Our aim is to discover and share the value of the Amazon, to conserve and protect it, and to inspire the global community to connect with rainforests.
The ARC Amazon Project
We work to bring people to rainforest and share rainforest with the World.
We invite you to join this alliance of individuals, groups and organizations who believe in the importance of the Amazon.
We’re making it fun to protect rainforest.
Our story begins deep in the wilderness where we lost our way and found ourselves: The Las Piedras River System.
We’re currently working to protect Las Piedras. Las Piedras (‘Stones’ in English) is a river system that forms part of the Amazon-Andes Biodiversity Hotspot and an important area for its beautiful landscapes, rich fauna and flora, and fascinating native communities.
When our research teams began studying the Las Piedras River System they were blown away at the diversity and abundance of wildlife, as well as the raw wilderness which is still found abundantly in the region. The team found a thriving Brazil nut forest where locals happily harvest the very Brazil Nuts that eventually reach us in chocolate, oil and cosmetic products. Las Piedras is home to a number of remarkable communities, some indigenous to the region, some remote and unconnected with the outside world and others formed with the sole purpose of extracting the forest’s resources. The team was surprised and concerned to learn that this pristine area is under increasing pressure from a the extraction of timber and the rapid conversion of forest into agriculture and pasture land. More so, that there is little to no private or government environmental policy enforcement in the area. For this reason, ARCAmazon has decided to pioneer a large conservation effort to begin dealing with the issues currently threatening Las Piedras.
Our medium-term goal in Las Piedras is to begin buffering the more remote reaches of the river system by playing a key part in the creation of a corridor (or strategic zone) of protected forest across the lower and more threatened reaches of the river system. We kick-off by creating a 4,460 hectare private conservation area which we protect using a mix of responsible business practices and community participation. We are also developing the Las Piedras Amazon Center which encourages sustainable living and livelihoods through demonstration and setting a good example for others. The center provides a space for guests from all over the world who are serious about rainforests and their conservation. The center also provides opportunities for local people in rainforest conservation and ecotourism, while supporting the sustainable harvest of forest products such as fruit and Brazil Nuts.
Who We Are
ARCAmazon is a Peruvian not-for-profit organization.
The organization was created in 2014 by eleven conservationists with a common passion for the Peruvian Amazon and a dream to protect Las Piedras. The founders and partners of the organization dedicated 2 years to the setup of ARCAmazon to ensure a robust back-bone and transparent governance within the Peruvian law system.
ARCAmazon’s Board of Trustees
The members responsible for oversight of ARCAmazon in Peru have dedicated their lives to protecting wildlife, wild places, indigenous people, local heritage and local culture. Together, they amount over 40 years of work in Peru’s rainforests, specializing in education, sustainable business, environmental law, volunteers, ecotourism, scientific research, permaculture, land management, biodiversity conservation, awareness creation, animal welfare, marketing and web.
Dr. Christopher Kirkby
Chris is a tropical conservation biologist. For the last 20 years he has made the Peruvian Amazon rainforest his home and its long-term survival his mission. He leads research on understanding the changing status of wildlife, the impacts and benefits of human activities in and around protected areas, and the relative economic value of competing forest land uses. He has established successful volunteer and intern programs, with the aim of both bringing down the high cost of field research in this tropical environment and as a means of connecting people across the world with the unique rainforest environment.
Dr. Laurel Hanna
Laurel is a biologist living in Puerto Maldonado. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a first class honors in zoology. Laurel’s PhD studied the genetic and non-genetic consequences of captive breeding and release of the British barn owl (Tyto alba). Frequent guiding jobs in the Peruvian Amazon progressed to permanent residency. She designed, built and operated ‘Picaflor Research Centre’ and founded a 1,300 hectare private conservation area where her work involved managing the conservation area and sustainable living projects with the participation of volunteers from abroad. Laurel loves wildlife, animals, vegetarian cooking, organic farming and green building.
Luis Garcia Neyra
Luis holds a JD from Universidad de Lima's Law School. His experience covers corporate litigation, antitrust and unfair competition law. In 2009, his career shifted towards environmental and indigenous issues leading him to move to Puerto Maldonado in Madre de Dios. He's supported the enhancing of environmental policies and regulations of the Regional Government of Madre de Dios, specifically small-scale mining, climate change, and conservation. Luis led the procedure to secure land rights for the Infierno native community. He currently serves as Secretary on the Board and supports all legal matters of the organization.
Ursula Leyva Carbone
Ursula has been living in the Madre de Dios Region since 2005. Her work experience in the Amazon has been diverse and includes specializing in environmental education for children and families, facilitating social enterprises for conservation, designing interpretive circuits, preparing educational material with environmental themes, and the design, implementation and management of start-up conservation projects. Currently, she is a consultant in permaculture design, landscaping, gardening and sustainable horticulture and is the Executive Director of Camino Verde which works in the Tambopata Region. She also squeezes in enough time to manage her own reforestation center.
David is an environmental entrepreneur. He focuses on sustainable business, media and technology to conserve vulnerable nature. He is passionate about systems where humans benefit from nature without the need to destroy or degrade it. David has a long history in corporate marketing, branding and strategy, and he loves rainforests. He uses his corporate knowledge to help generate triple bottom line impact for local communities and initiatives based in the Peruvian Amazon, with the aim of increasing value of intact forest. He has been elected to co-lead the ARCAmazon Project on behalf of ARCAmazon and its partners.
Dr. Jason James Scullion
Dr. Jason James Scullion is a forest conservationist and Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at McDaniel College, where he teaches courses in environmental policy and management, conservation biology, and sustainability. Jason has a PhD in Environmental and Forest Sciences and master’s degrees in Public Administration and Forest Resources from the University of Washington. His research is focused on conserving frontier forests in the Americas through improving management policies and strategies. Recent publications include studies focused on the effectiveness of payments for ecosystem services programs in Mexico and an analysis of protected area effectiveness and landscape change in the Peruvian Amazon.
Nancy is a consultant, coach and powerful connector. She is passionate about designing systems for collaboration and ways we can work together for mutual benefit of people and planet. She facilitates the translation of a collective vision into workable applications in ways that are self-sustaining and activate leadership. Specifically, she seeds projects through co-visioning processes, team design and recruitment, project management, organizational strategy, coaching and collaboration architecture. She is a co-founder of two non-profit impact driven enterprises; Yellow-Seed facilitates connection between farmers at origin and fair markets, and Wild Forests and Fauna (WFF) supports local leadership in conservation of wild…
Doug brings his entrepreneurial spirit and positive attitude to the world of conservation. Originally from New York, he managed UBS Investment Bank’s Mortgage Backed Securities Operations team through the credit crisis. Currently residing in Seattle, Doug’s passions lie in creating profitable business ventures that are deeply rooted in ecological and social justice. He recently completed his MBA in Sustainable Systems with an Energy Certificate at Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI).
Renata Leite Pitman
Renata is a wildlife veterinary doctor and expert in mammalian ecology. She has a Master’s in Forest Science at Federal University of Parana, Brazil, and is a Research Associate with the Center for Tropical Conservation. Renata's passion is to protect the Peruvian Amazon, and was integral to the creation of its largest National Park. Her Impacts of the Interoceanic Highway Project won her an Innovation Award from Rufford. Renata set up the Atlantic Forest Conservation Center and Reserve. She is a member and Natural Born Hero of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, and a National Geographic Grantee and Explorer.
Lucy Jayne Dablin
Lucy is a PhD candidate with University College London. She has been working in the Amazon since 2008 on diverse projects and holds first class degrees from the University of York and Imperial College London. She is passionate about reconciling biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation, improving supply chains to increase the uptake of sustainable resource use and assessing the causes of forest conversion. She is on the board of Wild Forests and Fauna and working on community agroforestry projects in Bolivia with Herencia, Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew, the Natural History Museum London.
Eliza is a fundraising professional living in Akron, Ohio. In 2010 she earned her degree in English-Creative Writing from Denison University, which led her to grant writing and fundraising for non-profits. In 2013, through a series of connections and a desire to fundraise for conservation efforts, she came to work with ARCAmazon. For three months Eliza ran a fundraising campaign from their headquarters in Puerto Maldonado, Peru. The team raised over $25,000 towards the conservation of a special piece of the Peruvian Amazon on the Las Piedras River.
Partners and Members of the Alliance
Where We Are
ARCAmazon is based in the Western Amazon Basin.
Our headquarters are located in the ‘jungle city’ of Puerto Maldonado, Madre de Dios, Peru. We’re 1 hour away from Cusco by plane (10 hours by bus) or a 3 hour flight from Peru’s capital city, Lima.
Get Involved in Protecting the Amazon Rainforest
Support conservation through responsible visits to the Las Piedras Amazon Center in Peru's rainforest.
Support conservation through participation in Amazon Academy's rainforest-based (and online) learning programs.
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