• Amazonas Conservation Initiative

    About Us

Amazonas Conservation Initiative Peru

The Amazonas Conservation Initiative is a collaborative project with Peruvian conservation organizations and eco-tourist companies who are committed to the protection of the rainforest and honoring the traditions of indigenous people.

We are scientists, conservationists, adventurers, photographers and, yes, like yourself... on a Journey.

Thank You for your Support.

Dr. Peter Lerche
Director & Co-Founder

peter lerche

“I came to Peru for the first time in 1971, I had just finished high school. At that time to get from Chachapoyas, capital of Amazonas, to the Awajún, you had to travel to Bagua and then walk for several days to the north to a place where you could take a canoe downriver the Marañón. I spent three months in Amazonas. Returning to Germany I did my military service, then entered the University of Berlin, where I chose to specialize in anthropology, ethnohistory and archaeology. When I was about to finish, I had to present a thesis and I remembered the trip I made to Peru.

I returned to Chachapoyas in 1980, to do my field research on the Chachapoyas culture. This area is a place where you can work a lot, it is healthy, there is no industry and the vegetation is almost intact. Here... life is more intense.”

In 1985, Peter received his doctorate from the Free University of Berlin.

His past government positions include: Tourism Development Consultant of the Reginal Government and Director of the Department of Conservation Archaeological Monuments of the National Cultural Institute/Amazonas. During this time Peter was intimately involved with the discoveries of natural cave mausoleums containing mummies and artifacts dated from 900 a.c. in an area called Laguna de los Cóndores (Lagoon of the Condors).
Between 2007 and 2010 he was mayor of the city of Chachapoyas. Later Peter served as the Director of the Regional Branch Office of the Peruvian Ministry of Culture for Amazonas.

Anthropologist, historian, author, explorer, and authority on the religious world of pre-Inca Chachapoya, Peter has given hundreds of lectures over the years on Chachapoyan history.

Notable magazine credits include his cover story “Quest for the Lost Tombs”, National Geographic September 2000 by Peter Lerche, photography by Gordon Wiltsie.

In recent years Peter’s work with 11 indigenous Awajún communities and the regional government of Amazonas, resulted in the establishment of the Pamau Nain Conservation Concession, protecting nearly 115,000 acres of pristine Amazon rain forest.

Peter’s conservation efforts continue today with Amazonas Conservation Initiative’s work with the Awajún Communities of the Kampankis Mountains.

Davarian Hall
Director & Co-Founder


Following davarian’s first visit to Peru in 1982 davarian provided stock photography of the Peruvian Andes and rain forest to international publications.

With the advent of the WWW his computer and photography skills lead to website architecture for an international conservation organization. This included working with the Machiguenga Communities of South Eastern Peru to establish five research/tourist lodges.

In 2008, in collaboration with a Kukama Community and with partners, davarian built the Amazon Refuge Wildlife Conservation Center on the Yanayacu tributary of the Amazon River near Iquitos.

During this time davarian took on roles as Location Manager of Discovery Channel’s Naked & Afraid series – several survival episodes then taking place in the Amazon Refuge area.

In 2018 davarian's conservation work continued in the far remote area of the Amazonas Department of Peru working with the Awajún people and the founding of the Amazonas Conservation Initiative.

For thermal imaging video of wildlife, Davarian holds an FAA sUAV Commercial Drone Pilot license.

“Peruvian legends and myths are my life’s blood of adventure – my favorite trips being ‘In Search of the Black Lagoon’, ‘Pongo de Mainique’, and Expedition to Shubet Mountain.

With our current work with the Awajún people our documentary ‘Where the Devil Sings’ opens a door to a mystical Lost World of the Amazonas jungle:"

Through the Lens, with the Pen, within the Spirit;
the chance, fortune, danger, luck, and power of Adventure beckons.
The passage is Vision, Imagination, and Perseverance.
The map is drawn within the sunset,
etched amongst the stars.
Your guides are those like yourself...on a Journey


Kit Herring

Kit Herring has journeyed extensively throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia and formerly worked as a writer for the National Film Board of Canada and as an international travel photographer.

He has published work through The Population Reference Bureau, the University of Florida, and the Costa Rican Tourist Board. The Sierra Club archives his slide show presentation, Humans and the Environment, on video and his work in South America has been featured in National Geographic Adventure and The New York Times.

A long-term visitor and sometime resident of Peru, he has worked with a number of NGOs in that country.

Kit Herring


Demostenes Jima Chamiquit
Director Amazonas Operations

Demostenes Jima

Growing up in an Awajún community, Comunidad Nativa Seasmi, Demostenses Jima learned at an early age the importance of the plants and animals of the Amazonas rain forest and their role in sustaining not only the traditional life of the Awajún people but as well the well-being of our planet.

His education included attending Colegio Nacional Juan Velasco Alvarado and the Instituto de Educación Superior Tecnológico Público in the town of Santa María de Nieva.

Currently Demostenes work is as manager of the Forest Conservation Program for the Native Community of Ugkum. Previously he worked as Manager of the Forest Conservation Program for the Native Achu Community.

Demostenes is certified in "Formulation and Evaluation of Productive Projects and Research" by the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute (IIAP). As well as “Coordinator of Productive Issues in the Awajun Area”, “Technical Assistant in Productive Issues in the Awajun Area” and “Management and Leadership Tools” by Nature And Culture International (NCI).

As consultant to Nature And Culture International (NCI) on a number of projects, Demostenes has earned a reputation as a devoted conservationalist.

Demostenes Jima

Amazonas Conservation Initiative's Awajún Field Guides and wildlife trackers. From left:
• Romero Anag, Head of the Native Community of Awananch.
• Fermin, member of the Iwanch Ukagmamu Community.
• Silas Shimpukat, Head of the Iwanch Ujagmamu Community
• Jose Bachuk, Head of the Ugkum Community.
• Center: Demostenes Jima Chamiquit.

Juan Carlos Palomino
Iquitos Operations

Juan Carlos

Recognized by the South American Explorer's Club as "One of the best naturalist guides for the Amazon".
Jungle Guide, Naturalist Expedition Leader, Research Assistant 18+ years of experience in the Amazon Rainforest.

“I was born along the Nanay River in one of the last “Iquito Indian” communities: “Lupuna”. Growing up in the jungle I learned at the hand of my uncle a “local healer” and Shaman. Now, I share the plant secrets of the rainforest with international biologists, travel veterans, and University Alumni Organizations.

At the age of 15, I joined the Peruvian National Army (PNA) where my jungle survival skills were refined and put into practical use. After my vigorous two year army stint the PNA, I went on to study at the English Institute in Iquitos: language, theology and public relations and then on to the University of Iquitos to study biology. I have been frequently sought out as an Expedition Leader by universities, adventure travel companies and private enterprises working in the area of bio diversity and environmental issues.”

• Certified Paramedic.
• Cornell University scientific research through the Yarapa River Lodge for 8 years.
• Director of Emerald Forest Expeditions (South American Explores Guide).
• Voyages to Remember, survival expeditions company.
• Jungle Expeditions with NHKWorld Japan; a 40 day trek to film a documentary on the rare Red Uakari Monkey in the Tiptoe River area.
• Joker avonture, (Belgium company); 17 years of repeated Camping and Survival Expeditions.
• Expedition Leader/Coordinating Naturalist and researcher assistant for the Amazon Refuge Wildlife Research Center.
• National Geographic Photography for the 2010 expeditions.
• Lecturer at Dartmouth University (New Hampshire, USA) 2012 about complementary medicine and gender in nature.
• Location manager and naturalist survivalist during the filming of Naked & Afraid.

For information on how you can contribute to the success of the Amazonas Conservation Initiative
contact Davarian