Riverine People

Why are riparian communities in Amazonia so important?

Riverine communities and other remote communities in Amazonia are a very important aspect of the preservation of the Amazon rainforest itself.  It is Drops of Amazon’s mission to protect our worldwide critical ecosystem here in the Amazon by helping remote communities that are an ancillary aspect of its preservation.

Riverine people come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, including indigenous tribal people, caboclo mixed indigenous/European ancestry and many others.  In spite of the widely diversified origins of the riverine people, their customs today and values and lifestyles are quite similar to each other.

“Traditional people of the Amazon have managed the rainforest for centuries.”

Riparian Communities

Thousands of riverine communities are spread out over the entire region.  They live along the riverbanks of the Amazon River and its tributaries in locations where there are simply no other people.  Without their presence, logging poachers, fishing poachers, illegal mining exploiters and other threats to the Amazon rainforest are free to wreak havoc on the environment.

Riverine people have a very strong connection to the waterways and to the forest in the Amazon.  They maintain a high regard for nature and preservation of the environment. The riverine community settlements connected to law enforcement and other resources serve as a major deterrent to illegal activities in the region.  The riverine traditional people of the Amazon are also known as avid activists for preservation of the environment, even willing to die for what they believe in, which unfortunately is not uncommon.

LA Times News Article

The preservation of Amazonian riverine communities is essential in the battle to protect the Amazon.  The riverine people are innate protectors of the environment and are considered the Guardians of the rainforest and river waterways.  Their lifestyles and sustenance are directly tied to nature in the the jungle and on the rivers and they are proven good stewards of the environment.

“…to protect a watershed, we can learn from them…”

Riverine communities mostly rely on family farming, fishing, extractivism and in some instances craft works for their survival.  Their existence in these remote areas help to preserve the sustainable use of natural resources found in the Amazon.  The riverine people are known as decisive and local activists for the environment.

Riverine families live in an environment where the force of nature is very much their reality. They live in an environment full of limitations and challenges imposed by nature. Their relationship with nature forces them to adapt their way of living to be in tune with nature which is part of their sustenance. A significant percentage of them have no electricity. Many rely on the rivers for washing clothes and bathing in addition to drinking water. In spite of such limitations in development, the Amazonian riverine people are rich in knowledge of the forest, including knowledge of medicinal plants of the jungle.

For the most part the river waterways are their only means of transportation and their only physical connection to developed parts of the region.  Preservation of the Amazonian riverine communities is perhaps the most important component of the preservation of the Amazon rainforest itself. We thank you for joining us in this critical mission.