Managing protected areas in the Amazon

Making sure protected areas stay protected

Good management ensures that once a protected area has been legally established, the species that live within its confines and the ecosystem services it provides are not jeopardized.
To make this happen, skills and resources are needed. This is where WWF comes in.

Ensuring proper management of protected areas is just as challenging as setting them up in the first place. But in the Amazon, there is a great shortfall in capacity and funding to look after National Parks and reserves.

So across the region, WWF is making sure that caretakers of these protected areas receive the required knowledge and support to do the job right. Protected areas authorities are a good starting point.

Partnerships for support

The foundations of our work in the Amazon are partnerships at all levels. For example, WWF-Bolivia has an agreement with the Office for Natural Resources and Environment in the Beni Prefecture, providing them with support for the administration of the Iténez Departmental Park and Integrated Management Natural Area. The agreement includes training for those responsible for the management in Iténez.

Building the capacity of other organisations

Although WWF has a wide presence across the Amazon, the organization realizes that its conservation interests are often best served by local organisations. One example is the Vitória Amazônica Foundation (FVA) in Brazil.

FVA is a non-governmental organization that was founded in 1990. Its objectives include environmental conservation, scientific research and socioeconomic development.

Support from WWF-Brazil has fostered FVA's institutional strengthening and financial stability. Now FVA has become a reference model NGO for issues such as biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the Amazon.

Nowadays, FVA concentrates its efforts on the consolidation of Jaú National Park and in the promotion of sustainable development in the park's surrounding areas, and strengthening the conditions for the integrated management of local natural resources.
 / ©: WWF / Gustavo YBARRA
A bird speciesof the river forest. San Martín River, Iténez Reserve, Beni. Bolivia.
© WWF / Gustavo YBARRA

Getting the data

A sound management plan is based on accurate and relevant information. WWF assists in these efforts, such as in Brazil's Cabo Orange National Park.

On a recent expedition with IBAMA (the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources), universities and research centres, WWF visited the different ecosystems of the park to collate biological and archaeological data on the area.

The expedition was supported by WWF-Brazil and the Amazon Region Protected Areas (ARPA) programme. A similar effort was carried out for Tumucumaque Mountains National Park, in Northern Brazil.

Developing and implementing management plans

Management plans are like the microchips that run a computer. They include all the processes and instructions that will make an area protected and sustain the integrity of the natural habitat. But management plans are often tricky, and costly, to implement.

To counter threats from the harvesting of non-commercial timber for subsistence in designated zones, illegal logging and overfishing, WWF-Peru is implementing the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve plan and is developing threat mitigation plans for key economically important species in the reserve.

WWF-Peru has also helped INRENA, the National Institute of Natural Resources, to complete a plan to mitigate illegal logging in the reserve. WWF also provided the institute with increased resources for guards to patrol additional areas.

Through the National Service for Protected Areas (SERNAP), we are also coordinating with the administration for Bolivia's Manuripi National Wildlife Reserve to make viable future efforts for the implementation of its management plan.

Manuripi encompasses numerous rivers of regional and national importance and is one of the protected areas in Bolivia with a highest levels of biodiversity.

Next [WWF in the deep Amazon] >>

 / ©: Zig Koch
Wajãpi Indians in consultation with WWF-led expedition members. Tumucumaque Mountains National Park, Brazil.
© Zig Koch

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