The Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon is a nonprofit working to conserve biodiversity and other natural resources in the Peruvian Amazon, for the benefit of all those who live in and depend on the rainforest.
Why Fight for the Amazon?
The Amazon rainforest is an incredible ecosystem, but why exactly is it so important? Watch the following short video by ASA contributor William Persson to learn from our President Dr. Geoff Gallice why we fight for this amazing natural treasure:
News from the Amazon
Leaders from 9 Amazonian countries meet in Brazil for crucial rainforest summit
August 9, 2023
Leaders from all of the countries spanning the vast Amazon basin are meeting this week in the city of Belem, near the mouth of the Amazon River, to discuss the rainforest's future. The meeting, convened by Brazil's environmentally-minded president Lula da Silva, aims to increase collaboration among Amazon-range countries to halt deforestation and resource extraction that are driving the Amazon towards a tipping point. Specific goals of the summit are to reach an agreement to halt deforestation by 2023 and reign in rampant illegal mining, land grabbing, and other criminal activities that are drivng the rainforest's destruction. Coordinating such an ambitous effort among such a large number of diverse nation, which have a range of competing interests, will be a tall order, but given the state of the Amazon it is vital that it succeeds. Click here to read more, and stay tuned for updates.
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon falls by more than 60% compared with one year ago
August 2, 2023
Brazil, which contains the bulk of the massive Amazon rainforest, has recently announced that deforestation there has fallen more than 60% from July of last year, a dramatic decline that offers hope at a critical moment for the Amazon. Although time will tell if the decrease can be sustained, there is little doubt as to the reason for the decline – since Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took control of the presidency at the beginning of the year, he has led a campaign to restore the rule of law in the region, prosecuting land grabbers and driving out illegal resource extractors who were emboldened by the former far-right Bolsonaro administration. Gazetting new indigenous lands and conservation areas, and the creation of the nation's first Ministry of Indigenous Peoples led by Indigenous leader Sônia Guajajara are also key parts of the strategy to reverse the Amazon's decline. Read more here.
Two steps back but sometimes a giant leap forward: New protected area declared in the Peruvian Amazon
16 April, 2021
After pushing for its creation for nearly twenty years, indigenous communities and conservationists in Peru have secured the protection of 1.1 million hectares of rainforest on the border with Brazil. The Yavarí Tapiche Indigenous Reserve will protect the ancestral lands of various indigenous groups, including some still living in voluntary isolation, as well as a nearly incomparably rich diversity of Amazonian plants and animals. The reserve significantly expands a massive regional protected area complex that spans both Peru and Brazil. In general, biodiversity tends to be higher and deforestation and degradation lower on indigenous lands compared to other areas throughout the Amazon, showing that expanding indigenous peoples' rights and access to their ancestral lands is not only the right thing to do, it can also help protect the rainforest. Read more here.
Updates from ASA in Peru
The Amazon Lab – An exciting new effort to promote science and education in the Peruvian rainforest
Johana Reyes, director of the Alianza Para Una Amazonía Sostenible Perú – the ASA's sister organization in Peru – has just launched the Amazon Lab, an experience that aims to spark curiosity, promote experimentation, enhance collaboration, and advance science in the southeastern Peruvian Amazon. This will be achieved by engaging young people – students ranging from elementary through high school and university – in hands-on activities in the rainforest and under the guidance of researchers working in a variety of scientific disciplines spanning biology, biomechanics and robotics, and environmental engineering. In a region of such incredible biodiversity and endless opportunities for research and education, the Amazon Lab is sure to have a huge impact on the rainforest's future scientists and leaders. Stay tuned for updates as the project gets underway!
The Jungle Biomechanics Lab is coming to Finca Las Piedras
We're excited to announce the launch of the Jungle Biomechanics Lab at our research and education center in Madre de Dios this summer! The JBL is a collaboration between the ASA and the Bhamla Lab at Georgia Tech, with funding from the National Science Foundation, that will bring undergraduate and graduate students from Peru and the USA to the Amazon, where they will learn field biology, biomechanics and robotics in the world's most biodiverse rainforest. The Amazon offers a limitless supply of ideas and potential research topics inspired by millions of years of evolution, and important discoveries are all but guaranteed. The only question is what, exactly, will we discover?
Read more about the Jungle Biomechanics Lab and the Bhamla lab's research here.
New Book Published: '¡Quién Anda Ahí!'
The Red de Aprendizaje y Conservación (Learning and Conservation Network) has just published an extraordinary new book, '¡Quién Anda Ahí!' (Who Goes There!). The book is the result of a year-long project studying wildlife in the rainforest of Madre de Dios, in southeastern Peru, with the help of local students from elementary and high schools from throughout the region. In it, you can learn all about how camera traps can be used to study elusive wildlife and boost their protection, and, of course, all about the incredible rainforest animals that are otherwise very difficult to observe. Thousands of copies will soon be distributed to schools in the Peruvian Amazon, starting with some of the most remote communities on Earth in Peru's world-famous Manu National Park, where they will be used as a tool to train the next generation of biologists, conservationists, and engaged citizens in the Amazon. Camera trapping for the project was conducted at Finca Las Piedras, the ASA's research and education center in Madre de Dios, and K'erenda Homet, a local reserve near the regional capital of Puerto Maldonado. Congratulations to the authors, Carmen Chávez and Daniela Cafaggi, and all the hundreds of others whose hard work made this amazing new book possible - learn more about the project and download the book for free here!
New butterflies described from SE Peru
ASA collaborator Shinichi Nakahara, along with several ASA researchers and other collaborators from Peru and around the world, have just described a new genus of butterflies from southeastern Peru! The new genus is called Cisandina and contains seven species, two of which were previously completely unknown to science—the other five were known but had their names changed, which happens frequently when new information becomes available about poorly-known species, especially in the hyper-diverse Amazon. The researchers gave one of these two new butterflies the name Cisandina castanya, due to the fact that its range largely overlaps with the Brazil nut ('castaña') corridor in SE Peru. The life history (eggs, caterpillars, and pupae) and host plant of C. castanya, as well as that of the other new species described in the study, Cisandina philippa, are also described for the first time based on work conducted by the ASA at Finca Las Piedras, our research and education center in SE Peru. Read the full study here.
Permanent forest dynamics plot established at Finca Las Piedras
We’re thrilled this month to inaugurate the ASA’s first forest dynamics plot at Finca Las Piedras! The effort was led by ASA Science Advisory Board member Riley Fortier who, along with a team of research assistants, resident naturalists, and interns, tagged, measured, and identified every plant greater than 10 cm DBH within the plot. The dataset the team created will allow us to monitor how the rainforest at Finca Las Piedras changes over time, from carbon storage to tree growth and mortality to phenology, or the timing of plants’ fruiting and flowering cycles. This is among the first plots of its kind in the region and will allow us to monitor and study the impacts of climate change on the rainforest in the southwestern Amazon.
Stay Updated on Our Work
Saving the Amazon is a team effort. These are our institutional partners in the fight for the rainforest: