TABLE OF CONTENTS
Founder & President
Amazon Aid Foundation
“If you do not understand the significance of what we are about to lose, how can we take action to protect it?”
It has been 20 years since I journeyed to the Peruvian Amazon, a remote and pristine area, the largest piece of contiguous rainforest left on the planet. I traveled with an intrepid group of scientists and it was through the lens of these great tropical ecologists that I began to learn firsthand that the Amazon is one of the most important places for the stability of the planet. Without it the world will forever change.
Now when I travel back to the Amazon I find a very different place. Roads have been built and people have arrived in droves to this once pristine place. It has become a new wild west, a place without law. People driven by poverty and the desire for a better life have come, exploiting the sacred ground for the gifts of our planet’s natural resources. I can no longer travel the rivers without witnessing mass ecological destruction.
I founded Amazon Aid Foundation with the goal of developing a suite of highest-quality educational engagement and delivery assets in order to inspire change to protect the Amazon.
We are constantly adding assets to support our curriculum and social impact campaign. Our goal is to educate and activate the youth, educators, consumers, industry, policymakers, environmental organizations, human rights organizations, science institutions and NGOs to protect the Amazon before it’s too late.
River of Gold, a documentary film by the Amazon Aid Foundation, chronicles the clandestine journey into Peru’s Amazon rainforest to uncover the savage unraveling of pristine jungle.
The film follows the journey of Ron Haviv and Donovan Webster, two war journalists, and their guide, Peruvian environmental activist Enrique Ortiz. The three men bear witness to the wide scale destruction and poisoning of the Amazon in the pursuit of illicitly mined gold with consequences on a global scale. River of Gold affirms the right of the rainforest to exist, inspiring audiences to think about where their gold comes from and engage in solutions to protect the Amazon.
In tandem with the River of Gold documentary film, Amazon Aid has produced a curriculum with our partner Journeys in Film that will amplify the film’s impact and educate students worldwide about the importance of the Amazon and promote working solutions for saving it. The curriculum includes 11 lessons.
Here are a few examples:
Lesson 1: The Hydrological Cycle (Geography, Environmental Science, Biology)
Lesson 2: Introduction to the Amazon Region (Geography, Environmental Science)
Lesson 3: Rainforest Ecology (Geography, Environmental Science)
Lesson 4: The Biodiversity of the Amazon Region (Biology, Environmental Science, Geography)
Lesson 5: Indigenous Amazonia (Geography, Anthropology, World History)
Lesson 6: Satellite Technology and the Rainforest (Biology, Environmental Science, Computer Science)
Social Impact Campaign
Amazon Aid Foundation has partnered with the Abaunza Group, responsible for social impact campaigns of films such as Blood Diamond and Food, Inc. to craft an effective social media campaign for River of Gold. Here are the River of Gold social impact campaign initiatives:
- The Minamata Treaty
- Grassroots Advocacy/Coalition Building
- Peru and South American countries (Amazonia)
- Communication and Outreach
For the first time, resources about the what, why and where of the gold supply chain will be consolidated into one place, providing easy access to the miners and the consumers so they can be part of the movement to demand cleanly sourced gold.
The Resource Guides’ valuable repository of critical information will be produced in tandem with AAF partners, experts, and organizations from around the world to educate a full spectrum of audiences, from industries to the consumer. The issues are complex, and will require a holistic set of solutions to mitigate the situation.
Comprehensive resource research for learning about the Amazon, its people, animals and plants.
Track progress towards AAFs mission to inspire change to protect the Amazon rainforest.
Connect with AAF’s partners and collaborators.
Place to provide giving platforms that benefit reforestation efforts.
A library of multimedia assets designed to educate, activate and protect the Amazon rainforest.
AMAZON AID WEBSITE
Take a deep look into the world of the Amazon Rainforest.
Learn what you can do to help save it.
BE A BETTER CONSUMER
Protect the Amazon and help save our planet by being a mindful consumer.
Buy only what you need, reuse, don’t waste, research the products and pick environmentally friendly, cleaned sourced items that treat workers and living beings fairly and ethically. Learn where your product comes from, and how far it traveled to get there. Determine what natural resources are used and how much energy was needed to produce it. Buy locally and organically. Think renewable. Think clean. Think less. Think with kindness. Think future.
“My consumption impacts myself, my family, my community and the world at large. I consider issues of health, environment, and social responsibility when I make buying decisions.”
– Conscious Consumer
Anthem for the Amazon is a call to action to save the world’s greatest rainforest using the universal language of music.
500 children from 50 different countries around the world came together to sing this global anthem that celebrates the Amazon rainforest, and explains its crucial importance to all living things.
Educational music videos for young children.
What will we see in just a few years?
Each and every day nature disappears.
We’ve got to care for the world we see, she’s got to breathe…
Lyrics for Anthem of the Amazon
Amazon Aid Foundation’s short documentary Mercury Uprising dives into the issues of climate change and continued deforestation of the Amazon rainforest with a focus on the persisting problems of illicit and unregulated gold mining and the devastating effects of mercury, the dangerous toxin used in the mining process.
Through interviews with forests ecologists Tom Lovejoy and Luis Fernandez along with the Peruvian Minister of the Environment Manuel Pulgar-Vidal the audience experiences an eleven-minute visual journey that touches on the importance of the Amazon, the consequences of deforestation and mercury poisoning, and solutions for protecting this critical ecosystem. A collaboration by Amazon Aid and ROTU studios.
“Artisan and small-scale gold mining is now responsible for the number one release of mercury in the world.
More than the total amount released from the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas combined.”
from Mercury Uprising
Amazon Aid Youth Warriors are dedicated to defending and protecting the Amazon rainforest.
Through education, awareness, and advocacy, young people can use the downloadable curriculum and tools available on the Amazon Aid and Journeys in Film website to learn how to take different actions that will support the efforts of organizations and individuals working to stop the destruction of the Amazon – its waterways, land, biodiversity, indigenous peoples – from illicit and unregulated gold mining, deforestation (logging), labor and human rights violations.
Combining website advocacy tools with creative ideas nurtured in the classroom, students can become the environmental crusaders learning how to effect change and help save a part of the world that is crucial to life on this planet.
Educational resources and ways to engage to help protect the Amazon.
Will we choose a world that exploits the innocent, a world of greed, of degradation, of destruction that can ultimately threaten our very existence, or will we decide that the real riches are in living together on this planet – in harmony and with respect for all living things?”
from River of Gold