Our Mission: Background Philosophy

The Amazon rainforest has the largest concentration of animal and plant life in the world.  It is also home to hundreds of indigenous groups and tens of thousands of other people who make their living in the forest.

The biggest challenge and opportunity for the Amazon is to transform the vision of development that impacts its water, land, plants, animals and people.  The current model promotes the production of mass commodities.  The new model needs to focus on sustaining diverse human and other biological communities.

One important path to creating a sustainable future for the Amazon is to strengthen its traditional communities.  People who have strong cultural identity, secure control of their land, intimate knowledge of their resources, and fair partnerships to develop their local economy will be strong defenders of the rainforest for the benefit of us all.


The Center for Amazon Community Ecology’s mission is to promote the understanding, conservation, and sustainable development of human and other biological communities in the Amazon region.


Our main goals are to:

  1. Study the ecology, sustainable harvest and marketing of tropical forest products.
  2. Assist forest-based peoples to sustain local resources and strengthen their communities.
  3. Help connect Amazon communities with partners in the U.S. and elsewhere to support forest conservation and other local development goals. 


The main strategies for achieving our goals are research, community support, and education. This will include investigating the ecology and sustainable harvest of non-timber forest products (like resins, fruits and fibers) and assisting indigenous and other forest-based communities to manage and market them to support local development and conservation.  This will require reaching out to and connecting many people and communities in the Amazon and abroad.