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Save the Amazon

We've been drawn to this vital rainforest for centuries. It's time to step up to protect it.

© Joshua Bousel/Flickr Creative Commons


A bold plan to protect Amazonia

Amazonia — the forests and wetlands of the Amazon River basin and Guiana Shield in South America — is invaluable to human well-being: We need it to breathe, store carbon and provide critical medicines.

Building on nearly 30 years of working in the Amazon, Conservation International and its partners are pursuing the ambitious goal to achieve zero net deforestation in Amazonia by 2020 to protect essential resources, mitigate climate change and increase prosperity for all people.

10% of species

of the world's known species are found in the Amazon.

20% of fresh water

of the world's fresh water flows through the Amazon River.

1 in 5 breaths

breaths you take (20% of the Earth’s breathable oxygen) is thanks to the Amazon rainforest.

How many acres will you protect?

With just $25, you can help protect an acre of forest.


Partnering with indigenous peoples

A critical part of our strategy to achieve zero net deforestation in Amazonia by 2020 includes supporting conservation by indigenous peoples. Partnering with these local stewards of the forest helps build a stronger foundation for long-term sustainable development that improves community well-being; secures forest resources; and protects against the worst impacts of climate change.


A Kayapo man rests atop a mountain
© Cristina Mittermeier

At least 20% of Amazonia is under the control of indigenous peoples.

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Beams of sunlight pierce the jungle canopy.
© Elfstrom

Worldwide, forests and other ecosystems can provide 30 percent of the solution to climate change.

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Conservation International Office

Where we work

Conservation International has trained, worked with and learned from indigenous peoples for more than 30​ years. To ensure that our work respects the rights and voices of these communities and individuals, Conservation International uses a “rights-based approach,” to respect human rights, protect vulnerable groups and encourage good governance.

1. Aripao, Venezuela

The forest behind your perfume
In Venezuela, Conservation International and partners have helped three villages protect forests and find a crucial source of livelihood amid the country’s economic crisis: a little-known yet ubiquitous ingredient in perfumes.

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2. Central Suriname Nature Reserve

How drones can save rainforests
In Suriname, the world’s most forested country, Conservation International provides drone training for local rangers to monitor the vast tracts of forest they are charged with protecting from illegal logging and gold-mining activities.

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3. Rupununi, Guyana

New hope for farmers facing climate change
In southern Guyana, the Conservation International-supported Rupununi Innovation Fund helps farmers boost their lands’ productivity and build resilience to climate impacts.

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4. Southern Colombia

In the Colombian Amazon, men and women share conservation benefits
Through Conservation International-supported conservation agreements in the Colombian Amazon, communities protect ecosystems and educate others about sustainable fishing practices in exchange for monthly cash benefits used to purchase items such as medicine and boat engines. To determine who decides what to buy, Conservation International staffers recently surveyed several indigenous villages about shifting gender roles.

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5. Northeastern Ecuador

Fighting deforestation in Ecuador
Conservation International partnered with the Ecuadorian government on the Socio Bosque (“Forest Partners”) project, which provides direct economic incentives for landowners and rural communities who voluntarily commit to protecting the forests.

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6. Alto Mayo, Peru

From illegal logger to forest champion
In northwestern Peru, illegal-logger-turned-conservationist Norbil Becerra opened a hummingbird ecotourism center with money out of his own pocket — and a little help from REDD+, an approach proven to prevent the clearing and burning of tropical forests and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions.

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7. Chalalán Ecolodge, Bolivia

Sustainable tourism in Bolivia
In Bolivia, Conservation International teamed up with a Quechua-Tacana indigenous community to create the award-winning Chalalan Ecolodge, a thriving business that provides locals with sustainable jobs and income that depend on keeping the nearby forest healthy.

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8. Carrasco National Park, Bolivia

From machetes to maps: How a red line eased conflict in Bolivias Amazon
After years of dispute on the edge of a national park, Conservation International and government partners helped competing land users find common ground through a map they drew together.

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9. Kayapó Indigenous Lands, Brazil

Brazil’s Kayapó: Stewards of the Forest
The Kayapó maintain legal control over 10.6 million hectares (26.2 million acres) of primary tropical forest and savanna in the Amazon. Conservation International has been working since 1992 to help them protect their land and traditions by strengthening surveillance as well as establishing small sustainable businesses that generate income such as harvesting nuts, copaiba oil, fruit and honey.

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