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Descending 1.300 km of the Amazon using inflatable Stand
Up Paddle boards to support local conservation initiatives

Fund raising goal:





Win a Red Paddle Explorer Inflatable Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Board - all donations of £30 will qualify for a ticket to be entered into a raffle to win one of the Explorer expedition SUP boards

The Challenge

In July 2013 Dr. Mika Peck will lead an international team aiming to be the first to descend the Amazon River using inflatable Stand Up Paddle boards.

The team will face a month of challenges on one of the mightiest rivers traveling over 1300 km through the Ecuadorian, Peruvian and Colombian Amazon before finishing at the border with Brazil. We aim to cover up to 80 km a day to raise funds for conservation and sustainable livelihoods while increasing awareness of the issues facing the Amazon basin.

The red line indicates the paddle route (Napo, Ecuador - Leticia, Colombia).

Supporting Amazon Conservation

Our aquatic adventure will link and benefit 3 local grassroots NGO's while raising awareness as we travel with the current. In Ecuador we will buy a 13 m Eco-Canoe, a sustainably manufactured boat made by the Cofán indigenous group, and deliver it at our downstream destination to Entropika, a local organisation dedicated to wildlife conservation in Colombia. The boat will be key to Entropika´s ongoing conservation efforts that include curbing illegal wildlife trade in the Amazon triborder area between Brazil, Colombia and Peru, while supporting the development of sustainable initiatives with indigenous communities.

The funds raised in addition to the boat will be donated to Maikuchiga, a local indigenous-based NGO that rescues and rehabilitates primates and wildlife while providing local employment and environmental education. At the moment Maikuchiga´s animal house (the operations base) is being rebuilt and relocated since it fell victim last year to the highest floods ever recorded on the Amazon River.

The surf boards that will guide the boat down the river have been generously supplied by the Red Paddle Company, an ethical manufacturer of top quality boards.

The Beneficiaries

The Cofán are among the oldest surviving indigenous cultures in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Over 1 million acres of Cofán territory provides direct environmental, social and economic services for the Cofán – whilst also provide environmental services to everyone else on the planet! Founded in 1999, the Cofán Survival Fund is a non-profit organization with Cofán leadership, dedicated to their survival and the conservation of their Amazonian rainforest environment.

Entropika aims to contribute to the conservation of tropical biodiversity in the south of the Colombian Amazon by facilitating local community-led projects and establishing education and research programs whilst working closely with local indigenous people. Their approach encourages interdisciplinary cooperation regarding the management of biodiversity components, including in-situ conservation, community based research and sustainable economic alternatives.

In 2003, the indigenous communities along the southern border of Amacayacu National Park decided to stop hunting woolly monkeys, a threatened species of primates. This agreement catalysed the development of a regional centre for the rescue, care and rehabilitation of confiscated wildlife, especially primates and birds. Since its founding, the centre has served as an environmental education hub and as a source of sustainable income for the indigenous communities.

Videos and Pictures

Short documentary of Maikuchiga's work on the rehabilitation of wildlife in the Amacayacu National Park.

Short documentary of Entropika's Aotus project presented by David Attenborough at The Whitley Awards 2010.

The Team

Dr. Mika Peck - Conservation Biologist, United Kingdom

Mika has led a number of scientific expeditions to South America, the first in 1995, sponsored by the Royal Geographical Society. His current work includes conservation of endangered mammals of NW Ecuador, illegal wildlife trade in the Amazon and development of sustainable livelihoods in Papua New Guinea.

Daniel Aristizábal - Sociologist, Colombia

Daniel has worked for a number of years in the Colombian Amazon, both as a researcher and as a member of the Colombian National Parks. His interest lies in finding bridges for the intercultural management of the Amazon, especially regarding the relationships between conservation, traditional practices, productive alternatives and cultural changes.

Juan F. Millán – Biologist, Colombia

Juan is a conservation biologist working in the Colombian Amazon and Orinoco basin. His main interest lies in community sustainable development, environmental education and habitat conservation. He is currently involved in woolly monkey rehabilitation and behavioural research in the Colombian Amazon and in Orinoco Crocodile and giant river turtle conservation projects in the Colombian Eastern Llanos. Among his interests are wildlife photography and wilderness first aid.

Lucho "el loco" Sinarahua – Indigenous leader, Colombia

Lucho "the crazy" is the best skipper the Colombian Amazon has ever seen, not to mention a skilled fisherman and all around connoisseur of life in the rainforest. Lucho is a well-respected figure in Mocagua, his village and for a number of years he held the political chair of the community. Since 2007, Lucho has been a member of Maikuchiga, the monkey rehabilitation center that operates in coordination with his village. His nickname “the crazy” comes from the energy he brings when the village gathers for community work with his loud and encouraging persona. He has been paddling (of course) since before he can remember and is eager to meet local conservation initiatives along his home river in this expedition.

Dr. Marcia Masiero – Biologist, Brazil

Marcia is a trained Brazilian biologist, now working as a translator, and has worked with her partner Mika on a number of past expeditions in South America. She is once again treating Mika’s suggestions that this will be fun with great suspicion…

Dr. Sam Shanee – Conservationist, Peru

Sam has worked in conservation for over 10 years throughout South America and Asia, specializing in Primatology and community-based conservation initiatives. In 2007 he helped set up the NGO Neotropical Primate Conservation and runs the NGO's projects in Peru.

For more information please don't hesitate to contact us:
Daniel Aristizábal, eldannys@hotmail.com, Tel: (0057)3102450773
Dr. Mika Peck, m.r.peck@sussex.ac.uk Tel: (0044)7964187013