Upper Amazon Conservancy Making Headlines

June 2011

The Upper Amazon Conservancy prides itself on the time it spends in the field, working hand in hand with indigenous groups, local community leaders and the Peruvian Park Service. UAC’s grassroots efforts are increasingly attracting the attention of a range of media outlets, from  National Geographic to the Miami Herald, allowing us to help raise awareness of issues effecting the Purús, its unspoiled ecosystems and the voluntarily-isolated tribes of the region.

Our efforts are paying off.

From National Geographic :

“Peru says it will bolster protections for uncontacted tribes roaming the deep Amazon after a public row erupted last week that sent indigenous affairs officials scrambling for cover.

The debate began in recent days after officials from the outgoing administration of president Alan Garcia let slip a series of statements hinting at plans to modify—and perhaps even revoke—protected status for two so-called territorial reserves set aside for isolated indigenous groups and the rain forest that harbors them.

As many as 15 nomadic or seminomadic indigenous groups are believed to inhabit remote stretches of eastern Peru in willful isolation from the rest of the world. They figure among the very last uncontacted tribes on Earth. That’s not an arbitrary number; it’s based on extensive documentation of sightings of furtive tribespeople or the vestiges they leave behind—footprints, spears, ceramic pots, shelters—as they move through the forest.”

From the Miami Herald:

Industrial logging is pushing ever deeper into the area, making mahogany the leading front in the ever-growing battle for control of the resource-rich Peruvian Amazon. But the threat goes far beyond any single species, said Chris Fagan, director of the Upper Amazon Conservancy.

Deforestation and the quickly advancing logging frontier have forced still-uncontacted people into violent conflict with settlers, while threatening the sanctity of one of the last, most bio-diverse places on Earth. And scientists fear for the region’s vast forests, which act as an enormous sponge, soaking in the pollutants responsible for climate change.

“This isn’t just about mahogany anymore,” Fagan said. “The world has a stake in what is happening here.”


For more information on the Upper Amazon Conservancy’s programs, or to talk directly with a member of our staff, contact Chris Fagan at email hidden; JavaScript is required.


To read more about the Upper Amazon Conservancy and its work in Peru, see our FACT SHEET (PDF 412K) or visit our website at www.upperamazon.org.



UAC Response to Wikileaks Cable on Peruvian Mahogany

March 2011

A cable leaked on February 2nd through Wikileaks reveals that, in 2006, the Peruvian government reported 70‐90% of its mahogany exports were illegally harvested using “document falsification, timber extraction outside the concession boundaries and links to bribes.” Instead of following laws limiting mahogany extraction to commercial concessions, INRENA (Peru’s former National Institution for Natural Resources) sources, including the then‐US ambassador James Struble, documented illegal loggers taking advantage of indigenous communities by paying below‐market prices for mahogany within their reserves. The leak also exposed that INRENA knew 60% of its commercial mahogany concessions failed to meet management standards and that no concessions met high management standards.

The government responded in El Comercio on March 4th dismissing the relevance of the leaks, saying they are “old practices” from 2006 and that the problem of illegal logging has since been eliminated.

UAC believes the statements made by the government in El Comercio are 100% incorrect. Minister of Environment Antonio Brack’s declaration that “every cut mahogany log is controlled and georeferenced” is simply false. UAC reports from 2009 and 2010 document logging camps extracting mahogany trees in protected areas and indigenous lands. Illegal logging is a problem now more than ever.

Related Links:

The leaked cable.

The Peruvian Government response.

Survival International’s article on the leaks.

El Mundo (a Spanish newspaper) response:



Incredible New Photos of Voluntarily Isolated Tribe on Brazil-Peru Border

 February 2011

Astonishing aerial photos and video of voluntarily isolated tribes take near Brazil-Peru border.

See links below:

Miami Herald Reports on Mahogany Logging in Purús Region

November 2010

See the story in The Miami Herald, including an interview with Upper Amazon Conservancy Director Chris Fagan, here.


The Upper Amazon Conservancy’s investigations are part of a larger effort here to protect the greater Alto Purus ecosystem; one of the wildest places left on the planet – home to still undocumented species of plants and wildlife, voluntarily-isolated peoples and a carbon sink of international significance.

To read more about the Upper Amazon Conservancy and its work in Peru, see our FACT SHEET (PDF 412K).

For more information, contact Chris Fagan at email hidden; JavaScript is required or Francisco Estremadoyro at email hidden; JavaScript is required, or see our website at www.upperamazon.org.

UAC Overflights Reveal Illegal Settlements in Park; Seed Project Underway

August 2010

Click on links below to find out more.

Illegal Mahogany Logging Continues in the Murunahua Uncontacted Reserve

July 2010

Read the full press release below:

Read Survival International’s Response to the Upper Amazon Conservancy’s Work here.

Oil Companies Banned From Uncontacted Tribes’ Reserve

May 2010

Read the Press Release from Survival International here.


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