On a map of South America, they look like a multitude of patches - some tiny, others big - sprinkled like confetti across the tropical belt of the continent.
The bold aim of these spaces, set up after painstaking efforts by a range of stakeholders, is to ensure that important places in the Amazon get the protection they critically need.
Over the decades, WWF has played a major role in helping to set aside natural areas
for conservation and to support communities, local governments and other stakeholders to manage
these places in the long-term.
The Protected Areas Initiative
WWF's efforts in the region are part of one of our most critical works-in-progress globally - the Protected Areas Initiative. This effort seeks to:
- Promote the creation of new forest protected areas using WWF "Gifts to the Earth" as a major potential tool.
- Improve management effectiveness of existing protected areas by developing, carrying out and supporting the implementation of key results of protected area management assessments.
- Develop a practical tool for systematic conservation planning.
- Lobby for improved protected area networks at key international events
- Explore alternative methods for site-based biodiversity conservation.
Considering the complex legal, political and socioeconomic situation present in many protected areas in the Amazon, WWF helps to coordinate their management with the economic activities of the communities, aware that the local inhabitant is the main conservation actor for sustainable development.
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