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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Amazon Conservation Team

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Environment, Forest Conservation, Geology, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Technology

Mission: The mission of the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) is to work in partnership with indigenous people to conserve biodiversity, improve human and ecosystem health, and fortify traditional culture in tropical America.

Results: Over recent years, ACT and its indigenous partners have: • Mapped and surveyed over 70 million acres of ancestral Amazon forests • Support over 100 traditional shamans (healers) and their apprentices • Established the first network of Amazonian female shamans • Designed and implementation the first Amazonian indigenous park ranger training programs • Established over 50 community gardens and over 1,000 acres of sustainable agriculture containing nearly 800 traditional crops • Launched the Isolated Tribes Initiative to protect both uncontacted Indians and their forests • Established a highly successful Shamans and Apprentices Clinics in the northeast Amazon

Target demographics: Preserve the world's largest rainforest and the indigenous people who call it home. To mitigate global warming, it is critical to focus on preventing tropical deforestation in the Amazon.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Protect isolated tribes of the Amazon with research that resulted in important new legislation protecting these tribes who have chosen to remain uncontacted. This work established a new awareness about the importance of the forests these groups inhabit. The critical importance of safeguarding these forests is reflected is the Colombian Government's commitment to expand the borders of Chiribiquete National Park to 10,734 square miles, larger than the size of the state of Massachusetts.

Geographic areas served: Northwest and Northeast Amazon

Programs: Collaboration with local communities ensures the lasting protection of biodiversity and traditional culture of the rainforest. Support for the Yachaikury Ethno-Education School allows students to learn first-hand the sustainable farming techniques that allow them to grown their own food, contribute to the food resources of surrounding communities, and provide an economic base. ACT is now financing and advising an effort to strengthen the school's infrastructure, including the construction of climate-controlled classrooms and new dormitories. Other programs include sponsorship of indigenous park guard programs and incorporation of indigenous park guards into the governmental park protection systems. In Suriname, ACT provides training for a group of indigenous women engaged in a sustainable income generation project focusing on pepper merchandising. In partnering with indigenous people, ACT programs protect one of our most valuable resources, the Amazon rainforest.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

One of the few organizations able to really work with local people to achieve outcomes good for people and the planet. A big lesson to the big NGOs about size - its not only how you use it but actually bigger is more likely to hurt!


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

the creative energy and hard work makes the the difference with this group ...and I hope to they continue with a great success! Joe Barnes

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A truly first-class organization with defined goals, a clear strategy to achieving these goals, a staff that far exceeds even the highest of expectations, and a cause that is vitally important to the world's children and future. Anyone involved with environmental causes should consider this great organization.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Amazon Conservation Team packs a passionate punch. They operate out of shoebox near DC, but their drive, dedication, and deeply held relationships make them a powerful and effective nonprofit. ACT also does something no one else will -- they are on the ground in Columbia working directly with indigenous people. While they understand, intellectually, the connection between protecting land and preserving culture and limiting climate change, they are not afraid to -- physically -- get their hands dirty for the benefit of the world.