The Amazon matters. Its forests account for half of the world’s remaining rainforest, 10-15% of the planet’s terrestrial species, and it alone produces 20% of the world's fresh water and 20% of our oxygen—and, of course, the carbon released in its deforestation affects us all. The Purús/Manu region in southeastern Peru specifically is one of the most remote, inaccessible areas remaining in the Amazon—and the world. These upper Amazon watersheds provide water and stable weather for much of South America and include some of the least disturbed forests in the entire basin, areas thought to hold the greatest number of species in the world and the highest concentration of isolated indigenous people on the planet. The legitimate need for social services and economic opportunities in remote towns and villages is driving a contentious battle between expansive development of extractive industries, a range of illegal activities, the associated threats to human rights, and the environment, and the protection of this unique cultural and biological diversity.
Our work in these communities and the landscapes that support them seeks to explore and understand the value and complexity of remote rural life. Their stories, your understanding, and truly informed conversations about these dynamics will empower the fight against all that jeopardizes their quality of life and sovereignty to act as stewards of this Last Wildest Place on Earth.