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’re working to bring people to the rainforest and the rainforest to the World.
The ARC Amazon Project is inviting you to join our growing 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.
David is an environmental entrepreneur from South Africa. He focuses on creativity, technology and responsible business to conserve threatened natural environments. David's background is in marketing, branding and business strategy. He enjoys start-ups where his strengths lie in problem-solving and pushing forward through difficult challenges. His experience is diverse, from the corporate side of London through expeditioning across remote parts of the Peruvian Amazon. David led the marketing and business development of Fauna Forever for 5 years while building up his local knowledge to co-lead the ARC Amazon Project on behalf of ARCAmazon and partners.
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.
Lucy is a Conservation Scientist from England. 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 particularly concerned with reconciling biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation, improving supply chains to increase the uptake of sustainable resource use and empirically assessing the causes of forest conversion. Currently she is working on developing community agroforestry projects in Bolivia with Herencia, Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew, the Natural History Museum London and El Museo de Historia Natural Noel Kempff Mercado, Santa Cruz
Our work is overseen by our partners and donors
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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