Project Partners

While Ancient Forest International is often on the front lines spearheading projects, it also takes great pleasure in establishing alliances with groups around the world working with similar visions. Our concern always has been that the forests be protected, regardless of who is funded or credited for the work. Following are descriptions of some of AFI's strongest partners in its ancient forest protection efforts.


Ecolé-Adventures International is AFI's ecotourism project arm and reserve promoter. A partnership of North American conservationists, it is actively involved with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) locally and worldwide in developing and supporting forest conservation initiatives. The goals include active engagement in education and conservation efforts and support for local communities.

The California-based Pacific Environment and Resources Center (PERC) confronts ecological threats in the Pacific Rim and around the world by working with local citizens and communities to protect endangered ecosystems. PERC empowers citizens to protect natural resources and to prevent environmentally destructive development through a combination of grassroots advocacy, environmental education, and law and policy analysis. Its work affects international policies on trade, investment, and resource development.

Many groups in northern California came together for the Redwoods to Sea coalition, currently in its Stewardship Project phase. The services of watershed, forestry, wildlife, and other nonprofit organizations (described in the following two paragraphs) will be available to landowners interested in restoring wildlife values to the landscape. These groups also serve as AFI partners on other projects.

Friends of Gilham Butte is a community-based association with the mission of protecting wildlife and plant habitat in the Gilham Butte area, with particular emphasis on habitat for rare, threatened, and listed species; to protect wilderness characteristics of Gilham Butte; and to encourage humans to protect these characteristics. The Institute for Sustainable Forestry promotes forest management that contributes to long-term ecological and economic well-being of forest-based communities in Northwest California. LEGACY–The Landscape Connection works collectively to provide geographic maps and information to facilitate planning efforts for the protection and restoration of native biodiversity in the Klamath Ecoregion.

The Mattole Restoration Council works to protect and restore the natural systems of the Mattole river and valley—its salmon, forests, and rangeland resources—to sustainable levels of health and productivity. Its sister organization, the Mattole Salmon Group, is committed to rescuing the native chinook and coho salmon from extinction and helps them begin to rebuild toward previous levels. The Middle Mattole Conservancy is a group of landowners adjacent to the Gilham Butte acquisition and Humboldt Redwoods State Park whose mission is to encourage and provide for responsible stewardship of their lands and waterways through outreach, education, and restoration. Sanctuary Forest, Inc. is a nonprofit land trust that has achieved the protection of 3,500 acres of forested lands in the Mattole River headwaters, including nearly all the remaining old growth and seven salmon- and steelhead-bearing tributaries. Save-the-Redwoods League is a nonprofit conservation organization that carries on a nationwide fund-raising and information program to preserve representative groves of the magnifient California Coast Redwoods. The Trees Foundation is working for the conservation and restoration of the ecological integrity of forest ecosystems by assisting, supporting, and promoting Affiliate groups in North Coastal California; Trees serves as a fiscal sponsor to many of the region's environmental organizations and coalitions.


Comité Nacional pro Defensa de la Fauna y Flora (CODEFF, National Committee for the Defense of Flora and Fauna) is the oldest and best-known environmental organization in Chile. It works with various sectors of the society—government, the public, schools, nonprofits—in order to develop the wisest approach to protecting and managing Chile's environment. CODEFF currently holds title to and manages several critical wildlife habitats throughout the country.

Chile's preeminent forest activist and membership organization, Defensores del Bosque Chileno (Defenders of the Chilean Forest), is the leader in forest protection and environmental education throughout Chile. A diverse and powerful roster guides the organization, from the respected scientist-conservationist Adriana Hoffmann to public figures such as Isabel Allende who are concerned about the threats to Chile's native forests. Hoffmann is the Forest Issues Consultant on the executive council for Chile's new president, Ricardo Lagos.

Dos Margaritas is a nonprofit organization founded in California in 1998. Its main objective is the preservation of biodiversity in Latin America through land conservation, education, and sustainable development programs. The organization acquires and manages unique natural habitats while investing in the education of rural and indigenous people, whom Dos Margaritas supports in restoring and protecting their environment as they improve their own standard of living. In 1999, Dos Margaritas purchased land in southern Chile: 1,000 acres of temperate rainforest in northern Patagonia alongside one of the region's most important rivers, Rio Futaleufu, and an araucaria forest on the Cañi Cordon (almost adjacent to the Santuario Cañi and the city of Pucón).

The Ecology Center, Inc. (TECI) is a nonprofit, public-interest conservation organization based in Missoula, Montana. Its staff works to protect biological diversity and ecosystem integrity in the Wild Rockies Bioregion and worldwide through its International GIS program.

With the help of AFI, in 1991 Fundación Lahuen became Chile's first NGO devoted exclusively to native forests. Fundación Lahuen is committed to native and strategic forest acquisition and management. The foundation's goals include supporting the creation of parks, trails, biological corridors, and connectivity between parks and protected areas. Significant emphasis is given to the creation of jobs related to these goals. Fundación Lahuen purchased and manages the Santuario Cañi and received the country's first public lands concession for conservation—the 100,000-acre Magdalena Island in Patagonia. Fundación Lahuen is helping to design and promote an Andean Crest Trail along the length of Chile and Argentina.

The Gondwana Forest Sanctuary Campaign is a new international initiative to protect and conserve the southern forest ecosystems of the world: the relict Gondwannic forests. Activists from Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, and North America have discussed this concept for several years. At meetings in Chile in April 1998, various experienced national and international grassroots forest conservation organizations committed themselves to launching this endeavor.

AFI's Gondwana Forest Sanctuary Campaign partners include the Alianza por los Bosques de Chile; American Lands Alliance (U.S.); Australian Conservation Foundation; Defensores del Bosque Chileno; ¡école! S.A. (Chile); FIDE XII (Chile); Finis Terrae (Argentina); Greenpeace (Argentina, Chile, and U.S.); International Forum on Globalization (U.S.); Launceston Environment Centre (New Zealand); Native Forest Network (NFN) (Aotearoa/New Zealand, Northern Hemisphere/U.S., Southern Hemisphere/Australia); Pacific Environment & Resource Center (U.S.); Proyecto Lemu (Argentina); Rainforest Action Network (U.S.); Rainforest Information Centre (Australia); Tarkine National Coalition (Australia); the Wilderness Society (Australia); and Trees for Life (Scotland).

AFI's ecotourism partner in Chile is the Hostería ¡école!. Created by AFI in 1994, it currently collaborates with two self-sustaining habitat protection projects in Chile—the Santuario Cañi and the Parque Pumalín. Located in Pucón (the northern Lake District/Araucaria Region), Hostería ¡école! is a for-profit hotel/restaurant with an innovative not-for-profit tourism component; it was founded when AFI brought together 40 supporters to buy and renovate a nearby hotel as a Santuario Cañi support strategy. The hostería funnels adventure clients to the Cañi and other forest conservation sites, capacitates local guides, and helps design treks. It also brings environmentally involved investors together, outreaches to the community, and promotes projects internationally. Outside magazine's 1999 annual travel guide placed Hostería ¡école! among its top ten favorite getaway spots in the world, and the Lonely Planet guidebook calls it “in a category of its own—most fun!”

The Iniciativa de Defensa Ecológica Austral (IDDEA, Initiative to Defend the Austral Ecology) is a nonprofit formed to promote knowledge, education, and activities that support the wise management of Chile's Magallanes region. It litigates, coordinates media outreach, and sustains community dialogues on environmental issues. Its accomplishments include stopping a major state-subsidized industrial logging project and blowing the whistle on plutonium-loaded ships.

Native Forest Network (NFN) is a global grassroots forest protection network working to protect and restore the Earth's native forests. NFN works with local citizens, NGOs, indigenous groups, and the scientific community on a wide range of forest issues and campaigns. In addition to North America, NFN has offices in Australia and New Zealand working on the Gondwana Forest Sanctuary Campaign (see above).


AFI is working with the Japan-based group ACTMANG in the mangrove protection effort. ACTMANG is conducting mangrove reforestation and primary mangrove protection programs in Ecuador's northern river deltas. ACTMANG has just built a hotel in the coastal town of Olmedo to help bring much-needed revenue into communities adjacent to primary mangrove stands.

AFI has worked with the Centro de Investigación de los Bosques Tropicales (CIBT, Center for the Investigation of Tropical Forests) for nearly a decade on the Los Cedros Reserve (see “Projects in Ecuador”). CIBT now owns Los Cedros, steering it as Ecuador's largest private reserve. A Rainforest Information Centre offshoot, CIBT was founded to support the first sustainable timber plan for the Awa Reserve and bought back the Awa's timber rights from a logging company. In 1992, AFI staff assisted CIBT's efforts to demarcate the 1.5-million-acre Huaorani Indigenous Territory. CIBT has done sustainable forestry feasibility studies for the Secoya tribe and helped the 55,000-hectare Pañacocha forest receive Bosque Protector status (similar to the U.S. designation of a national forest).

Another AFI affiliate in Ecuador is the Grupo Osanimi, a collection of activists, scientists, indigenous organizers, and elders working on cultural rescue efforts with the original stewards of the Amazon tropical rainforests—the Secoya, Huaorani, and lowland Quechua tribes. Grupo Osanimi manages projects such as the Friends of Ancestral Wisdom Youth Committee and the Towards a New Ethnobotany Project. Grupo Osanimi assisted in gaining the Galeras Reserve the status of Bosque Protector.

The UK-based Rainforest Concern operates the successful Macipicuña reserve in western Ecuador. Macipicuña is an important primary forest on the western slope of the Andes, retaining connectivity with intact areas such as the Los Cedros Biological Reserve. Rainforest Concern also works to protect coastal mangroves in the southern Choco ecosystem of Columbia and Panama.

The Australia-based Rainforest Information Centre (RIC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the Earth's remaining rainforests (including those in Ecuador, India, and Papua New Guinea) and the people who depend on them. CIBT and RIC now have handled more than seven major projects in Ecuador. They established the first sustainable timber operation and permaculture model in coastal northwestern Ecuador. Their work led to the protection of the unique limestone formations of the Galeras Reserve.

El Unidad Tecnica para el Ecodesarrollo del Pueblo Awa y la Amazonia (UTEPA, Technical Unit for Ecological Development in the Amazon and Awa Regions) is a branch of the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; it is dedicated to rainforest conservation, alternative forest management programs, cultural heritage strengthening programs among ethnic minorities, and the ecological and social development of Ecuador's border regions. UTEPA has commissioned all of the current studies available on La Cascada and has overseen a multidisciplinary effort to assist the Secoya people in recovering their traditional homelands.