The Amazonian Hero, Victor Zambrano
Having a good conversation and listening to the real story of a place is important to any sort of travel. Cue: Local hero, Victor Zambrano. He dedicated his life to the restoration of natural forests and well being of local communities in the MadreDeDios region of the Peruvian Amazon.
What would it be like to live in and be brought up in and around the Amazon Basin, in Madre de Dios? Close to the forests and its people. Victor Zambrano had this privilege. And he gave back to his terra madre by dedicating his life to the restoration of the natural forests in this part of Peru’s South-Eastern Amazon where he developed a socio-economically productive and ecologically stable landscape. After 24 years in the military, he returned to Madre de Dios, settling down at the global epicenter of biodiversity, the Tambopata River. But what he found here was illegal gold mining, oil and gas works, illegal timber harvesting , highway construction, etc. People who belonged there were leaving. Wildlife and nature was in danger. And so began his hardwork of reforestation, in 1987. He planted more than 19,000 trees of over 120 species in a 34 hectare area. It was only in 2013 that he was able to get this land legally for long-term protection.This is the K’erenda Homet Private Conservation Concession. But his work hasn’t stopped there, he has trained local families and organizations in environmentally sound agriculture and is the creator of the first agroforestry initiative here. He created an alliance to protet the Tambopata National Reserve, too which united indigenous people, environmental and agrarian organisations for the protection of this region. He was successfully able to reduce gold mining and improve the conditions of the local communities. But hey, let him tell you all about it when he meets you on your journey through his land.
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