Giving Amazonian Animals a Voice Through Children’s Comics

“What’s your favorite animal?”

This is the question that team members from our Bolivian sister organization Conservación Amazónica – ACEAA asked children from local communities in the Amazon to understand how they are connected to their environment. To their surprise, most of the answers they received were elephants, giraffes, and lions, as opposed to locally found species such as the jaguar or giant otter.

To encourage these children to learn more about their local environment, Conservación Amazónica – ACEAA created a series of comics to tell the stories of Amazonian animals called “Once Upon a Time in Your Forest.” In these comics, these animals in the Amazon tell stories of their habitats, and how certain conflicts with humans affect their food sources, shelter, and overall environment. By telling these stories from the animal’s perspective, these children can gain a better understanding of respecting their habitat and learning to coexist with these species. Executive Director of Conservación Amazónica – ACEAA Marcos Terán explained that “it is important to encourage children’s relationships with nature. The educational curriculum should promote this with the support of the teachers, with the aim that future generations respect their environment by making conscious use of natural resources.”

The most recent comic No. 5 tells the story of the Anteater, who details his role in the ecosystem, threats to his species, and the importance of conservation spaces to protect their habitats.

English copies are now available to download! Copies in Spanish can be found here.


View the rest of Conservación Amazónica – ACEAA’s comics

Conservación Amazónica – ACEAA Teaches Young Students the Importance of Protecting Water Resources

Our Bolivian sister organization Conservación Amazónica – ACEAA recently organized an environmental education training workshop with the Cobija Municipal Environmental Brigade and the Cobija Water and Sanitation Company (EPSAS) to educate young 4th and 5th-grade students about the importance of caring for their water systems that stem from Arroyo Bahía: the main water source for Cobija and surrounding communities. 

This workshop was part of an ongoing project to help protect and manage water resources from the Arroyo Bahía Conservation Area (a conservation area we helped create in 2022 known as the Natural Area of Comprehensive Management of the Arroyo Bahía Basin – ANGICAB). Since the creation of ANGICAB in April of 2022, the Autonomous Municipal Government of Cobija, in alliance with Conservación Amazónica- ACEAA and funded by the World Wildlife Fund – Sweden, launched the project titled Protegiendo el Arroyo Bahía, Garantizamos Agua para Cobija (Protecting the Arroyo Bahía, We Guarantee Water for Cobija). Through this project that began in April 2023, they intend to continue helping the residents of Cobija apply measures and actions that promote the conservation of ANGICAB, take advantage of non-timber forest resources, and collect solid waste in the ANGICAB and its area of influence for subsequent recycling. 

The workshop carried out by the Cobjija Municipal Environmental Brigade  and EPSAS aimed at educating these young students to understand where their water comes from, the value of the ANGICAB protected area, and impactful changes they can implement in their daily routine to save water in their homes. The following topics were also covered during this workshop: 

  • Getting to know the ANGICAB Protected Area
  • Economic importance of Amazonian species 
  • Managing forests, water resources and watersheds 
  • Reducing pollution in water sources
  • Climate change, resilience and adaptation

Since Arroyo Bahía is the main water source  for the entire city of Cobija, its protection and correct  management of existing natural resources is very important to guarantee access to clean water for its residents. Teaching them the values of ANGICAB highlights the importance of conserving these bodies of water and the forests that surround them to ensure a healthy and natural ecosystem, along with the fauna and flora that inhabit them.

Multiple education trainings and workshops meetings have been held for teachers, educational students and young people from different groups since the beginning of this project, and has shown relative success in changing attitudes towards the integrity of ANGICAB. By raising awareness for this protected area, surrounding communities can help keep their water sources safe and protected for both the residents and wildlife that depend on them. 

Conservación Amazónica – ACCA Receives Approval for Phase One of New Conservation Area in Puno

Photo by Conservación Amazónica – ACCA

On March 15th, the first stage of the creation process for the Selva Verde – Santo Domingo de Puno Regional Conservation Area was approved by the Peruvian National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SERNANP). This marks the completion of one of four stages defined by SERNANP to create a conservation area, which begins with the systematization of physical and biological information, cartographic analysis of the area, and a financial sustainability commitment letter signed by the Regional Governor of Puno. The Manager of the Regional Government of Puno, Wilman Mendoza Quipe, indicated his agreement and joy at achieving this important milestone as part of the process of establishing this regional conservation area.

This proposed conservation area consists of 109,000 hectares of forests located in the buffer zone of the Bahuaja Sonene National Park, and overlaps the “Bahuaja Sonene” Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) and two regional priority sites, known as “Selva Verde” and “Santo Domingo.” Among the most notable characteristics presented by this proposal, a representative sample of pristine forests of the Bolivian Yungas Ecoregion will be protected, which only exists in the Puno Region, and is the habitat of various endangered species such as the woolly monkey, the woolly night monkey, the jaguar, the spectacled bear, and the tapir among others.

Photo by César A. Vega / PromPerú

Although no notable human activity has been identified within the proposed area, an increase in deforestation has been observed in adjacent areas, destined mainly for illicit coca growing and the presence of mining activity on the left bank of the Inambari River outside the proposed conservation area, which poses a threat to the integrity of the surrounding forests.

Ronald Catpo, Conservation Director of Conservación Amazónica – ACCA, stated that this approval of the first phase marks a significant step towards the conservation and protection of biodiversity in the Puno region. Likewise, he reaffirmed the commitment of all parties involved in the protection of our natural resources.

Helping a Local Community Consolidate Cacao Production for the International Market

Our Peruvian sister organization Conservación Amazónica – ACCA has been helping the Agroforestry Association of the Infierno Native Community in Madre de Dios, Peru, strategize ways to advance their cacao production to enter the international market. On February 16th, the association held an exchange of experiences at the facilities of the Agrobosque Cooperative to develop a strategy to increase production volumes and access international markets. This meeting followed a recent meeting with the directors of the Agrobosque Cooperative on February 12th, in which they established purchase agreements for cacao produced by the community. 

The Agroforestry Association of the Infierno Native Community has 21 hectares (about 52 acres) of agroforestry systems dedicated to the cultivation of cacao, in addition to having a processing plant with the capacity to process 19 thousand kilos (41,888 pounds) of cacao pulp per month.  Partnering with the Agrobosque Cooperative would help provide them with technical support in the post-harvest processes, delivery of quality cacao, and the opportunity to obtain and maintain organic certification for crops associated with their agroforestry systems. Additionally, this exchange of experiences helped them open doors to jointly participate in various trade promotion activities and business conferences at the national level.

Thanks to the technical advice provided by Conservación Amazónica – ACCA and funding from the EROL Foundation,  the Infierno Native Community can develop a solid commercial strategy, enabling them to make their agroforestry production profitable and actively participate in fairs and business roundtables at the national level, such as local fairs and the ExpoAmazónica. This articulated work in collaboration with Agrobosque is important for local communities, such as the Infierno Native Community, to potentially increase profits upon entering the international market.