AMAZON CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

Rating: 5 stars   36 reviews

Issues:

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.
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EIN 52-2211305
202-234-2356
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered for ACA for 2-3 months during summer of 2010. I spent most of my time in the Washington, DC headquarters, but traveled to Peru for a week to visit the offices in Cusco and Puerto Maldonado. My time with ACA was extremely positive. I was especially intrigued by the organization's willingness to try innovative and daring new strategies to promote conservation in the region, such as their Brazil nut project and conservation corridors. Because they are able to combine scientific expertise with passion for the environment, they are very effective in Peru and Bolivia.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've volunteered and interned for various organizations in the past, but I was especially impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication shown by every person that works for ACA. I think this factor positively affects their ability to carry out projects because no one rests until all the details are accounted for.

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

Hire more staff! Everyone is pushed to the max to accomplish all their tasks.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered for ACA at their Los Amigos and Wayqecha Biological Stations in the summer of 2009. After seven weeks on the ground, I was determined to come back. I have collaborated with many NGOs over the years and ACA was the first organization that I have worked with that lives up to each facet of its mission. In 2010, I received a U.S. Fulbright Scholarship to Peru to collaborate with ACA on a photojournalism project about their work in the Manu - Tambopata Corridor.

Amazon conservation is an increasingly complex problem and ACA understands that to make great change you have to give support to and invest in local communities. I have personally visited seven of their projects in the region between Cusco and Puerto Maldonado, Peru.

In the Andean region, I visited three local communities ACA has worked with to create communal forest reserves. With ACA's help these communities have set aside large tracts of land for conservation and have also started reforestation projects near their communities. I stayed with the family of one community President and was astounded by his enthusiasm for conservation - he spoke to me about the pride the community takes in reforesting the surrounding mountains. In a candid interview, his attitude toward ACA was nothing but positive. Unlike many NGOs, ACA has a good relationship with local communities because they have found a way to balance conservation and community support. In my opinion, this investment in local relationships is the only way to ensure long-term conservation in the Andes to Amazon region.

I have also been impressed with how deeply connected ACA is in the places they work. The staff at ACA collaborate with other NGOs and organizations to get things done. When I worked with the Brazil Nut concessions in Puerto Maldonado, I had great access to interviewees because of ACA's connection to local Brazil Nut councils and associations.

I will continue to support ACA because of its forward thinking vision - the staff at ACA understand that conservation in this region will become more and more challenging as roads are built and climate changes. They are taking a proactive approach to conservation in the region by putting projects and reserves in place before its too late.










I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my visits to their biological stations, where I have found wildlife abundance that is uncommon in adjacent areas.

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

increase communication between the Cusco and Puerto Maldonado offices.

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

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

More optimistic about the future of this region because ACA is working with the people that will really make a difference in the future - the locals.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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

9 people found this review helpful

One of the few conservation non-profits actually committed to on the ground conservation. ACA has been pioneering conservation and research in the Amazon

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the southwest Amazon

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working in such a priority conservation region with incredible biodiversity and one of the last areas in the world with the potential to conserve true wilderness

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

ACA is a remarkable organization with a staff that includes some of the most intelligent, dedicated people I have met. I plan to further my education and experience in environmental conservation because of this organization and its team. They strive to protect the Amazon's biodiversity, support local communities, and provide amazing educational opportunities in the region. I have truly felt that every bit of my time spent volunteering for ACA has supported an extraordinary cause.

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

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being surrounded by a small group of individuals with such a huge amount of dedication.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

intelligent, compassionate, and committed.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

prove to the rest of the world what it's more than proven to me - that the Amazon is worth saving.

Ways to make it better...

I had gotten the chance to travel to Peru and witness first-hand the projects that come from the hard work done by those in DC.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

ACA is an excellent non-profit organization working towards preserving the biodiversity of the Amazon. What is best about ACA is that it goes about this in a way that educates locals to help them best use their forest resources sustainably. Their website is also extremely helpful.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the number of people that support ACA in our efforts to better protect the Amazon.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

all highly intelligent, friendly, and motivated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

continue ecotourism efforts and expand the project base in Peru.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Amazon Conservation Association does what every conservation organization should be doing, not only preserving and protecting the environment but also supporting local communities. One of their newest projects the Manu Cloud Forest Canopy Walkway, the work that ACA has done to help protect the Manu forest can be seen from a rare vantage view point, at the canopy level. This allows local students, researchers, and visitors to get a unique prospective in the Manu Cloud Forest. In addition, it provides another economic alternative to local people and another reason for them to want to protect the cloud forest. ACA simply put does some extraordinary work.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

their day to day commitment to protecting the Amazon rainforest.

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

allow for better connections between field staff and the main office.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the chance to explore my areas of interest while also helping ACA move forward with their work.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

intelligent, supportive, and committed.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

give everyone the opportunity to experience the Amazon Rainforest in Peru and protect it at the same time.

Ways to make it better...

I had the opportunity to see first hand the work ACA does in Peru.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

small permanent staff numbers and big projects/ideas with little money.

One thing I'd also say is that...

organizations like this need more recognition and financial support.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Review from Guidestar