MAAP #201: Amazon Deforestation & Carbon Update for 2023

As national policymakers begin the global COP28 climate summit in Dubai, we provide here a concise update on the current state of Amazon forest loss and remaining carbon reserves, both based on the latest cutting-edge data.

Here, in MAAP #201, we find that there has been a dramatic reduction (over one-half, 55.8%) in primary forest loss from 2022-2023, with the largest declines in the Brazilian (59%) and Colombian Amazon (67%). Compared to the peak year of 2020, forest lost has dropped by over two-thirds, or 67.7%.

Additionally, we have found that there are over 78 billion metric tons of aboveground biomass across the Amazon biome, which converts to over 37 billion metric tons of carbon.

This work was supported by NORAD (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation) and ICFC (International Conservation Fund of Canada).

Read the full report here. 

Support Sustainable Businesses on Black Friday

With Black Friday coming up, it’s easy to be tempted by all the flashy deals and must-have products that come across our screens, but shopping sustainably is easier than you might think! There are many sustainable businesses out there that take measures to integrate sustainability into their business model, such as reducing their carbon footprint throughout their business to give back to the planet. 

When Raquel Fernandes da Silva began her beauty salon business called Amazonia Concept in Amsterdam in 2022, she set out to make sure her business would make a positive impact on the planet from day one. Originating from a small town in Brazil, protecting the forest and biodiversity of her home country has always been a motivating force for Raquel. As she and her husband were developing their business plan for the salon, they reached out to Amazon Conservation to form a partnership to raise awareness about the rainforest with their clients and give back through collective donations to support reforestation and conservation efforts at the headwaters of the Amazon.

Raquel explains how Amazonia Concept strongly integrates her environmental and social ethics in all facets of the business: “It doesn’t end at simply using donations as a marketing tool, but it is important to see the full impact of your supply chain to reduce products used and reduce waste, empower people, and decrease the carbon footprint of your organization, while also educating the clientele and employees to do the same.”

“In times of stress, it keeps me going to know that I am building careers for my colleagues and every bit of effort gives something back into the world… And I also think that we are running out of time to truly make a change, so the more we can do the better!” – Raquel Fernandes da Silva, Amazonia Concept Hair & Beauty Care

Are you a business owner looking to support a cause to help your company stand out in the Black Friday noise? Contact to discuss partnership options to fit your business model.

Looking for eco-friendly businesses to support? Look to see if your favorite business is certified by 1% for the Planet in its commitment to the planet.

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Read on to learn more about what motivated Raquel to become a Business Supporter of Amazon Conservation and how she raises awareness and enthusiasm for protecting the Amazon through her business. 

Can you tell us about your background and your business?

My name is Raquel Fernandes da Silva and I’m from Itamarandiba, a small town in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Growing up in rural Brazil I have always been very close to my natural environment and was able to experience the vast biodiversity in the country. My playground was the surrounding rivers and forests, with endless adventures in the local hills teaming with wildlife. Even at home with a large family, we have always placed great reliance on our natural farmstead for food and treats. This means that we were always helping our mother in the large garden that we kept, learning about sustainable farming, and helping to sell the products at farmer’s markets.

But I also had other passions. I started working in the beauty industry already during high school and have been excited by it ever since. And, most importantly, I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Even when I left home at 18 to move to a larger city and start studying theater and law, I always came back to running my own little shop or business to make ends meet. However, I felt limited in my chances in my home country and had an opportunity to move to Amsterdam, Netherlands with my brother. From then on, I was driven to set up my own brand of hair and beauty services here in Amsterdam and start making my own line of business successful while adhering to my social and ecological standards.

I was able to open my own business, finally, after the COVID pandemic lockdowns passed. Since the beginning of 2022, we opened the doors of “Amazonia Concept” under the motto “Where Beauty meets Nature” and have been focused on making this idea a reality ever since. It’s always been important for me to embody my culture and embed it into my life’s work. I truly believe that the culture of Amazonia Concept comes from the heart of Brazil – the essence of who I am. I feel extremely grateful that I can use my art to help transform people’s lives by focusing on inner beauty, confidence, empowerment, and self-esteem. Throughout my career as a hairstylist, my ultimate goal has always been for hair to represent the person’s true essence.

What initially inspired you to support environmental causes through your business?

I am a relatively new supporter of Amazon Conservation, and the idea comes from our holistic approach to running a business in the beauty industry. We aim to create beauty through promoting health in the client, not simply focusing on short-term improvement. We aim to provide additional business support to our employees to enable them to become their own entrepreneurs within our supporting business structure. We focus on using natural products with a sustainable farming background and supporting smaller businesses rather than the mainstream product lines.

Furthermore, I try to connect directly with the communities in the Brazilian Amazon as well. For example, when I was traveling in Brazil this January with my husband to explore more ways to directly support local communities, the potential for local sustainable farming, and ways to start our own product line, we found a great way to directly support the community in Novo Airão. The small town is located directly on the Rio Negro, an older tributary of the Amazon River. Local artisans construct beautiful artwork from scrap wood from local shipworks and the proceeds directly fund childcare efforts in the village. We now display some of the artwork, trying to help sell and raise awareness about these efforts. The local network of environmental supporters in the area also helped establish transportation for potential buyers in Europe.

So the idea of supporting biodiversity and ecological protection specifically in the Amazon basin was an integral part of my business plan from the very beginning. In order to engage our clients in our collective ecological impact, we sponsor the planting of 1 tree in the Amazon Basin through Amazon Conservation for every 100 Euros spent at our salon. This has led us to sponsor almost 2000 trees through just this effort, plus we have more individual fundraisers every year for birthdays and holidays.

Why do you think it is important to protect the Amazon?

Protection of the natural beauty in my home country is something that has always been extremely important to me due to my origins and upbringing. I have witnessed the deterioration of the local environment firsthand, and it has always been my dream to use my entrepreneurial efforts for the good of the world. In times of stress, it keeps me going to know that I am building careers for my colleagues and every bit of effort gives something back into the world. I believe in the importance of the smallest components to let the biggest of us strive, the whole circle of life is beautiful to me. And I also think that we are running out of time to truly make a change, so the more we can do the better!

What stands out about Amazon Conservation compared to other organizations and why did you choose to support our work?

First off, I love the transparency and humbleness of your organization. And the approach that is placed on land conservation and ecological protection of the forest itself is what truly brought it home to me. While making our own contributions where we can on the ground, I have no doubt I will continue to support Amazon Conservation for a long time to come!

How has your business community responded to your support?

Our client base has responded extremely positively. People often ask us to report more on it, we are talking about and promoting your efforts now on our social media, and sharing as much as we can about your good work. I believe we have inspired more than a few of our customers to engage with [Amazon Conservation] privately as well!

Do you have a favorite program or initiative that stands out to you?

The use of technological advances in the protection of the forest basin is an amazing program. It helps the local communities by educating them and places powerful tools in the hands of the protectors of our lands against the corruption and disease that is a threat to biodiversity.

What would you say to other environmentally-conscious people and businesses about how they can help make a difference and help conserve the Amazon?

For any business that wants to make an impact, I believe it is vital to structure the entire economic presence to make a positive impact. It doesn’t end at simply using donations as a marketing tool, but it is important to see the full impact of your supply chain to reduce products used and reduce waste, empower people, and decrease the carbon footprint of your organization, while also educating the clientele and employees to do the same.

New MAAP Report Provides a Carbon Update in the Amazon, based on NASA’s GEDI Mission

MAAP #199 provides an update on the current state of remaining Amazon carbon reserves. Presenting the newly updated version of NASA’s GEDI data, which uses lasers aboard the International Space Station to provide cutting-edge estimates of aboveground biomass density on a global scale, we take a first look at striking maps of the current aboveground biomass across the Amazon biome, highlighting the peak carbon densities in the northeast Amazon and southwest Amazon.

The peak biomass concentrations in the northeast Amazon include Suriname, French Guiana, and the northeast corner of Brazil. The peak biomass concentrations in the southwest Amazon are centered in southern Peru. Also note that many parts of Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Bolivia, Brazil, and northern Peru have high carbon densities as well.

An estimate of >78 billion metric tons of aboveground biomass across the Amazon biome was calculated among the laser-based data, coming to the estimated equivalent of >37 billion metric tons of carbon. Given that the laser-based data has not yet achieved full coverage across the Amazon, this is certainly an underestimate.

This work was supported by NORAD (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation) and ICFC (International Conservation Fund of Canada).

Read the full report here. 

Join Us for AmazonTEC 2023!

AmazonTEC, sponsored by Norad and organized by Conservación Amazónica-ACCA, is a space that brings together scientists, environmental professionals, and friends of the forest to discuss the use of technology and different technological tools for forest protection. 

This year’s AmazonTEC event will feature an in-person event in Lima on November 7th aimed at how to achieve “Zero Illegal Logging by 2050,” as well as a virtual event on November 15th focused on technological innovation and the use of Artificial Intelligence to address climate impacts in the Amazon through field conservation. Our very own MAAP Director Matt Finer will be a speaker at the virtual session to discuss scientific advances applied from the field of conservation. 

As governments are seeking to improve efficiency and transparency through the expansion of digital services and online platforms, these events hosted by AmazonTEC aim to develop solutions to illegal activities and corruption that threaten the Amazon by providing transparent information and generating evidence that has proven to be clear disincentives to corruption. Be sure to join us this month, as we develop solutions for the continuing protection of the Amazon rainforest. 

To learn more about AmazonTEC, click here.

To watch a recording of AmazonTEC Sessions 1 & 2, click here. 

It’s Animal Welfare Week for the Combined Federal Campaign!


Did you know that this week’s theme for the Combined Federal Campaign is Animal Welfare Week? This week, we are asking federal employees to help us protect the habitat of all of those animals in the Amazon who cannot speak for themselves and fight to keep their homes and food sources. Give Happy and be a good steward of wildlife by donating to Amazon Conservation (#49371) and raising awareness about the importance of protecting and restoring the habitat of critical species like the jaguar.

Now through January 15, government employees and retirees can Give Happy through the Combined Federal Campaign and join others looking to have a real collective impact and protect the Amazon and its habitat. Anyone can be a changemaker through the CFC, and it’s easier than you may think!

Search for Amazon Conservation on the CFC giving page or by using our CFC #49371 to make protecting the Amazon part of your mission as a changemaker! You can also visit the CFC’s Ways to Give page to see other ways you can make your tax-deductible contribution.

For more than 60 years, the Combined Federal Campaign has been the official workplace-giving campaign for federal employees and retirees. It has raised more than $8.6 billion for charities and people in need, making a real and meaningful difference throughout the world. As communities across the globe are experiencing the impacts of a changing climate, the CFC’s Face of Change Campaign is the ideal opportunity to join forces and support climate-smart and nature-based solutions to protect critical yet vulnerable places like the Amazon Rainforest.

Why Amazon Conservation? The Amazon contains the single largest tropical rainforest on the planet, spanning more than 1600 million acres across nine South American countries. A significant source of the world’s trees, oxygen, water, food, wildlife, and medicine, the Amazon is the most important terrestrial biome on the planet. Protecting the Amazon ensures a healthy future for all of humanity.

What greater gift could you give than preserving our planet for future generations? 

It’s quick, easy, and convenient to make your pledge for the Amazon today! To donate to protect the greatest wild forest on Earth, search for Amazon Conservation (CFC #49371) at Through this convenient pledge portal, you can set your pledge up as a payroll deduction, credit/debit card, or e-check/bank transfer. If you have donated to us through the CFC in previous years, you can easily renew your pledge via the pledge portal.

If you want to learn more about Amazon Conservation and share our work with your colleagues, consider inviting us to your CFC event! We have staff available to attend virtual events anywhere as well as in-person events in the DC, Virginia, and Maryland area. We would love to answer your questions about conservation in the Amazon and illustrate how far your dollars go towards protecting wild places, empowering people, and putting science and technology to work.

If you are a government employee or retiree, be sure to make your pledge before January 15  to Amazon Conservation (CFC #49371) at

World Bank Group Community Connections Campaign Kicks Off its 2023 Season

With the World Bank Group Community Connections Campaign (CCC) launching today, Amazon Conservation invites you to join us in the fight against nature crimes and deforestation that continue to endanger the future of the rainforest by contributing to our conservation efforts by December 15. 

All of us at Amazon Conservation want to thank you for all of your support through the CCC that has helped us continue to scale our work to new places including Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, and Venezuela, in addition to expanding our ongoing work in Peru and Bolivia. Learn more about what we were able to accomplish in 2022 thanks to supporters like you in our 2022 Impact Report. 

Every gift, no matter how big or small, will make a real difference in protecting the Amazon for the wildlife and people who call it home. This year, the World Bank Group will match every dollar you contribute through the CCC, effectively doubling your impact!

What impact can your contribution have on the Amazon?

  • $1,000 provides real-time high-resolution satellite images that expose deforestation in the Amazon, which are the base information that governments need to take action.
  • $500 trains one local community member in the use of drones to monitor up to 500 acres of forests, helping identify and combat illegal deforestation.
  • $250 provides cutting-edge lab equipment for the Wildlife Conservation Lab at Los Amigos, to advance science and field research on the ground.
  • $100 guarantees the protection of about 50 acres at our Los Amigos Conservation Hub and protected area in the Peruvian Amazon for one year.
  • $50 sponsors a local student in the Amazon to take part in an environmental education program to teach and inspire them to protect their forest homes.
  • $25 plants about 20 trees to restore damaged habitats in the Amazon.


How to donate: On the CCC portal via Benevity, Inc., you can search for our organization by name “Amazon Conservation Association” or our EIN “52-2211305”. You can choose to donate via a payroll deduction, credit card, or PayPal. All donations made via the CCC between November 1-December 15, 2023 should be matched automatically by the World Bank Group.

Interested in learning more about Amazon Conservation? We are registered to attend speaking events for World Bank Group staff, so your team can send us a request to have a representative share more in-depth information about our innovative work on the ground that employs science, technology, and climate-smart solutions to protect wild places and empower people to keep the Amazon thriving.

If you have any questions about our work or how you can support Amazon Conservation’s conservation efforts, please contact us at

Amazon Conservation Signs Open Letter to UNCAC States Parties


photo by David Johnston

In our continuing effort to fight nature crimes across the Amazon, Amazon Conservation has endorsed an open letter to the UNCAC States Parties urging governments to adopt a resolution to prevent and combat environmental crime and corruption. This letter will be published and disseminated prior to the 10th Session of the UN Convention against Corruption’s Conference of States Parties (CoSP) that will be held from the 11th to 15th of December in Atlanta, Georgia. 

The CoSP offers a key opportunity to bolster commitments by governments to tackle corruption and the environmental crimes it facilitates that harm the environment. We hope that endorsing this letter with other participating parties will raise efforts and encourage governments to strengthen accountability, governance, and protection measures to mitigate organized crime and direct nature crimes to protect the biodiversity and people who are heavily affected by this type of corruption.

This letter reads as follows:

Dear Delegates to the States Parties to the UN Convention Against Corruption,

We, [number of signatories] civil society organizations and experts across the globe, urge States Parties to adopt a resolution at the 10th UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Conference of States Parties (CoSP) to prevent and combat corruption and the environmental crimes it facilitates as a crucial way to protect the environment, tackle the climate crisis and uphold human rights.

Corruption has a seismic impact on the environment and the climate. It enables crimes across complex supply chains that exploit wildlife, forests, fisheries and other natural resources and species. It is often linked to serious criminal networks that rely on corruption at every step of their global supply chain. It creates incentives to degrade nature, leading to the conversion and degradation of land and the building of infrastructure in biodiversity rich zones. Corruption is undermining efforts to address climate change at a time when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that human-induced climate change has “resulted in more frequent and more intense extreme weather events that have caused increasingly dangerous impacts on nature and people in every region of the world.”

Environmental crime and corruption negatively impacts human rights and impedes efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. It robs some of the world’s poorest countries of revenues and resources and promotes a culture of violence towards communities, threatening the rule of law, public health and security. Land, environmental and indigenous defenders, whistleblowers, journalists, and other members of civil society face significant threats, attacks and killings in carrying out their work to expose environmental crime and corruption, often in a culture of impunity.

As the only legally binding anti-corruption instrument, the UNCAC is among the best tools available to prevent and fight the corruption that enables environmental crime and other environmental harms and its significant negative impacts on both people and nature. Building on UNCAC CoSP Resolution 8/12 (adopted in 2019), we call on UNCAC State Parties to adopt a strong resolution to bolster the implementation of the UNCAC to tackle environmental crime and corruption and its impacts. Such a resolution should call for the following actions:

  • 1. Strengthen and more effectively implement anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and environmental protection laws across the value chain in the environmental sector and hold those accountable that are responsible for perpetuating environmental crimes and corruption, including companies and their representatives.
  • 2. Strengthen transparency, integrity and accountability for awarding, granting, and managing contracts, concessions, permits and licenses in the natural resource sector. Create public, central beneficial ownership registers which include adequate, accurate and up-to-date data that is freely accessible and can be used by relevant stakeholders, as well as accountability frameworks, including conflicts of interest policies, political financing rules, and lobbying transparency.
  • 3. Ensure a safe and enabling environment for civil society organizations and other actors working to expose environmental crime and corruption consistent with Article 13 of the UNCAC, including protection for whistleblowers, proactively engaging Indigenous Peoples and local communities and putting measures in place to routinely monitor threats facing civil society.
  • 4. Promote good governance and anti-corruption measures to achieve climate mitigation and biodiversity conservation goals and in the proper management and use of climate finance funds and other finance mechanisms to protect the environment and biological diversity.
  • 5. Promote greater coordination and cooperation with other relevant international fora and implementing agencies, in order to maximize impact in tackling environmental crime and corruption and to enhance understanding of how to address it, including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Human Rights Council, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and the Financial Action Task Force.

As we commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the UNCAC’s creation, we urge you to take strong actions at CoSP10 to ensure that the UNCAC is utilized to its full extent to tackle one of the most pressing global challenges facing our planet and its people.



Amazon Conservation, Washington DC


The Latest from MAAP: Illegal Gold Mining Across the Amazon

Our newly published MAAP #197 report presents our most comprehensive analysis of mining across the Amazon to date. As illegal gold mining continues to be one of the major issues facing nearly all Amazonian countries, the information in these reports incorporates major gold mining operations in rivers with its deforestation effects, estimating that there are at least 58 active forest and river-based mining sites across the Amazon (49 likely illegal), and at least 36 conflictive overlaps with protected areas (16) and indigenous territories (20).

Illegal gold mining impacts both primary forests and rivers, often in remote and critical areas such as protected areas & indigenous territories. Thus, illegal gold mining is both a major deforestation driver and a source of water contamination (especially mercury) across the Amazon. While gold mining is actively causing deforestation in nearly all nine countries of the Amazon, these nations’ leaders attended a recent high-level summit in which they signed the Belém Declaration, containing a commitment to prevent and combat illegal mining, including strengthened regional and international cooperation in mitigating these harmful, illegal activities.

Click here to read the full report.

Partnering with the Nature Crime Alliance to Fight Environmental Crimes in the Amazon

We are proud to be a founding member of the recently-established Nature Crime Alliance (NCA), a global multi-sector initiative to fight environmental crimes across the globe, led by the World Resources Institute (WRI). Through this joint initiative, we will be working with NGOs and local governments to raise political awareness, implement financial commitment, and strengthen operational capacity to initiate solutions to nature crimes by bringing change and positive impacts to life. Other founding partners in this alliance include the government of Norway’s development agency (Norad), the Wildlife Justice Commission, the conservation news platform Mongabay, and more. 

Environmental and nature crimes can come in the form of logging, mining, wildlife trade, land conversion, crimes associated with fishing, and various illegal activities that pose a threat to the environment. These harmful activities pose a major threat to the world’s vital ecosystems, incredible biodiversity, diverse economies, Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and the global climate. Without a concerted international effort to tackle nature crimes, these crimes have now become the largest financial driver of terrorism and other forms of conflict across the globe. The Nature Crime Alliance has emerged to fill this gap and amplify global efforts to fight back against nature crimes.

This alliance aligns well with Amazon Conservation’s long history of fighting environmental crimes in the Peruvian Amazon. From 2016-2020, we built a real-time satellite-based monitoring system that directly supported the Peruvian government in creating the National System of Control and Monitoring (Sistema Nacional) and improved the capacity of local forest users to monitor and protect their lands. This project was made possible thanks to the support from Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), which is currently funding the project “Technology Meets Policy: Real-time Monitoring and Action in the Amazon,” a five-year initiative aimed at reducing deforestation from illegal activities within the territories of the indigenous target groups in Ecuador and Peru while addressing gaps in deforestation prevention by linking technology and real-time monitoring with improved governance. 

To continue our efforts in combating illegal deforestation and improving governance, Amazon Conservation’s President John Beavers explains that “for us, the Nature Crime Alliance is such an important group to be part of, because to bring together the critical mass of organizations, resources, and the focus needed to be able to fight illegal deforestation at scale, whether it’s the Amazon or across the world, is a key piece to make conservation, sustainable development, and social justice work.”

To read the full statement on the Nature Crime Alliance’s objectives and approach, click here.

2022 Impact Report

We are excited to announce that our 2022 Impact Report is now available to read!

In this report, we discuss in detail our extensive work in conservation working with local communities, and bringing science and innovation to life. Thanks to the help of our supporters, we’ve been able to establish a new conservation area, help stimulate a sustainable forest-based economy, take action against deforestation, provide scholarships to young scientists, and much more!

Thank you to all those who have helped us make change possible, we are grateful to have the ability to carry out our conservation initiatives and sustainable practices throughout the Amazon.

Click here to read the full report.