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Last Wildest Place

Jason Houston | Western Amazon, Peru

Pet howler monkey. This Chitonahua community was first contacted in the mid-1990s by loggers and soon after by Catholic missionaries. Their experience with the loggers was essentially one of slavery, with men forced to work in exchange for basic food and things like clothing they didn't want. Attempts to escape were met with violence. Illness also followed, as it usually does, as well as conflicts with other recently contacted tribes. Yurúa River, Peru.

The Amazon matters. Its forests account for half of the world’s remaining rainforest, and it alone produces 20% of the world's fresh water and 20% of our oxygen. The Purús/­Manu region in southeastern Peru specifically is one of the most remote, inaccessible areas remaining in the Amazon—and the world—and includes some of the least disturbed forests in the entire basin and the highest concentration of isolated indigenous people on the planet. The legitimate need for social services and economic opportunities in remote towns and villages is driving a contentious battle between expansive development of extractive industries, a range of illegal activities, the associated threats to human rights, the environment, and the protection of this unique cultural and biological diversity.

Our work in these communities and the landscapes that support them seeks to explore and understand the value and complexity of remote rural life. We work in and with the local indigenous communities to empower them to fight against all that jeopardizes their quality of life and sovereignty to act as stewards of this Last Wildest Place on Earth.

Chris Fagan (Executive Director, Upper Amazon Conservancy)

Upper Amazon Conservancy with support from many indeginious and other Peruvian NGOs.

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