What we do

There is no panacea for protecting the Amazon. It is a forest of 5,500,000 km2 (almost 3 times the size of Mexico), home to 30,000,000 people, and occupied by humans for at least 15,000 years. Its languages are as numerous as its security complexities and its wealth in terms of flora and fauna. While it is necessary to embrace the diversity of the Amazon in order to take action, we are working towards the forest's survival from two major strategic axes: improving material conditions (land purchase, promotion of sustainable economy, agroecology, animal protection) and cultural conditions (knowledge exchange, strengthening indigenous pride). We protect both the tree and its roots, from a generational and collaborative perspective.

The lands' economy

  1. Lands are purchased and converted into reserves exclusively for sustainable tourism and native ancestral practices. A landless people is a people without identity, and an Amazon without large territories is doomed to disappear. The following principles guide this fundamental axis of our activity:
    1. Our projects promote a holistic view of the Amazonian problems; it is not enough to declare that a land is protected, for it to be. It would be impossible to deprive the inhabitants of the Amazon of an income, and without lucrative activities, they would turn to the extraction of mineral, fossils, and plants resources. We promote a sustainable tourism, making all the inhabitants (indigenous and non-indigenous) of the Amazon benefit from the economic impact.
    2. Since indigenous peoples are at the origin of indisputable results in terms of heritage’s conservation and maintaining biodiversity, they are allowed to settle on territories acquired by the NGO, on a community life project proposed and endorsed by the executive committee of the “Guardians of the Amazon”.
    3. The priority of land acquisition is given to those lands already owned by private actors, notably cattle farmers. These lands get then abandoned, without reforestation activity, so that nature can regenerate itself. It takes about a decade for an area of at least 10,000 square meters (1 hectare) to be able, once again, to shelter snakes, birds, and perhaps a few felines at nightfall. The land purchased will not be acquired to the detriment of the seller, nor will it be used to generate profits.

Human cultures

  1. The re-appropriation of ancient techniques of forest knowledge and their transmission to people from modernity. For various reasons, many native peoples today no longer have access to the knowledge of their ancestors. Sometimes, out of shame to define themselves as a native people from the Amazon, or sometimes by submission to armed groups or multinationals, due to forced displacement, or even because of the loss of territories, the reasons that affect the cultural survival of indigenous peoples are multiple and unique to each people, each region. However, without a cultural approach, in addition to the economic aspect, safeguarding the Amazon would be a challenge. The improvement of the health of Amazon jungle requires a good psychological and physical balance of its guardians.
    1. We offer knowledge exchanges between indigenous communities. A healthy community can thus inspire and encourage other communities damaged by modernity and violence to recover with pride, happy with their history and their heritage. The majority of projects to help indigenous communities are unaware of this essential aspect: before sowing, you must first ensure that the land is fertile.
    2. Transmission of knowledge and modern experimentation in agroecology, bio construction, technological tools to improve health of fauna and flora. Although the “Guardians of the Amazon” does not believe that the answers to the loss of biodiversity can come through technology, it deeply believes in sharing knowledge and in transmission of scientific knowledge to communities seeking to solve ecological or social problems. For example, a non-Amazonian people, the Koguis of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Colombia), have been warning the world about the risks of global warming since the 1980s. Which does not prevent them from participating in research with the CERN particle accelerator in Geneva.
    3. Thus, in a cultural interbreeding of traditional and Western knowledge, the “Guardians of the Amazon” want to give and receive. Assisted communities must first have decided to help themselves. Indigenous community leaders will be involved in decisions about land use or the direction of the organization's projects. Neither nature nor humans can be treated as objects; our organization moves from words to action, and combines the best of the traditional and modern worlds, because the union of all knowledge and all will is necessary to preserve the Amazon.

The protection of fauna and flora is undoubtedly the primary reason that motivates the action of the “Guardians of the Amazon”. However, we are convinced that the survival of the giant pirarucus of the Amazon River, the fearful anteaters and the nonchalant sloths cannot disregard a precise analysis: why is the Amazon disappearing, and what can we do about it? We believe that changing our perspective, no longer seeing human beings as a problem but on the contrary as a solution, is a step in protecting the largest forest on the planet.