The Rainforest Trust, which from 1988 until last month was known as the World Land Trust-US, has kicked off an effort to preserve some 2.4 million hectares (5.9 million acres) of rainforest in a remote part of the Peruvian Amazon.
The fundraising drive, which aims to raise $2.9 million, is the largest ever for the organization, according to Paul Salaman, Chief Executive Officer of Rainforest Trust.
“Our latest major rainforest preservation project shows that relatively small sums of money can have a powerful and lasting impact on threatened lands and wildlife,” Salaman said. “We work closely with one of Peru’s most successful conservation organizations, CEDIA, to pursue this important initiative. Our largest fundraising campaign to date will save this important area forever.”
The initiative hopes to create a buffer zone around two proposed reserves — White-Sands and Sierra del Divisor — that will link two Matses indigenous reserves in Peru with Vale do Javari Reserve and Serra do Divisor National Park in Brazil. The new reserves and buffer zone would help protect the area — which has some of the most biodiverse forests on Earth — from road and pipeline construction, illegal logging, mining, and oil and gas extraction. The project would also buffer the homeland of 300-400 Iskonawa people who have been living in voluntarily isolation since first European contact in the 16th century.
Peru and Brazil account for the lion’s share of the Amazon rainforest as well as most of the region’s “uncontacted” tribes. The two countries accounted for roughly 77 percent of deforestation that took place in the Amazon between 2008 and 2012.