The first academy in the Amazonian jungle for local indigenous people and students from around the world is far from any roads in the middle of old-growth tropical forest. The goal of this academy is to work together to preserve and shape the future of the most important forest ecosystem on earth.
At the academy, the indigenous population is trained and supported in the implementation of the “model for contemporary living and working in the forest” – see „PROJECTS“.
International colleges are offered an infrastructure for research and teaching. We want to provide the students, our future decision-makers, with an understanding of this essential forest ecosystem and to give them access and responsibility for dealing with the “lungs of the earth”.
Both of the representative offices of the academy in the Achuar and Shuar territories are operated by local residents trained for this purpose. In this way, we create local jobs and incomes and enable intercultural, face to face exchange.
Those who are interested can find more detailed information under „ACADEMY“.
In 2001, when AMAZONICA contacted the Weihenstephan University of Applied Sciences, an idea regarding research into the possible uses of renewable energies came about. At that time, Professor Dr. Ernst Schrimpff was teaching in this subject area, pioneering the use of photovoltaics and plant-based oils instead of diesel fuels in his local county of Friesing and at the German federal level. We invited him to Ecuador. Professor Schrimpff visited three times over the years and made a significant contribution to the use of renewable energies in the forest and to cooperation with other universities.
The academic network formed in 2005. Our second “alternative meeting” with regard to renewable energies in Quito took place at the Polytechnic Institute in the capital of Ecuador. The German climate group and the German Development Service (DED) both participated. Among others, representatives of the Shuar and Achuar were present and shared their experiences with renewable energies in the forest communities. The audience mainly consisted of students from the various colleges and universities in Quito.
The AMAZONICA Academy started operation in the spring of 2008 with a one-year seminar for indigenous administrators. The first partners with which a cooperation agreement was signed was the state operated Ecuadorian University of Cuenca, which allowed leave for teachers to teach at the forest academy [www.ucuenca.edu.ec].
In September 2008, the network expanded to include the University of Applied Sciences in Munich [www.fh-muenchen.de]. Under the auspices of the tourism department and its dean, Professor Dr. Theo Eberhard, the academy’s establishment was supported by both his personal efforts and financing.
Other universities in Germany and Ecuador followed.