In the forests that surround the pristine wilderness that is the Tambopata National Reserve, illegal roads built to penetrate the Amazon basin in order to supply fuel and other materials to illegal mining operations are threatening the delicate ecosystem upon which countless species of fauna and flora depend. Illegal logging operations are also reportedly taking advantage of these new access roads cut into the jungle, in order to remove key forest species.
With global warming and mass species extinction threatening to alter forever life as we know it on planet Earth, it has become more important than ever to preserve Peru’s 158 Protected Natural Areas, which in total account for almost 17% of the nation’s national territory. Of the tropical forest ecosystems that ring the planet, forming an increasingly narrow band to either side of the Equator, the jungles of the Amazon basin remain the most extensive and most untouched, in spite of the enormous damage and habitat loss caused over many decades. Unfortunately, in middle income countries like Peru, where there is easy money to be had by carving up the planet’s lungs, local people rarely think twice about exploiting an ecosystem the like of which will never be seen again if it is allowed to disappear.
Tambopata National Reserve, located in the Madre de Dios region of Peru, forms a small part of those vast planetary lungs that maintain the fragile equilibrium of our planet’s atmosphere, making life on Earth possible. And the Reserve faces constant threats from the outside world.
Barges operate along much of the Malinowski River, seeking to illegally extract gold from the region. In recent weeks and months, operations overseen by the Peruvian Navy have seized and destroyed the vessels and equipment used by these clandestine mining operations. But the fight goes on, with more and more such barges being sighted along remote stretches of the Amazon’s watercourses.
At Tambopata Ecolodge, we believe that only through tourism can the struggle be won against those who would destroy the Amazon basin for short term financial gain. By preserving a small part of the Amazon basin, attracting travelers and creating local wealth and employment, our mission is to demonstrate to local people and the rest of the world that the tropical forests which belong to us all are worth more to even the most disadvantaged members of society when they are left to flourish.