December Field Update

Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year!

The entire team here at Acaté wishes you a warm and joyous holiday season! As the year draws to a close, we reflect on the enormous strides we have achieved together in our conservation projects in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest.

Together with our partners, the Matsés indigenous people, we are excited to highlight and share with you some of the real progress we have realized in 2013:

  • Launching a program to provide long-term, sustainable revenue from the harvesting of renewable tree resins. Far too often, conservation involves telling communities what not to do, rather than creating viable economic alternatives where few exist. Programs such as the Copaiba Initiative enable Matsés communities to buy everyday items they need for their homes and be free of the destructive and dangerous timber-cutting jobs that would otherwise provide this income. We are proud to report the harvest of the first 50-liters of renewable copaiba resin by Matsés communities of the Chobayacú!
  • Creating the first written compendium of Matsés medicinal plant knowledge. The health of Amazonian peoples has always depended on the healing knowledge of the rainforest passed down through the centuries. It is hard to overstate just how quickly this knowledge is lost in the destabilization that follows outside contact. The Traditional Medicine Encyclopedia, written in the Matsés language, is a tangible first step to preserving the priceless wisdom of the elder shamans, allowing the Matsés to maintain their self-sufficiency and alleviate dependency on the limited external medical resources available to their remote villages!
  • Designing a permaculture farm to innovate approaches for sustainable farming in the Amazon. Small-scale agriculture is responsible for large levels of Amazonian deforestation, but is one of the least addressed issues in conservation today. Acaté and the Matsés people are taking the lead and developed an innovative farm in the village of Estirón to pilot and share approaches that promote nutritional diversity, enhance soil fertility, and abundance! These agricultural techniques seek to modify the slash-and-burn farming practices that no longer work for increasingly permanent and larger settlements.

Please know that your support was critical to the development and to continuance of these innovative initiatives. To this end, we are seeking $3000 to support the next stage of our Copaiba Project. To help us reach this goal, please make a personal contribution today or give the gift of the rainforest to your friends, family and loved ones. All donations are tax-deductible and go directly towards our work in the field.

Happy holidays and best wishes for 2014!

The Acaté Team

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