See the forest through the trees

Founded: 1988

Mission: Ensuring the future of tropical rainforests through practical solutions and with respectful commitment to local people.

Why: Nearly half of the world’s species live in tropical rainforests. Rapid forest destruction places millions of species at risk of extinction within our lifetime. All future generations depend upon us to save the natural world for their use and enjoyment.

Threats: Logging, clearing for agriculture, unsustainable hunting, fishing and extraction of plants and animals, charcoal production, pollution, mining and exploration and extraction of oil.

Where: RCF’s primary work is in and around the 1,000,000 acre Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Communal Conservation Area (ACRCTT) in the Amazon basin of northeastern Peru. The ACRCTT is one of the largest protected areas in Peru and one of the most biologically diverse places on earth, with river dolphins, manatees, 14 species of monkeys, jaguars, and thousands of species of birds, bats, fish, snakes, plants, fungi, etc., many of which have not yet been “discovered” by modern science.

View ARCTT Area, Loreto Peru in a larger map

How: RCF works with local people and governments to promote conservation and provide alternatives to environmentally destructive practices. The people living along the rivers subsist primarily by fishing, limited hunting and non-mechanical “garden” agriculture. RCF works with the villagers to:

  • Practice sustainable agriculture and agroforestry on previously degraded land in a “buffer zone” adjacent to the conservation area (ACRCTT)
  • Develop sustainable income sources to decrease the need to extract lumber, fruits, fish and animals from the ACRCTT and buffer zone
  • Prevent outsiders from extracting from ACRCTT and buffer zone and enforce communal agreements among the villages, which limit extraction to sustainable levels
  • Provide formal and practical conservation and environmental education in community schools and to adults in the villages near the ACRCTT
  • Provide medical supplies, education, family planning and reproductive health services

Success: Many local villagers are now organized and committed to protecting the ACRCTT and buffer zone. They work very closely with RCF extension workers who provide resources, expertise, transportation, and education. As a result of the communal organization and commitment, the ACRCTT has been selected as the “pilot” program and model for future protected areas in northern Peru.

RCF Board of Directors

James Penn, Ph.D

Jonathan Green, Ph.D.

Director of Education
Joy Schochet, Ph.D.

Michael Gilmore
Chris Miller
Greg Neise


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