Camino Verde’s work is focused in the Tambopata river basin in the departamento of Madre de Dios, Peru. The land we protect is found within the designated buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve, one of the region’s various important protected areas.
The blue marks on the map show the position of our conservation area / reforestation center in relation to the region’s capital. (Maps can also be found for our Living Seed Bank and Conservation of Primary Forests.) mapa ampliado.
The department of Madre de Dios’s position adjacent to the Andes and mountain weather patterns make for unique microclimates home to hundreds of endemic (only occurring here) species. Home to Manu National Park, Peru’s largest wilderness area and a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, the region contains many highlights in one of the most important conservation corridors in South America. Even for the Amazon, the Madre de Dios region is stunningly biodiverse and extraordinarily fragile.
The basin of the Tambopata River forms part of the most impressively bio-diverse Hotspot on Earth, according to Conservation International. (More information on the Tropical Andes biodiversity hotspot here.)
Just a few of the biodiversity superlatives garnered by this region:
- “The Tambopata National Reserve… combined with the adjacent Bahuaja Sonene National Park and the Madidi National Park in Bolivia, these sister reserves protect a scarcely inhabited tropical rain forest the size of Belgium (over 3,000,000 hectares or 30,000 square kilometers)” –Rainforest Expeditions
- “Peru holds the world record for number of bird species seen in a single day without the help of motorized vehicles, with 331 birds at Cocha Cashu in southeast Peru [in Manu National Park].” –Peru Tourism Bureau (The total number of bird species for Tambopata is more than double that: 670 species)
“The biological diversity found in Manú National Park exceeds that of any other place on Earth.” –UNESCO World Heritage Centre
- Close to 200 recorded species of mammals, over 100 species of reptile and amphibian, and over 1000 species of butterfly
- 20,000 species of plants!
- More tree species present in a few square kilometers of forest than in all of North America or Europe
Sadly, the region’s forests and rivers face increasing pressures from migratory agriculture, irresponsible lumber extraction and reckless gold mining. The construction of the Inter-Oceanic Highway, linking Brazilian commerce to Peru’s pacific ports, threatens Madre de Dios with ecological devastation and yet offers the historically isolated region its first real opportunity for trade and economic development. The double edged sword of the highway’s construction, which is already underway, necessitates careful assessment and protection of economic and ecological resources; unfortunately, little research has been applied or concrete legislature honored in defense of the region’s green treasures.
Camino Verde is positioned within one of the Earth’s last remaining tropical forest regions to be left untouched by global commerce. It is our mission to play an active role in the defense of biodiversity and the improvement of the quality of life of local people through fair and sustainable means.
About Madre de Dios:
- Area: 85,182 sq km (32,889 sq miles), roughly the size of South Carolina or Austria
6.6% of the total territory of Peru
- Considered Peru’s fastest growing region in terms of population}Population recorded in the 2005 census: 92,024
- Population as given unofficially by the regional government in 2008: 110,000
- Population of Puerto Maldonado alone, given unoficially in 2011: 104,000
- Neighbors: the Peruvian departments of Cusco, Puno, and Ucayali; Pando, Bolivia; Acre, Brazil
About the Peruvian Amazon:
- Total area: 763,819 sq km (294,910 sq m), an area bigger than Texas, equivalent to the size of Chile or Turkey
- 57.6% of the total territory of Peru
- 13.2% of the total Amazon forest
- 7.3% of the planet’s rainforests
- Contains the departments of Loreto, Madre de Dios, and Ucayali, and parts of the departments of Amazonas, Cajamarca, Cusco, Huánuco, Junin, Pasco and San Martín
See Wikipedia´s entry on the Peruvian Amazon.