AMAZON CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

aka Amazon Conservation   |   Washington, DC   |  www.amazonconservation.org

Mission

We unite science, innovation, and community to protect the western Amazon—the greatest wild forest on Earth.

Ruling year info

2000

Executive Director

John Beavers

Main address

1012 14th Street NW Suite 625

Washington, DC 20005 USA

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EIN

52-2211305

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Forest Conservation (C36)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Amazon Rainforest plays a critical role as a carbon sink, mediator of the global water cycle and cradle of biodiversity. Massive loss of the Amazon rainforest would have catastrophic consequences not only for the 30+ million people living in the region but also for the planet. Illegal mining, an encroaching agricultural frontier, expanding infrastructure projects like poorly-planned roads, and illegal logging are some of the key factors that threaten the integrity of the forests of the Amazon and the species that call it home. Climate change will exacerbate the impacts from the threats in the region. Research shows that the Amazon is reaching a tipping point due to deforestation where it will no longer be able to produce its own rainfall, resulting in large swathes of the forest become a savanna. The Amazon still maintains vast tracts of intact, mega-diverse, and carbon-rich forests that need to be protected in the face of these escalating threats.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Overview of our Programs

Our holistic approach focuses on empowering people, protecting wild places and putting science and technology to work.

1. Empowering People
As a trusted partner, we work hand-in-hand with communities, governments, and indigenous peoples to provide technical support, innovative tools, and technology to ensure enduring conservation solutions. We help communities implement profitable and sustainable forest-friendly businesses. Finally, we train the next generation of conservationists at our three research stations and beyond.

2. Protecting Wild Places
Currently, we safeguard over 4.8 million acres of wild forest in the most biodiverse place on Earth. The altitudinal range of this area provides a living laboratory for understanding and mitigating the effects of climate change. We protect this forest by creating and supporting a network of public and privately owned lands, which maintain the connection among vital habitats and increase the chance for species to survive.

3. Put Science and Technology to Work for Conservation
Science informs our conservation actions. We harness the power of satellite and drone technology to detect and stop deforestation across the western Amazon in Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador. We manage one of the most important networks of biological stations in the tropics, which are hubs for research and discovery. Our science provides key information that governments and communities need to make decisions and take action.

Population(s) Served

Amazon Conservation works to support local communities’ abilities to earn a living while protecting their natural resources.

Amazon Conservation seeks out and supports initiatives that serve the dual purpose of protecting biodiversity while improving the well-being and economic stability of local peoples. We support sustainable livelihoods in their full cycle, from growing and harvesting forest products to strengthening organizational and business skills to making market connections. This holistic approach enables us to ensure the process is truly sustainable.

We support community-based reforestation and agroforestry (agriculture incorporating the cultivation and conservation of trees), Brazil nut and açaí harvesting (nut-producing trees only grow in healthy forests), native fish farming, and community-based ecotourism. Every day, we work alongside forest producers, local farmers, families, communities, and indigenous groups to improve their livelihoods by building their capacity to sustainably manage and conserve the forests they call home.

Amazon Conservation also leads several high-impact environmental education programs for children in Peru and Bolivia. We have educated hundreds of students on the importance and value of the Amazon and the species that live there. We use a broad spectrum of tools to engage and inspire them, including drawing competitions, mask-making contests, and using technology like camera traps to find and identify animals. By teaching kids about environmental protection early on, we not only inspire and train these conservationists of tomorrow, but they become the messengers of today by sharing this knowledge at home, affecting a change in attitude across all generations.

Aside from educating school-aged children, we also provide scholarships for young biologists to conduct field studies at our research stations in Peru. Most Peruvian university students lack access to funding for their fieldwork required to obtain a biology degree. Scholarships like ours fill a critical gap and help build a local community of active conservation scientists and practitioners.

Population(s) Served

Our founding began with innovation when we established the first conservation concession in the world, Los Amigos, deep in the Peruvian Amazon, in an area where illegal gold mining runs rampant. We have been protecting Los Amigos’ 360,000 acres (145,000 hectares) of Amazonian forest that was once a logging concession for two decades now. This innovative conservation model we created, where a national government relies on a private partner such as ourselves to manage public land for conservation, has been successfully applied elsewhere in the region and around the world.

Our conservation efforts now directly protect over 4.8 million acres of wild places in the most biodiverse place on Earth: where the Andes Mountains meet the Amazon Rainforest. Amazon Conservation protects these vital ecosystems by creating, supporting, and managing protected areas. Creating these conservation areas is a multi-step, multi-year, complex process involving partnerships between ourselves, regional governments, and local communities.

Our impact also goes beyond the boundaries of these conservation areas we help create and manage. We work in the buffer zones of major national parks and indigenous reserves to strengthen their management and protect them against external threats. We also work in the vast land between conservation areas to ensure connectivity between them. In other words, we ensure animals can move across uninterrupted patches of tropical forests, which is vital for the preservation and survival of species.

Population(s) Served

Amazon Conservation believes the world’s most diverse forests should also be its best-studied. To this end, we own and manage three of the tropics’ most premier research stations in Peru (Los Amigos Research Station, Villa Carmen Research Station, and Wayqecha Cloud Forest Research Station) where each year we host hundreds of scientists and students from all over the world, conduct biological monitoring, and provide workshops and educational opportunities for local communities. By hosting and facilitating a broad spectrum of research projects, we help progress the world’s knowledge of biodiversity in the Amazon. Courses from renowned universities are also hosted every year, enabling students to get firsthand experience in the field. In addition, our Wayqecha Cloud Forest Biological Station is Peru’s only permanent research center focused on Andean cloud forest ecology and management, making it an essential part of the research circuit in the country.
Amazon Conservation also supports operations for two research stations in Bolivia (Tahuamanu Research Station and Santa Rosa del Abuná Research Station), which are growing to become important centers for tropical research in the Bolivian Amazon.
Aside from advancing science through the work done at our research stations, we use scientific methods to deploy the latest in technology to understand biodiversity in the Amazon as well as stop threats to the rainforest.
We use camera trap technology to document wildlife presence, abundance, and population changes, particularly in the face of deforestation and habitat destruction. Our camera trap program deploys this image- and video-capturing technology in key areas in Peru and Bolivia to help us understand the health of the Amazon and the species that inhabit it. To date we have collected over 10,000 photos and videos showing the movement of the species in their natural habitat. We have identified over a dozen endangered species (according to the IUCN Red List) in the areas we help protect.
Protecting the health of the Amazon also requires understanding the larger forces at work in the region, identifying trends, and exposing threats as they emerge and develop. Our real-time deforestation monitoring system merges a number of cutting-edge technologies to monitor deforestation in the Andean Amazon as it happens. Through our Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP), we acquire high-resolution satellite imagery from several sources (including NASA), analyze them, and translate this technical information about deforestation into an accessible, easy-to-understand format to inform policy makers, civil society, the media, and the general public in a timely manner. We also operate the Southwest Amazon Drone Center, which provides local people the training and tools needed to use state-of-the-art drone technology to detect and report deforestation on the ground. The Center trains and certifies members of the community, private sector, and government officials in remote sensing tools, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), to monitor deforestation in tropical forests. Through sharing crucial data on the increasing threats affecting the western Amazon, we help shape the changes in policy and practice that minimize future deforestation and promote conservation.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Accreditations

Charity Navigator 2013

Awards

One of the Best Small Nonprofits 2009/2010 2009

Catologue for Philanthropy Greater Washington

4 Star Rating 2013

Charity Navigator

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of acres of land protected

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of acres protected through the creation and/or management of conservation areas in Peru and Bolivia

Acres of land that gain formal protection status

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

To date number of new protected areas we helped establish in Peru and Bolivia with support from local communities and governments.

Number of trees planted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of trees we planted to date, using our community-based reforestation methods, to restore damaged habitats

Number of IUCN Red List species with habitats in areas affected by operations

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of endemic and/ or endangered species protected that have been identified in the areas we help safeguard.

Number of species in collection

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of species cataloged in our three research stations in Peru

Number of carbon emissions prevented (estimated by CO2 equivalent)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of Mg C stored in the ground in the conservation areas we helped establish and maintain

Number of farmers given information about key markets

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Estimated number of individual farmers/ forest users who were connected to markets to sell their sustainable products, raising their income

Number of press articles published

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of articles written about our organization raising awareness of the issues in the Amazon

Number of people trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Estimated number of individuals trained to date on conservation best practices

Number of training workshops

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of training workshops/ event/ classes held to educate forest users, children, educators, policymakers, judges, and other stakeholders on conservation best practices

Number of briefings or presentations held

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of public real-time deforestation monitoring analyses and private briefings developed and distributed to expose deforestation in the Amazon and drive action on the ground

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of individuals directly benefiting from the conservation areas we helped establish and maintain

Number of industry standards/practices developed by nonprofit

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Our two innovative models: our conservation concession model and our real-time deforestation monitoring system

Number of acres of deforestation exposed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of acres of deforestation exposed using our real-time deforestation monitoring system of satellites and drones

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our vision is simple: we work toward creating a thriving Amazon that sustains the full diversity of life. We use our holistic approach focusing on people, nature, and innovation to create enduring conservation solutions to protect this vital place for all of humanity.

Amazon Conservation employs four major strategies to conserve the variety of life found in the headwaters of the Amazon:

1. Working with partners at the national, regional, and local levels, we establish protected areas. The more habitat we can protect, the more we can preserve for future generations, as conserving land around and between protected areas effectively extends their protective benefits. Doing this provides additional defense against encroaching threats, safeguards critical waterways and watersheds, and expands the habitat available to roaming wildlife. We also rehabilitate degraded forest by planting tree seedlings grown in Amazon Conservation-sponsored community tree nurseries.

2. Using the latest in satellite and drone technology, we analyze threats to the Amazon (such as mining, logging, dams, fires, agriculture at the expense of primary forest, oil and gas development, and road construction) in order to better understand them and develop appropriate policy solutions. Monitoring and mapping real-time deforestation lays the groundwork for finding and helping deploy effective solutions we can promote locally, nationally, and internationally.

3. We assist communities in achieving economic self-sufficiency while keeping forests intact. Sustainable livelihoods encompass a variety of activities including Brazil nut and açaí harvesting, fish farming, ecotourism (such as crafting and selling handicrafts made from dyes and materials from the forest), and agroforestry (agriculture incorporating the cultivation and conservation of trees).

4. We rely on science to inform our work and train the next generation of conservationists, both locally (though school field trips for Peruvian students and scholarships for Peruvian university students), and internationally (through hosting study abroad courses). Amazon Conservation research stations are the centerpiece of our science and education work, but research and education are critical components in projects from the Andes to the Amazon.

Amazon Conservation has been a pioneer in conserving forests since 1999, and has a proven track record of empowering people, protecting wild places and putting science and technology to work for conservation.

Our founding program provided support for Brazil nut harvesters in Peru as an incentive for protecting the forest. Amazon Conservation is responsible for creating the world’s first private conservation concession in 2001, a 360,000 acre reserve on government land that Amazon Conservation protects and manages for conservation. Amazon Conservation also supported the creation and management of Peru’s first conservation concession managed by an indigenous community. In total, we now protect over 4.8 million acres of forest.

Our 3 research stations act as hubs for science and discovery in the Amazon. They also protect over 10,000 acres of Amazonian forests, much of which is also designated protected conservation areas, and buffer critical protected areas in the landscape. These stations provide us with a constant presence where it’s needed most - in the field - that few international nonprofits possess.

Amazon Conservation’s vast technology for conservation programming has become essential for deforestation monitoring and on-the-ground responses to threats against the Amazon. We have developed over 100 publicly-available reports and over 50 policy briefs to provide real-time deforestation analysis to policymakers, local authorities, and the general public, empowering them with the information and data needed to take action.

Our extensive work in the region has provided us with a network of local partners within multiple government agencies at the local, regional and national levels that are essential to achieving conservation goals. Through our partnerships, we have created new protected areas; prevented, minimized, and stopped deforestation; supported sustainable livelihoods that earn communities an income while protecting forest; and supported scientific research projects that measure everything from climate change impacts to bird behavior.

We operate as an alliance with two sister organizations in Peru and Bolivia who implement our projects on the ground. Through this alliance, we have built invaluable long-term relationships with local stakeholders and became part of the Amazonian communities we support. With 101 employees across 7 offices in the US, Peru and Bolivia, we ensure that our local solutions are serving the unique needs of the western Amazon while keeping an eye out for new technology and scientific discoveries on a global scale.

Amazon Conservation has a 20-year history in the region, strong local and regional support, and an unwavering commitment to continuing to work in this vital area, making us well-positioned to continuing and scaling our conservation efforts in the western Amazon.

Amazon Conservation measures its impact across the land we protect, awareness we build, communities we serve, and research and education we provide. Some highlights of our success on the ground include:
- Benefitted over 17,000 individuals who live in the conservation areas we helped create and maintain.
- Helped establish the Haramba Queros Ecological Preserve, the world's first indigenous conservation concession managed by an indigenous group.
- Trained over 1,000 harvester families in the sustainable harvesting of Brazil nuts and their post-production. We also have assisted communities as they formed associations to sell Brazil nuts and other forest-friendly products and handicrafts.
- Developed a program to address human-jaguar conflicts in Bolivia, providing education and outreach programs to nearly 500 adults and children to dispel myths and create wildlife management alternatives.
- Protected 4.8 million acres of forests and wild places in the western Amazon through helping create and maintain conservation areas.
- Established the Los Amigos Conservation Concession, the world’s first conservation concession, protecting 360,000 acres of forests and creating a conservation model that is now implemented in other areas of the Amazon and the world.
- Built Peru’s first permanent research center focused on Andean cloud forest ecology.
- Created a real-time deforestation monitoring system using satellite technology to detect, analyze, and expose deforestation as it happens. Our MAAP program uses cutting-edge satellite information from a variety of sources, including NASA, to analyze and spread deforestation information to arm policymakers and the interested public with data to advocate policy solutions.
- Developed the Southwest Amazon Drone Center, which has trained over 100 community members, government officials, and forest users in using drone technology to find and expose illegal deforestation.
- Providing real-time policy briefs on deforestation happening in the Amazon, we help local governments local and take action against illegal deforestation.
- Collecting data about mammal, bird, insect, and plant species in our research station, registering over 6,900 species within their borders.

Amazon Conservation's goals for 2020 include:
- Complete and launch Amazon Conservation's new strategic plan to take our conservation work to scale in the western Amazon.
- Expand our work with indigenous communities in Peru and Bolivia to help improve their land and resource rights and capacity to protect their lands.
- Grow our real-time deforestation monitoring program with partners in the Western Amazon to monitor and address key threats including fire and deforestation from agricultural clearing.
- In key protected areas we support, begin establishing climate resilience and adaptation plans to address the impacts from a changing climate including fires and flooding.

Financials

AMAZON CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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AMAZON CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

Board of directors
as of 11/7/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Jeff Woodman


Board co-chair

Jim Brumm

Adrian Forsyth

Andes Amazon Fund

Miles Silman

Wake Forest University

Sarah duPont

Amazon Aid Foundation

Enrique Ortiz

Andes Amazon Fund

Bruce Babbitt

Former US Secretary of Interior

Steve Voorhees

Teichos Energy

Kathy Ruttenberg

Artist

Thomas Lovejoy

George Mason University

Amy Rosenthal

The Field Museum

Pedro Solano

SPDA (the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law)

Eduardo Forno

Conservation International Bolivia

Jeff Woodman

Conservationist

Doug Sarnos

Forum Facilitation Group

Jim Brumm

Glastonbury Commons Ltd

Manuel Pulgar Vidal

WWF

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No