Indigenous Connectivity: Community Networks for Conservation in the Peruvian Amazon

Over the past 50 years more than 15% of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed, endangering a critical ecosystem that is home to high concentrations of biodiversity and hundreds of Indigenous groups. There is a pressing need for approaches that support these indigenous communities in conserving their ancestral lands. One exciting approach is to leverage information and communication technologies, like mobile phones, to enable Indigenous peoples to increase participation in conservation work and scientific collaborations. This requires cellular Internet connectivity, which can be difficult in remote and rural locations. This project will explore new approaches and technologies that overcome these infrastructural limitations to increase Indigenous access to technology-supported conservation platforms. We will perform this research in partnership with the Maijuna Indigenous peoples of the Peruvian Amazon. An interdisciplinary team of researchers will work with community members from the Federación de Comunidades Nativas Maijuna (FECONAMAI) to co-implement a pilot community network to support environmental and conservation activities in the Maijuna community of Sucusari. The team will train the Maijuna to maintain the network and leverage it for conservation activities, and they will engage community members in a participatory planning process to build additional conservation software tailored to their needs. The team’s long-term goals are to use results from this pilot research to expand connectivity to all four Maijuna communities and then leverage that connectivity for a range of cultural and environmental conservation projects. Beyond the immediate impact that the work will have for the Maijuna and their ancestral lands, our findings will provide a successful, participatory model that other Indigenous communities can use to establish their own networks for conservation work and research collaborations.

Grant Info


Jason Young

Start Date

Dec 16, 2019