Skoll Foundation


Amazon Conservation Team

Skoll Awardee(s): Mark Plotkin and Liliana Madrigal
Award Year: 2008
Issue Area(s) Addressed: Environmental Sustainability

(Click here to print)

“The only way to truly preserve the rainforests of the Amazon – including their rich biodiversity and culture – is to enlist the assistance of the people who actually live there. Indigenous peoples know, manage, and protect the rainforest far better than we do. By respecting their knowledge and giving them the tools they need to enforce their legal rights, we can protect the greatest expression of life on Earth.”

Sub-Issue: Arresting Deforestation The Amazon forests – the lungs of the world – are being destroyed at an alarming rate.

Impact since joining the portfolio in 2008:

  • In partnership with local indigenous groups, completed ethnographic and land use mapping of more than 70 million acres of Amazon rainforest lands, laying the groundwork for forest management plans and improved protection, and improving monitoring on 38 million of those acres to date.
  • Trained more than 125 indigenous persons as park guards with technical and communications skills to enable their communities to work with state and national government in land management.
  • Facilitated national registration of 30 indigenous associations in three countries.
  • Worked with the government of Colombia to expand Chiribiquete National Park from 12,990 to 27,808 square kilometers, making it one of the biggest protected areas in the Amazon, including areas inhabited by two voluntarily isolated tribes potentially at risk from oil exploration and mining.



© 2015 Skoll Foundation.