Forest Humor from our Co-Founder

Mark Plotkin - "Ethnobotanists Don't Read Science Fiction," an excerpt from a talk given at the 2016 National Bioneers Conference. Watch the full talk titled "Maps, Magic and Medicine in the Rainforest" here: link

 

Maps, Magic, and Medicine Episode 4: Knowledge for Protection - Safeguarding Isolated Indigenous Tribes

Deep in the Amazon, there are groups that have made the decision to isolate themselves from the outside world. These isolated or uncontacted groups live under constant threat of incursion from mining, development, and illegal activity. On the final episode of this series, we'll explore the reason why these groups fled into the rainforest, how to protect isolated groups without contacting them, and the late Colombian historian who proved the existence of isolated groups in Colombia.

Listen to the latest episode of Maps Magic & Medicine, a serialized audio-doc from the Amazon, here.

 

Kwamalasamutu - In Pursuit of Human Wellbeing

ACT is pleased to share Kwamalasamutu - In Pursuit of Human Wellbeing, a short documentary film that highlights nearly two years of participatory research in the Trio indigenous village of Kwamalasamutu, Suriname conducted by ACT-trained indigenous Amazon Conservation Rangers together with students from the University of Utrecht and local partners, such as the Center for Agricultural Research in Suriname, Suriname’s National Herbarium, as well as Suriname’s National Forest Management Agency and its Nature Conservation Division.

Through the project, student and indigenous researchers analyzed biomass and carbon provision of forest plots, calculated from measured trees and soil samplings. The project also supported the measurement of tasi (a palm species whose leaves are frequently used by villagers as roofing materials), which should lead to the drafting of harvesting guidelines for the community. An inventory of common macro-fungi and fungi-like bromeliads (epiphytes) in the plots provided a picture of the current health of the forest and organic matter breakdown. In addition, wildlife recordings were conducted within a 5km and 10km radius from Kwamalasamutu. These measurements yielded long-term insights into the availability of protein for food security.

 

ACT Field Notes

By: Wilmar Bahamón, ACT Middle Caquetá River Regional Coordinator
Date: Monday, March 20, 2017
On the banks of the Caquetá River, in Colombia, lives Elías García Ruíz, a member of the Murui Muina indigenous group who collects and cultivates native seeds such as that of the cacay tree (Caryodendron orinocense), which is disappearing from their territory because of selective logging of trees of high commercial value and an alarming advance of deforestation.
By: João Carlos Nunes Batista
Date: Friday, September 30, 2016
The Waurá of the Ulupuene village in the Xingu, Brazil came to us with a problem: their water supply had become contaminated by soybean crop pesticides. These pesticides are carried annually to the rivers of midwestern Brazil, often rendering the water unsuitable for human consumption. The Waurá had one request: clean water drawn from an open deep well with the support of the Amazon Conservation Team.
By: João Carlos Nunes Batista
Date: Thursday, September 15, 2016
An important piece of this effort is allowing Waurá youth to experience sacred sites that, until now, have only existed in their imaginations and the stories of their elders. Because of this effort, we were thrilled when we were given the opportunity for ACT to visit Kamukuaká Cave, one of these sacred sites, with several Waurá villagers from multiple generations.

ACT in the Press

By: Rudo Kemper
Publication: Global Forest Watch (March 2017)
In 2016, the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) received funding from the Small Grants Fund of Global Forest Watch (GFW) to evaluate the drivers of deforestation in threatened Amazonian ecosystems by training local indigenous communities to use the necessary technologies to ground-truth GFW alerts and collect pertinent field data.
By: Mateo Guerrero Guerrero
Publication: El Espectador (January 2017)

The Amazon Conservation Team produced a virtual tour documenting the legacy and journeys of the biologist Richard Evans Schultes in Colombia. The project celebrates the 20th anniversary of the organization.

By: Rick Kearns
Publication: Indian Country Today (January 2017)
Kichwa activists in Ecuador have a new tool for showing the oil-related theft of their territory: an interactive digital story map with details of how the land has been stolen — sold mostly to oil companies— and is still dangerous because of leftover explosives.