In the 1980s, burning rainforests in Brazil drew worldwide attention to the plight of the Amazon Basin: Without a plan for development and conservation, would this vast forested “lungs of the world” disappear? And would it take with it all benefits to global air and water, human and animal diversity, scientific and medical advances?
Many international organizations rushed to develop plans for conservation and development of the lower Amazon. In the late 1990s, however, a small group of conservationists looked higher, to the source of the Amazon. Our Co-Founders Adrian Forsyth and Enrique Ortiz developed our founding program that provided support for Brazil nut harvesters in Peru as an incentive for protecting the forest, the first of many locally driven, pragmatic conservation solutions that are the hallmark of our organization.
Two decades in, we have protected over 8.15 million acres of rainforest; provided cutting-edge tools to government and forest users to protect their lands; empowered hundreds of indigenous communities to develop forest-friendly livelihoods; and hosted thousands of scientists pioneering innovative research at our three conservation hubs. We have made a difference.
The threats to a healthy Amazon are multiplying. Now is the time to intensify our efforts to stop deforestation, partner with Amazonian people to find a more sustainable path to their own vision of development, build greater climate resilience, and support good governance to conserve the ecosystems and biodiversity on which we all depend.
1999 Amazon Conservation is founded
After seeing the great need in the Amazon basin, Adrian Forsyth and Enrique Ortiz co-founded Amazon Conservation to fight to protect the headwaters of the greatest wild forest on Earth
1999 Flagship Brazil Nuts conservation program begins
Flagship Brazil nuts conservation program begins, providing incentives for forest users to keep their forests healthy and standing
2000 Los Amigos Research Station is established
Strategically located, we inaugurate our first biological station on the conviction that the greatest forest on the planet deserves the best research centers in the world
2000 Los Amigos Conservation Concession is granted
We create the world's first conservation concession using a public-public partnership model, developing a new blueprint for forest conservation that is still used to this day
2002 First atlas of the Amazon is created
With our support, the first watershed-based atlas of the Amazon is created by staff scientists in partnership with the Smithsonian
2004 Expanding to work on the ground in Bolivia
To study and conserve the unique Pampas del Heath ecosystem, we establish an on-the-ground permanent presence in the Bolivian Amazon
2005 Wayqecha Cloud Forest Research Station is established
Our second research station, and Peru's first permanent field station focused on cloud forests, is built
2008 Flagship indigenous conservation area is created
We support the Wachiperi indigenous community of Haramba Queros to develop the first conservation concession managed by an indigenous community, putting the power in the hands of those at the forefront of protecting forests.
2010 Villa Carmen Research Station is established
Taking advantage of the impressive elevational gradient of 1,700-4,400 feet above sea level at the foothills of the Andes Mountains, we build the tropic's most premier research station
2012 Finding the 7,000th Frog
By funding a research team at our Wayqecha station, we discovered the Wayqecha Centrolene Sabini, the 7,000th amphibian species in the world
2013 New forest-friendly livelihood options developed
A new project laid the groundwork for how local communities could earn a living without risking their forests, including ecotourism, agroforestry, and fish farms
2014 250,000 trees planted
Our community reforestation efforts throughout the years cross the threshold of a quarter of a million trees planted to reforest degraded or damaged land
2015 Real-time deforestation monitoring becomes a reality through the launch of MAAP
An innovative deforestation monitoring and analysis system is created to use satellite imagery and radar technology to find, track, and expose deforestation happening in real-time.
2016 Southwest Amazon Drone Center piloted
Amazon's first drone training and monitoring center is established through a pilot program at our Los Amigos station, to provide local people with training and technology tools to detect deforestation in their forests
2017 Los Amigos Bird Observatory connects birdwatching and conservation
Located at our Los Amigos conservation hub, our Bird Observatory provides scholarships for upcoming ornithologists doing critical avian research and gives ecotourists a way to support conservation
2019 Supported Bolivia in creating its biggest conservation area ever
Provided technical support for the Ixiamas municipal government to create the Bajo Madidi conservation area, which protects an area 3 times the size of the Grand Canyon (3.8M acres)
The Amazon is our home.
As local conservationists, we have a direct
stake in the region, which gives us a long-term perspective on the history and needs of the forest while remaining agile,
resourceful, and responsive to addressing
present and future challenges and threats. We are here to stay.
We are a trusted partner and advisor.
We build close
relationships with local people and governments, based on mutual trust, understanding, and a commitment to
conserving the Amazon.
We are science-driven.
science to gain a deeper understanding of
the biodiversity and conservation needs
of the Amazon, and support cutting-edge
scientific research at our three conservation
hubs in the Peruvian Amazon.
We invest in the next generation.
We provide education,
support, and inspiration to the next
generation of conservationists, to carry
on the crucial work needed to save the
We innovate to tackle conservation challenges.
We pioneer new ideas and methods to creatively solve the Amazon’s complex
conservation issues, as well as pilot and deploy the latest in technology with the potential to transform the future of
We work from the ground up to achieve our conservation goals