For centuries, the Matsés have been locked in conflict with outsiders encroaching on their lands set on resource extraction, from the rubber barons of old to modern-day multinational petroleum corporations and timber mafias. This project will empower the Matsés to continue to preserve their forest for future generations.
Due to the size and remoteness of the rainforest the Matsés protect it is difficult to identify and respond to incursions in a timely manner. With the impending construction of a road that will pass right by their Northern border it is imperative that the Matsés are prepared to respond to this new threat. Acaté is providing Matsés with communication equipment, monitoring tools, and training courses so that they can detect illegal incursions from timber cutters, illegal settlers, and bushmeat hunters. This program is a continuation of Acate’s five-year Ancestral Mapping Project that trained the Matsés in the use of GPS units, GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software, and map-making. The next stage involves the implementation of an Action Plan recently developed by Matsés leaders to monitor and protect their rainforests through an enhanced and sophisticated communication network between the geographically distant villages, establishment of monitoring stations at sensitive areas, use of camera traps to detect illegal bush-meat hunting and timber loss.