The primary target of the co-operative is to ensure long term protection of the remaining rainforest. At the time the co-operative was founded, the conservation area was only accessible by boat. In 1997, however, petroleum companies built an access road despite fierce local resistance. Since then, we have to deal with poachers, loggers and gold seekers.
To safeguard our forest, we employ three local rangers, who live on our lands with their families and patrol the forest on a daily basis. Their success immediately catches the eye: In other areas, precious woods and tall trees have largely disappeared from the side of the road. Within the border of our protective forest however, mahogany trees (swietenia macrophylla) are still standing next to the road, the forest is dense and provides home to monkeys, jaguars and parrots.
It is however not our primary target to keep the local population off the protected forest. Quite the opposite: We are convinced that people will be much more willing to respect and protect the forest if they perceive the benefit of an intact rainforest. Thus, we want to proof that a sustainable use of the rainforest is feasible. If the rainforest is sustainably managed, it offers the local population a far greater long-term benefit than if it is cleared and the land is used as pasture for a few years. To foster the awareness for sustainable forest management, we are implementing the following measures:We actively engage in environmental education:
- The knowledge about the rainforest and its products shall be passed down from generation to generation.
- Sustainable harvesting and commercialization of medical plants and fruits is being promoted.
- We generate income and offer employment opportunities in eco-tourism, at the eco-hotel Liana lodge, the jungle lodge Runa Wasi and the wildlife rehabilitation centre AmaZOOnico.