Together, Wake Forest University and the Centro de Innovación Científica Amazónica (CINCIA) have designed an affiliates program to allow qualified individuals to engage in research and scientific innovation in the southern Peruvian Amazon. The scientists involved are considered affiliate researchers of CINCIA, which allows them to stand out as professionals while also enhancing the quality and impact of their research.
At CINCIA, affiliate scientists:
Partake in research that was historically not scientifically studied due to ecological value and extractive activities that threaten conservation.
Make use of logistical and operational support provided by local institutions with strong ties to the region.
Join an established scientific community and receive the advice of world-renowned specialists, researchers, and experts.
Author and/or co-author scientific publications that are disseminated locally, nationally, and internationally.
The main objective of the affiliate program is to consolidate the training of professionals in the field of environmental research and innovation that support the research and dissemination of science with the goal of solving socio-environmental problems in Madre de Dios.
The affiliate program seeks to improve scientific knowledge regarding the impact of gold mining on ecosystems and environmental health, as well as the possibilities for mitigation, remediation, and restoration of the region’s forests, soils, and waterways. At the end of the program, the participants:
Develop innovative research mediated by ecologically viable technologies.
Contribute to the sustainable development of Madre de Dios.
Gain the necessary skills to fulfill their professional degrees of interest, social service, or professional practices.
Calls for work
Training allows opportunities for professional and personal growth, the sharing of ideas, and generating spaces for interdisciplinary learning. CINCIA offers community access to science through short courses, seminars, and virtual events.
Madre de Dios Overview
Madre de Dios, located in southeast Peru, covers an area of 111,933 km2 and comprises three regional governments. The region has a strong altitudinal gradient that exceeds 4,000m in the Andes and descends to 150m at the mouth of the Heath River at the Peru-Bolivia border.
Madre de Dios is among the most biodiverse regions in the Amazon. This area of the Andean Piedmont is a land of strong contrasts, combining large areas of conservation undergoing deforestation and devastation primarily from illegal gold mining.
The Madre de Dios rainforest is home to the less affected and eroded areas of the Peruvian Amazon. It is not surprising that there are emblematic natural areas such as the Manu National Park, a biosphere reserve recognized by UNESCO that is home to some of the last groups of uncontacted indigenous people. On the other hand, extractive activities such as agricultural expansion, logging, and mining have transformed large areas into waste lands. This region, around the Tahuamanu, Las Piedras, and Heath rivers, is largely unexplored. They present rich research opportunities.
Until the late nineteenth century, human settlements in Madre de Dios were native. Neither the Incan Empire nor colonial or republican Peru were able to establish effectively in the region. At the time, Puerto Maldonado was a jungle area that was inaccessible and disconnected from the metropolis and was influenced by its Bolivian and Brazilian neighbors more than by Lima. During the rubber boom at the beginning of the twentieth century, the borders were defined, and Peruvian interests became entrenched in the territory, following several clashes with Bolivian settlers.
It was also this time that transformed the demographic landscape, relocating the native peoples of the region; Ese-eja, Yine, Matsigenka, and Harakbut, who were losing importance in favor of settlers from the sierra, Brazil, Bolivia and even natives brought from other jungles of Peru. The Dominican missionaries also accelerated contact and diffusion of the original settlers as well as a wave of Japanese immigrants that came to harvest sugarcane.
In the 1940’s, the main route of entry from Cusco through the Marcapata valley was developed and served as the main communication artery that brought development, emigration, and extractive activities. However, it was not until 2010 that the paving of this road – the Southern Interoceanic Road – occured and guaranteed permanent supply from the rest of the country.
This mining sector absorbs a great amount of the population, accounts for about half of the Department’s Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2015, and ranks third in Peru’s gold production. This sector could represent a great opportunity for development, unfortunately this is not reflected in the quality of life of its population.
The trade and service sectors in Madre de Dios are largely encouraged to supply the mining sector. Despite its extensive territory, the agricultural sector was ranked third in the departmental GVA and is characterized by the intensive use of labor and traditional technology. The creation of food such as the Amazonian chestnut, beverages, and lumber are among the main economic activities. The transport sectors and public administrations have a similar importance in terms of annual percentage of GVA.
The department presents a wide variety of scenic attractions, including the Tambopata National Reserve, the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, and the Manu National Park, the latter declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. Only R. N. Tambopata received 45,400 visitors in 2015, making it the most visited tourist attraction in the country after the ruins of Machu Picchu. This is an important incentive for tourism, garnishing 370,500 people in 2015 and recording an average annual growth of 8.9% in the last 10 years.