The Amazon basin is the largest continuous tropical forest on earth and encompasses about seven million km², inhabited by a unique mixture of indigenous cultures. Amazonia is also home to over one-third of the Earth's known species, and as such is one of the most critical reservoirs of biodiversity on the planet. However, large areas of this forest have been degraded to some degree by the overexploitation of natural resources, threatening biodiversity, as well as the traditional societies relaying on the forest to obtain their livelihoods. Local involvement in monitoring is crucial to empower and enable local people to make sustainable decisions regarding use of resources.
Fundación Entropika was established in 2007 by a group of dedicated conservationists, from varying backgrounds, based in Amacayacu National Park in the south of the Colombian Amazon. Entropika aims to contribute to the long-term conservation of tropical biodiversity by facilitating local community-led projects, establishing programmes of education, animal welfare, waste management and research, whilst working closely with indigenous people to tackle conservation issues and improve local living standards. We work with the indigenous communities of the Amazonian border between Colombia and Peru and in the city of Leticia, capital of the Colombian Amazon, whose population is in its majority composed out of indigenous people We specialise in law enforcement to eradicate the trafficking of wildlife in the tri-border area between Colombia, Peru and Brazil.
To find out more about who we are, what we do and how you can help, please explore the site. If you have any queries, suggestions or ideas, please get in touch via our "Contact us" page.
Members (in alphabetical order)
Click on the picture of the member to see their CV.
Daniel Aristizabal - BA, MA , Sociologist, Colombia
He has a Masters in development studies from the Institute for Social Studies of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from York University. His MA research focused on the rights to self-determination of the only recognized indigenous group of the Colombian Amazon in voluntary isolation. He was a volunteer in Brazil and then for Fundación Entropika during 2008. In 2011 he was part of the professional team of the Amacayacu National Natural Park and in 2013 he was in charge of writing the national policy for the protection of isolated indigenous people. His interests lie in finding bridges for the intercultural management of the Amazon, especially regarding the relationships between conservation, traditional practices, productive alternatives and cultural changes.
María José Bermudez - BA, MA (c), Journalist, Colombia
Student of Communication for Development at the University of La Sabana, Chia, Colombia. She has been a volunteer for Entropika between 2011 and 2012 where she worked in the development, from an audio-visual point of view, of various Amazonian indigenous communities. Her interest focuses in using audio-visual tools for growth and social change. In Bogotá, she has worked with communities of women, abused children, and groups in extreme poverty, among other activities, doing workshops in photography and video to provide alternative tools to these groups. In Amazonas, with the foundation, she has lead the participatory video initiative which began as her undergraduate project. The projects consists in training a group of an indigenous community in video production and editing in order for them to generate a collective memory at community-level, and recover and document traditional knowledge to be passed down from generation to generation.
Luisa Duarte - BSc, Biologist, Colombia
Graduate in biology from the Universidad INCCA de Colombia, Luisa is currently completing a specialisation in Conservation of Natural Resource in the Universidade do Estado do Amazonas, Brazil. She has experience with wildlife ex-situ in reception, rehabilitation and release centres and in activities such as behaviour, feeding, bird rehabilitation techniques, and raising of hatchling birds and mammals. In-situ, she has experience in the taxonomic identification of birds and mammals, census, and training of villagers in the care and conservation of fauna. In Entropika, Luisa is in charge of environmental education on issues such as solid waste management and redesigning plastic materials for making crafts. In the future she would like to move into education, to teach and learn about issues such as conservation, climate change and environmental impact. She is also interested in deepening her knowledge in ornithology and wildlife photography.
Xavier Echavez - BSc, Biologist, Colombia
Graduate in Biology with emphasis in Conservation from the University of Sucre. Xavier has carried out studies on Amazonian primates and participated in various national conferences. His field experience is focused on observations made in the forests of Colosó, Sucre, and the following of night monkeys in the Amazon. Xavier began volunteering with Entropika between the years 2010 - 2011, and is now working as part of Entropika’s team since 2015, conducting fieldwork in the census of mammals and the ecology of night monkeys, participatory video in waste management with local schools, and the installation of bio-sand filters to provide clean water to local indigenous communities.
Thomas Lafon - BSc, MPhil, Software Engineer, Belgium
Associate member - Projects coordinator
Graduate from Oxford Brookes University with a BSc in Software Engineering and an MPhil in Numerical Modelling, Thomas has got experience in the use of a wide variety of programs. For two years he has worked at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Wallingford, England, where he began his work in climatology. Thomas is currently working as coordinator of the Water Cycle Project which aims at improving access to clean drinking water in 13 indigenous communities located along the Amazon River through the use of bio-sand filters at community and household levels. This project includes a study on the levels of the Amazon River to predict future floods and droughts in the area. Moreover, Thomas is starting a project along with the National University of Colombia, Medellín, which aims at reinforcing existing efforts in the use of intelligent processes for the automatic taxonomic identification of prominent tropical tree species in the south of the Colombian Amazon using very high resolution aerial imagery and artificial intelligence.
Dr. Angela Maldonado - MSc, PhD, Conservationist, Colombia
Founder member - Legal representative & Scientific director
She has a BSc in Business management, an MSc in Primate Conservation and a PhD in conservation granted by the Department of Anthropology and Geography, at Oxford Brookes University (UK). She is the scientific director of the Fundación Entropika since 2007 and the representative of the Colombian Primatological Society in the Amazonia since 2009. Her long-term field experience for more than 17 years in the Colombian Amazon has shaped specialist knowledge in conservation biology and community based-research alongside indigenous communities from Colombia and Peru. She was the winner of the Whitley Gold Award in 2010, also called “The Green Oscar”. Thanks to this award she was nominated by Revista Gerente as one of the 100 most influential people in Colombian society and one of the 15 most important people of the year in Colombia by El Espectador newspaper.
Juan Rodríguez - Local Expert, Colombia
Expert in traditional ecological knowledge, Juan is a native of the Tikuna ethnicity and has captured night monkeys for malaria research for 14 years. Since 2010, he has left the trade to become the local coordinator of the Aotus and Water Cycle Projects to contribute to the conservation of the night monkeys and the improvement of local living standards.