Sustainable Revenue from the Rainforest
The Matsés live in remote villages deep in the Amazon Rainforest that are difficult to access and cost-prohibitive for commerce with the outside world. Accordingly, Matsés villages have limited economic opportunities and are becoming increasingly dependent on traded goods and extrinsic resources. The younger generations, as in the case with most Amazonian forest tribes, have limited economic alternatives to participation in activities such as logging of valuable hard wood, gold-mining, petroleum exploration and extraction, and the wildlife trade that result in profoundly negative effects on their health, culture, and environment.
Acaté seeks to explore and develop alternative approaches to develop viable long-term projects to generate revenue for Matsés communities and provide alternatives for unsustainable and destructive activities. These include the sustainable harvest and marketing of non-timber forest products with medicinal or cosmetic value, such as copaiba and sangre de grado. We work with the communities to identify and demarcate locations of trees within their territories in addition to collaborating with consultants to develop optimal techniques for sustainable extraction of non-timber forest products. Our team also works to strategize the most cost-effective means of transportation for sending the goods from their remote territories to local markets. Acaté serves as consultants to assist in the development of agreements with local and national buyers for the purchase of the materials.