Now live: ACT President's TED talk titled "What the people of the Amazon know... but you do not"

16:35 minutes · Filmed Oct 2014 · Posted Nov 2014 · TEDGlobal 2014

"The greatest and most endangered species in the Amazon rainforest is not the jaguar or the harpy eagle," says Mark Plotkin, "It's the isolated and uncontacted tribes." In an energetic and sobering talk, the ethnobotanist brings us into the world of the forest's indigenous tribes and the incredible medicinal plants that their shamans use to heal. He outlines the challenges and perils that are endangering them — and their wisdom — and urges us to protect this irreplaceable repository of knowledge.

ACT Suriname: Highlights from 2014

This video, created by ACT Suriname, highlights our efforts in the northeastern Amazon--including our work with indigenous park guards, ethnographic mapping, ethnoeducation and sustainable livelihood projects.

ACT Field Notes

by: Steven Leeflang

Kwamalasamutu awakens. The first sunrays break through the clouds and light on thatched roofs in the tiny Surinamese rainforest village. A few residents are already on their way to wash themselves in the river. Mist still hangs in the air.

by: Steven Leeflang

On February 11, 2015, the shaman Korotai Puumona escorted sixth-grade students from the public school in Kwamalasamutu into Suriname’s deep rainforest interior.

by: Steven Leeflang

March 27, 2015: By the final day of the Children’s Book Festival in Paramaribo, approximately 900 students had made virtual journeys to Suriname’s deep rainforest interior with ACT.

ACT in the Press

by: Jeremy Hance
Publication: mongabay.com

Earlier this month, National Geographic made big news: the discovery of what it called a "lost city" below the thick jungles of Honduras. While the coverage has led to scientists crying sensationalism, it also resulted this week in a commitment of protection by the Honduras President, Juan Orlando Hernández, for a long-neglected portion of the country.

by: Douglas Preston
Publication: National Geographic

Mark Plotkin (ACT) accompanied a team of scientists and filmmakers led by Steve Elkins and Bill Benenson to a remote portion of the Honduran rainforest believed to harbor the ruins of an ancient city. The team found several archaeological sites of great promise. Since the expedition, the president of Honduras has issued a declaration protecting the area.

by: Megan Taylor Morrison (ACT) & Monika Wnuk
Publication: Huffington Post

In Sibundoy, the ancestral territory of the Kamentsa and Inga indigenous people, both the elders and lands that sustain traditional knowledge are disappearing. To keep pace with climate change, globalization and the region's mining development, local groups are banding together to record this information before it disappears.