AMAZON CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

Rating: 5 stars   37 reviews

Issues: Environment, Water

Location: 1012 14th Street NW, Suite 625 Washington DC 20005 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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EIN 52-2211305
202-234-2356
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I chose to volunteer for ACA because it works at the ground level with local organizations that can move quickly and effectively. ACA is the best organization that I have worked with in my 40 years in conservation including my time as Secretary of the Interior.

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

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?

2012

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I've worked in the Peruvian Amazon and Andes on biodiversity conservation for the last 20 years. I've seen lots of NGOs turn their attention to the area and then lose focus. What impresses me about ACA is its innovation and its dedication to place. The organization is centered on conserving the last great tropical wilderness on the planet, the area of exceptionally high biodiversity where the Amazon grades into the Andes. More than that, they're generating the tools--enterprise, policy, and scientific--needed to conserve land in the region. When I got the chance to be on the board of such an innovative and creative conservation organization I jumped at the chance. It is a privilege to work with them.

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

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?

2012

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

In 2007, I started out as a volunteer with ACA. Seeing the incredible and critical work that the organization does to conserve the Amazon and train the next generation of Amazonian conservationists, I got hooked. I worked hard and wrote a grant to help the organization grow and found myself with a job! Over a few years, I was able to work with a variety of dedicated gifted scientists and community specialists to help create new protected areas and support traditional communities in Peru and Bolivia. As I designed projects with staff and partners in the southwestern Amazon, I learned a huge amount about the region, the people, and the needs for conservation and development. After several years designing projects for ACA, I made a move to another organization, but I missed the dynamism and innovation of the Board and staff at ACA. I was fortunate to be invited to join the board and have since served as its secretary, surrounded by some of the smartest, most inventive and driven people I've met. ACA is an amazing organization that grows professionals, champions communities, and trains students and researchers in Peru, Bolivia, and the US who continue their conservation work no matter where they go next!

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

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?

2012

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

A year and a half ago, my wife and I had the extreme pleasure of accompanying the president Adrian Forsyth and several staff members on a trip down the eastern slope of the Peruvian Andes to visit ACA's research facilities and meet an indigenous community that has benefited from ACA's work. The entire experience was profound. ACA's research stations were filled with students studying various aspects of the cloud forest and rain forest. The staff managing the facilities were smart, personable and very friendly. Each evening students gave presentations on their work. The whole atmosphere was exciting and filled with creativity. But the most powerful experience was visiting a local community that ACA helped to establish the world's first conservation concession managed by the community itself. We sat amongst the community, hearing stories and their traditional songs. They expressed the importance of the concession which has allowed them to maintain their livelihood in the face of developmental pressures. We returned from the trip inspired to help ACA further their work. Now I'm fortunate to serve on the board. The issues are huge but the organization has talented hard working committed people who have a track record of achieving results.

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

by seeing first hand the vitality of the research facilities and meeting an indigenous community that has directly benefited from ACA's support

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

ACA has delivered extensive results while operating on a shoestring budget. The organization needed additional leadership to broaden its reach and tackle some big issues so it's very exciting that ACA just hired an executive director. He has a wealth of experience and talent. ACA is now poised to deliver large returns on any conservation investment.

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