Sound land planning and conservation

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Certified Amazonian rainforest
© Edward Parker, WWF-Canon

For a sustainable use of resources

Land and resource use are primarily motivated by economic interests ranging from the large-scale needs of extensive landowners and industrial-scale investors to those of subsistence farmers. While demand is a key driver for habitat conversion, how this process plays out spatially is largely determined by the rules for land occupation (or lack thereof). In the Amazon, where a significant proportion of the lands are still considered to be public and undesignated, land grabbing and illegal encroachment are rampant. The means most often used to lay claim to an area is to deforest it, and then show it to be “productive” by sowing crops or raising cattle.

Most Amazonian countries have regulations for land use planning and zoning, but their application and enforcement tend to lack the needed strength. When followed, these regulations oftentimes tend to be problematic, as they are mostly geared towards a “productive” approach to land use based on land conversion. This ignores the importance and economic value of environmental services.

In fact, planning in the region has historically been carried out at a scale that does not match the requirements of conservation of ecosystem services or species habitat, thereby diluting the constructive role that zoning could serve.

WWF aims to promote the appropriate use of natural resources, by supporting appropriate planning processes at the scale of the priority places that are informed by biome-scale considerations.

How to achieve this

  • Building the technical grounds for place-scale decision making with a biome perspective
  • Developing and/ or improving of land-use planning that impacts priority places
  • Clarifying legal land tenure within and around priority places
  • Influencing protected area systems for creation and management of protected areas of biome importance
  • Strengthening areas of critical conservation/ climate importance
 / ©: WWF Perú
Living Amazon Initiative Sound land planning and conservation
© WWF Perú

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