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About Us

The Cloud Appreciation Society

Our society was launched in 2005 by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, Member 0001, to bring together people who love the sky.

We have members in 120 countries around the world, all united in the belief that clouds are the most dynamic, evocative and poetic aspect of nature. Read our manifesto to see what we stand for.

Gavin Pretor-Pinney (Member 0001)

Our Organisation

We decided from an early stage not to make the Cloud Appreciation Society a non-profit. We believe an organisation is most sustainable when it works as a business. Otherwise, it can become so preoccupied with applying for grants and raising donations just to survive that it loses sight of it original aim. In our case, this aim is to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the sky and our atmosphere as a whole. The important thing, in our opinion, is what a company does with its profits…

During 2020 we are supporting efforts to protect the world’s largest ‘river in the sky’

Across the world’s continents, 90% of the water evaporating up into the atmosphere and producing clouds comes from trees. They provide the ingredients for cloud formation. And nowhere is this more apparent than over The Amazon. Even though it is the largest river system in the world, more water flows in the sky above the Amazon Basin than does within its vast network of waterways. Clouds in this invisible and enormous ‘river in the sky’ deposit rain over huge areas of the South American continent.

Throughout 2020, we are supporting the Amazon Conservation Association’s work to train the local landowners, indigenous communities, students, and officials in Peru and Bolivia to actively monitor and report illegal deforestation in the Western Amazon – the region where the rainforest meets the Andes.

In 2017 Amazon Conservation launched the Southwest Amazon Drone Center, a training centre geared towards providing local peoples the training and tools needed to use state of the art technology to detect deforestation. The vastness and remoteness of the Amazon Rainforest make it a challenge to patrol it in order to stop incidents of illegal deforestation, such as invasions to log trees or mine the forest. Not only that, face-to-face encounters with those conducting illegal deforestation for financial gain can be extremely dangerous, and potentially deadly. With technology, Amazon Conservation is changing that. The Southwest Amazon Drone Center allows for local communities, landowners, private sector companies, and government officials to get the training, certifications, and access to high tech drones to be used as remote sensing tools to monitor deforestation in tropical forests. The Center offers free training courses as well as technical support to attendees in order to increase legal response to illegal activities by producing evidence of illegal activities that can be used to prosecute offenders and deterrence of future illegal activities.

We are supporting this particular part of the Amazon Conservation Association’s range of activities with 5% of all 2020 membership revenues. Support from the Cloud Appreciation Society will enable Amazon Conservation to train hundreds of local people to use this technology to fight in the front lines to protect the Amazon Rainforest, one of the last wild places left on Earth.

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Amazon Conservation Association
River in the Sky
River in the sky: thanks to all the trees, more water flows in the sky above the Amazon Basin than does within its vast network of waterways.
Amazon Conservation Association training
The Amazon Conservation Association provides training, equipment and resources to enable locals to monitor and report deforestation in the Western Amazon of Peru and Bolivia.