Chris Fagan

Author's posts

Peruvian Government Releases Dramatic Video of Isolated Tribes

November, 2011: This recent video is a poignant reminder that the so-called “Uncontacted Indians” of the Peruvian Amazon are voluntarily-isolated: they are little understood, inadequately represented, and often, the least appreciated of the Amazon’s remarkable cultural and natural heritage. Videos like this one, taken in the Manú region, which neighbors the Alto Purús, highlight the importance of protecting the wild places where such tribes still roam. [youtube_sc url=”” width=”500″ autohide=”1″] Following the release of the video, the Peruvian government, under the newly-elected Ollanta Humala, closed this region off to tourists and the general public, in an effort to protect the voluntarily isolated Mascho-Piro people from disease or violence. Roger Rumrill, an advisor to the Peruvian Environment Ministry, said:  “The policy of this government is one of permanent  inclusion …

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UAC Workshops Train Official and Volunteer Park Guards To Patrol Reserves & Protect Natural Resources

August 2011 Together with the Peruvian Park Service, SERNANP, the Upper Amazon Conservancy and its Peruvian partner, ProPurús, have been helping to train official guards of the Alto Purús National Park. We also are the primary supporter and trainer of ‘vigilance committees’ made up of indigenous men and women from local communities surrounding the Park. Thus far, the committees have been a resounding success. Communities learn to patrol their most valuable assets: their natural resources, while at the same time compiling baseline data and information that allows for prosecution of illegal logging and other ilicit activity in these highly sensitive remote areas.   The concept is simple: Together with indigenous leaders, we help train local community guards and give them …

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Upper Amazon Conservancy Investigation Exposes Illegal Logging in Murunahua Reserve

August 2011 Illegal Mahogany Loggers Penetrate Heart of Uncontacted Tribal Reserve in Peru UCAYALI, Peru — An Upper Amazon Conservancy investigation has exposed an illegal logging camp and an expansive network of forest roads along the border of the Murunahua Reserve for Uncontacted Peoples. The road system is part of a greater clandestine network that has been building steadily for the past decade in the Yurua River region of the Amazon headwaters in Peru – threatening the survival of some of the last remaining tribes of uncontacted people on Earth. Upper Amazon Conservancy staff, working together with indigenous leaders, partner NGOs and the Peruvian park service, have repeatedly, and explicitly, documented widespread illegal logging in the reserve and the surrounding region. The Murunahua Territorial Reserve, …

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Upper Amazon Conservancy Leading Research on Peru’s Coca Frontier

July 2011 Upper Amazon Conservancy director Chris Fagan and Professor David Salisbury of the University of Richmond, a member of UAC’s advisory board, recently co-authored a study, published this month in GeoJournal, on the advancing coca frontier in Peru’s Amazon region and its mounting socio-economic and conservation impacts. Peru is now believed to be the world’s largest exporter of coca, the plant used in the production of cocaine. Large-scale coca cultivation is penetrating once remote and isolated areas of the Purús, followed by traffickers who access the backcountry by the same river trails and forest roads used by illegal loggers. The roads and access pave the way for further environmental destruction, settlement and illegal activity, and threaten the sanctity of …

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ProPurús is Born

January 2011 The Upper Amazon Conservancy is excited to announce the creation of ProPurús, its Peruvian partner organization and registered non-profit group that will support our efforts on the ground in Lima and the Upper Amazon region surrounding the Alto Purús National Park. ProPurús will be based in Lima, with field offices in Puerto Esperanza and Puerto Breu on the Alto Purús and Yurúa rivers, respectively. The group will be led by experienced Peruvian conservationist Francisco Estremadoyro, a native of Lima who has for decades has deftly navigated both the concrete jungle of Peru’s sprawling capital city and the real thing in the Amazon basin. Estremadoyro, based in Lima, will work closely with José Borgo, who has spent his life …

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Help Wanted: Join Forces with our Indigenous Partners in the Upper Amazon

August 2011 The Upper Amazon Conservancy and its Peruvian partner, ProPurús, need help. We are a small organization but growing quickly, with an office in Lima and two field offices in the greater Alto Purús region.  We pride ourselves in spending as much time as possible in the field, where we work with local people to understand the social, ethical and environmenal issues facing the region. Our efforts are gaining international attention, we’ve trained dozens of voluntary park guards in the communities surrounding the Alto Purús and our constant, day-to-day presence in these remote areas assures the perserverance and dedication necessary to assure our goals are attained. Right now, we’re actively recruiting graduate students and researchers interested in pursuing research on …

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Narco-Traffickers Threaten Tribes Near Purús

August 2011 “SAO PAULO (AP) — Suspected Peruvian drug traffickers recently overran a base of the National Indian Foundation in a remote region of Brazil’s Amazon, the foundation said Tuesday. The base was “invaded and looted late July by Peruvian drug traffickers” who were armed and chased away members of an isolated tribe living in the area, said the statement from the foundation, which is known as Funai and oversees indigenous issues in Brazil.”   Voluntarily isolated tribes everywhere are facing new and unprecedented pressures – and the region near the Peru-Brazil border, very near to the Purús, has recently come under international scrutiny. As pressure mounts, Peru’s protected areas, including the Alto Purús, will become ever more important. Read a follow-up from …

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