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=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYaqGiCgoWc” 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 of indigenous peoples, of commitment to their social demands, including territorial demands, education, and health care. It’s diametrically opposed to the previous government.”
The Upper Amazon Conservancy and its Peruvian partner ProPurús are committed to working together with local indigenous communities and the Peruvian government, to help ensure a sustainable future for these voluntarily isolated tribes and this last, wildest place on the planet.
To read more about the video and recent events at National Geographic News, click here