From the field: Discovering sustainable livelihoods deep in the Amazon
August 21, 2016
Ryan Thompson, an Environmental Conservation Master’s of Science Candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recently returned home from spending 10 weeks in the Peruvian Amazon, going to parts of the rainforest where few people have ever set foot.
He took the trip to produce a series of short videos featuring our partners on the ground who are engaged in forest-friendly enterprises such as fish farming and agroforestry, along ACA’s Manu-Tambopata Conservation Corridor (MAT). Our MAT corridor strategy consists of over 500,000 acres of rainforest in one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, widely recognized as a global conservation priority. Through a variety of conservation tools including protected areas and sustainable livelihoods activities, the MAT corridor helps protect this keystone habitat, which provides critical ecosystem services such as regulating the climate for the Amazon basin, storing globally significant levels of carbon, and protecting the headwaters of the Amazon.
Through his expeditions, Ryan was able to experience living in the deep Amazon without the comforts of the modern world; how ACA and our sister organization Conservacion Amazónica-ACCA are helping local communities with sustainable practices like agroforestry; and even a little about the local folklore from the region. One special experience was meeting with an ACA partner, Nemecio Barrientos, and his family. Nemecio manages a fish farm that produces over 17,000 pounds of fish every year, providing his family with a sustainable source of income and food. “This experience has been a great teacher,” said Ryan of his weeks in the rainforest, “forcing me to learn to adapt and work with what we’ve got.”
Check out more of Ryan’s stories from the field on his blog: http://ryandthompson.me/blog/.