AMAZON CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

Rating: 5 stars   36 reviews

Issues: Environment, Water

Location: 1822 R Street NW 4th Floor Washington DC 20009 USA

Mission: The mission of the Amazon Conservation Association is to conserve the biological diversity of the Amazon Basin.
Results: Accomplishments: 1. ACA established the world’s first “conservation concession,” a long-term contractual partnership between the national government and a non-government actor, whereby the civil society actor manages state-owned lands for conservation purposes. ACA protects these 360,000 acres from illegal loggers and slash-and-burn farmers. 2. Since 1999, the Brazil Nut Program has grown to protect over one million acres of tropical forest through community-based conservation. ACA has provided technical support to more than 420 Brazil nut harvesting families and helped obtain voluntary Forest Stewardship Council and organic certifications for dozens of concessions. 3. ACA's flagship field station CICRA at Los Amigos extended its run as the most active research site in the Amazon basin. More than 100 researchers representing 39 different research projects visited the station and seventeen researchers received $75,000 in scholarships from the station in 2008. More than 450 researchers have studied at Los Amigos since its inception. 4. Wayqecha, our state-of-the-art biological research station in Peru’s cloud forest hosted 41 active research projects in 2008, and continued to protect 1,450 acres of cloud forest. In 2007-2008, 239 species of orchid were inventoried at Wayqecha, indicating that orchid diversity in this area is much higher than predicted. 5. Establishment of the first indigenous conservation concessions managed by the Wachiperi Haramba Queros nation. ACA provided technical support to the Wachiperi throughout the process of applying for the concession, designing its management plan, and preparing the concession application for the Peruvian forest service.
Programs: Our Programs ACA focuses on scientific research, the direct protection of critical habitats, sustainable use of natural resources, and environmental education and training for local stakeholders. Our programs include: Brazil Nut Program: Brazil nuts are a natural forest product whose harvest guarantees income for Amazonian people. ACA’s Brazil nut program supports over 500 Brazil nut harvesters to ensure a sustainable livelihood while protecting their forest resource through technical support, training, and certification. Through this program, ACA has ensured the legal protection of a million acres of forest, enabling wildlife to travel safely between protected areas. Los Amigos Conservation Concession: In 2001, ACA established the world's first private conservation concession in the Los Amigos River watershed. The Los Amigos Conservation Concession protects 360,000 acres of old growth Amazonian forest at the base of the Andes in southeastern Peru, bordering Manu National Park. The Los Amigos Biological Station: The Los Amigos Biological Station, commonly known as CICRA is located at the confluence of the Madre de Dios and Los Amigos rivers, adjacent to the Los Amigos Conservation Concession. Since 2004, CICRA has been the most active research station in the Amazon Basin, hosting an average of 25 researchers and assistants per day. Wayqecha Cloud Forest Research Station: In 2005, ACA created Peru's only permanent research center focused on Andean cloud forest ecology and management. This 1,450-acre research center, called Wayqecha, is located in the buffer zone of Manu National Park near Cusco. Here ACA provides scholarships to an average of 15 university students per year to study local biota, ecosystem interactions, and the impacts of climate change on the forest. Wachiperi Haramba Queros Conservation Concession: In 2008, ACA, in collaboration with the Amazonian Haramba Queros native community, established the first conservation concession in Peru run by an indigenous community. Through support from ACA, the Wachiperi are now successfully ensuring protection of their water supply and continued access to medicinal plants as well as preserving space for their cultural traditions to flourish. Sustainable Micro-Enterprise Development: ACA works in Cusco and surrounding regions to identify livelihood alternatives for local communities that support land conservation. These projects include the production and marketing of sacha inchi (the Omega 3 oil-rich Incan peanut), production of essential oils and dyes from native plants, agroforestry, and textile production. REDD Enterprise & Fire Control: The heart of this Cusco-based initiative is reforestation of degraded lands with economically valuable Andean plant species. The cultivation of these species reduces deforestation pressure on the cloud forest by providing an alternative income to local communities. The project includes a strong scientific component, extending research on fire frequency, forest degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions. Most importantly, the project is designed as a scalable REDD mechanism ready to implement in other tropical montane regions. Los Amigos – Tambopata Corridor: The Los Amigos-Tambopata (LAT) Corridor Initiative was launched to conserve one of the most important areas for biodiversity conservation in the world, a 519,000-acre area of rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon. It preserves forest cover and biological connectivity by creating a mosaic of conservation areas and sustainable economic activity zones from ACA's Los Amigos Conservation Concession to Tambopata National Reserve, ultimately linking Peru's Manu National Park to Bolivia's Madidi National Park. This initiative is the centerpiece of ACA’s efforts to reduce the environmental impact of the Interoceanic Highway. Environmental Education and Training: ACA’s experienced staff shares innovative conservation tools and practices with local organizations and communities. Our field stations, CICRA and Wayqecha, have become centers for educational trips by local schoolchildren as well as leading training sites for local and international university groups. This focus on training reflects our conviction that saving the greatest forests on Earth requires supercharging a new generation of South American scientists and conservationists. Conserving the Pampas del Heath, Bolivia: Located in northern Bolivia, the Pampas del Heath are among the best-conserved Amazonian savannas. These natural savannas are home to rare and threatened mammals like the maned wolf and the marsh deer, which are vanishing from the surrounding forest. In the Pampas, ACA monitors flora and fauna, studies fire ecology and traditional indigenous management, and works to ensure the long-term survival of savannas in and around Madidi National Park.

2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I worked at CICRA biological station, run by ACA, for my Master's Degree. It was an amazing place to work and I am happy that my station fees went to such a great organization. I have also spent time at Wayquecha station and it's really unique that ACA runs a number of biological stations in diverse areas, over elevational gradients. ACA has been working hard to promote environmental education and conservation in southwestern Peru and have a done a great job.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I recommend ACA to stay focused on supporting scientific research, which is what sets them aside from so many other similar non-profits and biological stations in the Amazon. Don't give up science for tourism only!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

In 2011 and 2012 I led "birdathons" to southeast Peru to raise funds for ACA. Both events were a smashing success. We raised much needed funds for the organization while gaining first hand knowledge of the critically important work ACA is doing to protect the world's most biodiverse forests. It was a life-changing experience for everyone.

It has been a privilege to work with ACA staff. They are smart, dedicated and highly effective. Their level of conservation accomplishment in southeast Peru is nothing short of remarkable.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Add staff to expand conservation capacity.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I worked as a research assistant at one of ACA's biological stations for several months in 2012. The biological station is kept in very good condition and the location was convenient for accessing our data collection locations. Additionally, the station is located in one of the most beautiful places in the world. It would have been very difficult for us to accomplish our objectives if we had not been able to access the facilities provided by ACA. Really, this place is a researcher's paradise: excellent location and an excellent biological station.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to preserve the biological/physical research aspects that the nonprofit seeks to promote.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Volunteering and interning in the DC office in fall 2013, I experienced the dedication of the organization as a whole to the many different projects promoting conservation in the headwaters of the Amazon basin. The impact of ACA crosses national borders and supports research, protects habitats, and advocates sustainable resource management for communities in Peru and Bolivia. ACA's efforts are ensuring that crucial biodiversity is preserved, and that the species of the Amazon have protected areas to migrate toward as climate and human impacts change the environment. This honorable vision and ambitious undertaking makes volunteering for ACA a valuable experience while the passion of the staff and board demonstrates a deep commitment to this mission. ACA constitutes a great nonprofit supported by a driven group of individuals who understand the invaluable resource of the Amazon and work daily to protect it.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase the staff size! I was amazed by the variety of tasks and projects undertaken by the small office in DC.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I worked as an intern for ACA in the summer of 2013. Their amazing dedication and passion for conserving the Amazon is apparent in every one of their endeavors. The ACA staff shows a commitment to excellence that is unparalleled. As an intern I learned a great deal about nonprofit communications and marketing, and the staff were incredibly helpful and willing to share their vast knowledge and experience with me. ACA's support helped me to build confidence in my own skills and inspired in me a passion for conservation.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I worked for the Amazon Conservation Association in their DC office from 2011-2013, in addition to volunteering in 2010. I can wholeheartedly endorse the work that ACA does, the lives that ACA affects, and the experts that ACA employs. A truly holistic approach to addressing environmental concerns in the most critical landscape on Earth - the Andes/Amazon - with a reliable, continuous field presence through their biological stations. ACA is a lean, efficient organization doing real fieldwork with tangible results, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they will accomplish in the future.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

ACCA does amazing work at so many levels, from scientific research to education, sustainable agriculture, ecotourism and advocacy for the conservation of Amazon biodiversity. I have been at Wayqecha and Villa Carmen and they are great field stations that offer unmatched opportunities for field research.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have worked with ACCA in their office in Puerto Maldonado, Peru on research since 2011 as part of an academic research team. The staff in that office are friendly, knowledgeable and always go out of their way to be helpful. I have interacted with the DC staff on a number of occasions - I continue to be impressed by their ability to do so much great work being such a small group. Our research team has visited their beautiful research stations in the Amazon with students - the infrastructure and staff at the stations has always exceeded our expectations and made our stays there extremely enjoyable and comfortable. ACA/ACCA has been integral in my work in Peru, and I would highly recommend working with them if you are a conservation or environmental health researcher seeking collaboration with an NGO. They are professional, organized, extremely passionate about their work, and are simply wonderful people to work with!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Amazon Conservation Association (ACA) has been invaluable in my work in the Peruvian Amazon. Having worked with ACA on several conservation science projects in the last three years, I can say without question the work they are doing in Peru is incredibly important. I personally have benefited from their deep knowledge of the region, as well as their interest in collaboration and their support of my scientific research. There is no question in my mind that without the help of ACA, the quality of my research and its impacts would be much lower. In summary, I strongly recommend people support ACA's efforts in the Amazon on behalf of people and nature.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

N/A

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This is an amazing research station in the Amazon rainforest. Researchers and students benefit greatly.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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