multi-stakeholder platform that has allowed dialogue and advising of solutions. We need an integration of technologies for the conservation of forests.”

Jesus Quintana and Manuel Pulgar Vidal at AmazonTECThe first panel focused on technology, forests and development towards a regional agenda for the Amazon and was moderated by Manuel Pulgar Vidal, Climate and Energy Lead of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Former Minister of the Environment of Peru. He stressed the need for calculated action that appropriately responds to objectives on the ground. “Technology has to respond to a collective vision of the Amazon. Second, it has to respond to its needs. We must avoid falling into the trap of discourse and support concrete actions.” He also emphasized the needs of the communities when making decisions saying that, “‘Amazon appropriate technology’ is that which corresponds to the worldview of their communities, which responds to their needs and threats.” 

Jesus Quintana at AmazonTECJesús Quintana García, Managing Director for the Americas of the Bioversity International Alliance and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Colombia, spoke about applied research for the development of the Amazon region. Thus he emphasized a strategy based on data and research saying that, “The magnitude of the challenges we have in the Amazon is so great that we need new approaches based on science, technology and innovation, greater resources and collaborative work to change paradigms.” However, he emphasized the need for public support of the proposals adding that, “without involving society, we won’t be able to have that support that we need from all countries. We must get out of the unsustainable production cycle. Stakeholder collaboration is key and must be inclusive “

Carlos Nobre at AmazonTECCarlos Nobre presented on the “tipping point” of the Amazon, a subject that he has talked about in interviews for news publications, and stressed the need for a new bioeconomy. He said that at the current rate of deforestation in the Amazon, “In 30 and 50 years the forest disappears, it becomes a degraded savanna and is a point of no return. (…) Now is the time to show that the Amazon can be bio-industrialized,” said Brazilian environmental scientist Carlos A. Nobre. He currently serves as the Coordinator of the Center for Advanced Climate Studies and Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.

Walter Qertewari of the Amanakaeri Indigenous CommunityWalter Quertehuari, President of the ECA Amarakaeri Communal Reserve added the perspective of indigenous communities. “Since 2018 we have used an application for surveillance, mobile mapping implies participation of the community members. Strengthening the forest requires strengthening the economic life of the inhabitants. We speak of a shared management with the active participation of indigenous peoples…they’re the best allies/protectors of natural areas.”

Yolanda Kakabudse at AmazonTECYolanda Kakabadse, Founder of Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (FFLA). Former Minister of the Environment of Ecuador spoke of the agenda in the Amazon region from civil society. One of the challenges she mentioned was that, “There is little coordination between countries and if there is no alignment of governments there is no foundation.” She also added the importance of training people that live in the communities as well as those in higher-level organizational positions saying that, “we should promote the development & use of technologies that have a much longer, useful lifespan. That implies training, education and participation…not only of experts, but also of people on the ground.”

AmazonTEC SpeakerJene Thomas, Director of the United States Agency for International Development in Peru, USAID Peru, gave closing remarks for the Spanish sessions of AmazonTED praising the conference as an “an opportune space to make visible progress and needs to conserve the Amazon. It leaves a message about the need for collaboration between governments, institutions and populations that share the Amazonian forests.”


Click here to read more takeaways from #AmazonTEC2020: