Rainforest Rescue
By Chitra Gunderson



Deforestation threatened the Shipibo Community, “Porvenir,” of the Padre Marquez District, Ucayale Province, Region of Loreto, when rogue loggers claimed rights to their tribal rainforest lands in June this year.

“The loggers came to our village, claiming rights to cut down the trees on our land and are coming back to start cutting,” said Leder Rodriques Sanchez, Chief of Porvenir, Shipibo Village in Peru.

The chief was urgently requesting help from John Easterling, CEO and founder of the Amazon Herb Company, a village friend and eco-business partner. In response to the chief’s plea for help, John immediately planned a strategy and initiated the Rainforest Rescue Mission.

“When I returned to Yarinococha we alerted our attorneys and engineers. We arranged for the chief and elders to travel to Iquitos where the regional government land offices are located. As it turned out, the lumber company was trying to exploit what they saw as a loophole in the title documents to exert a claim for lumbering on the village land. Our engineers and attorneys went to work,” explained John Easterling.

Much to their dismay, the loggers were put on hold while a thorough investigation of the documents took place. Several weeks went by while the attorneys and engineers diligently reviewed and revised details of the documents.

In September 2003, word came — the title documents had been perfected. The land rights of Porvenir Village were successfully defended. The loggers had to move on without cutting the trees.

This is one success story, however deforestation activities continue to demolish the lungs of our planet, tropical botanical species, and indigenous cultures. Without the help of the Amazon Herb Company, the Porvenir community would have lost many of their ancient trees and a large area of virgin rainforest would have been destroyed. Many of the healing benefits of our living rainforest would have been lost forever.

Excerpt from Declaration of the General Assembly of the “Porvenir” Native Community:
Through this general assembly it was unanimously agreed by all the residents to give our heartfelt thanks, in the name of the native community of Porvenir, to Mr. John Easterling, owner and founder of Amazon Herb Co. S.A., and to the members who visited us this present year, two thousand and three, who through their great support have enabled us to procure the Title Deed of our community. The residents and the community would like to thank once more our North American friends who, because of them and their great support, enabled us to acquire our Title Deed on September of this present year, two thousand and three. We extend to you a greeting of brotherhood in the name of our Porvenir community and to this end sign the present document.

 For thirteen years, the Amazon Herb Company has been working in an eco-trade relationship with 14 indigenous communities in the Amazon basin. The native people ecologically harvest wild botanicals from their virgin rain-forests, thus making the rainforest more valuable alive than it is dead.

Part of the company mission is to contribute 10% of the net profits for rainforest preservation projects and protecting indigenous cultures. Providing legal assistance to help the villagers obtain and protect legal title to their tribal rainforest lands is just one of the projects.

For more information on how you can take part in rainforest preservation, assisting indigenous tribes, or how you can benefit from rainforest herbal formulas, please contact (800) 362-3975 or visit

Rainforest Facts
• There are 200,000 species of plant life in the Amazon Rainforest, of these less than 1% have been tested by scientists.
• 25% of pharmaceuticals are derived from the rainforest. • The National Cancer Institute has identified 3,000 plants that are active against cancer; 70% of them are in the rainforest.
• In 1800 there were 7.1 billion acres of rainforest, today 3.5 billion acres remain.
• The rainforest is disappearing at a rate of 64 acres per minute. • Between 1960-1990 1.1 billion acres of tropical were cleared.
• Over 50% of the Earth’s species live in tropical forests.
• We lose 100 species everyday - 4 species per hour - due to tropical deforestation.
• If deforestation continues at the current rate, scientists estimate that 80-90% of tropical ecosystems will be destroyed by 2020.

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