WWF has a long and rich history of involvement in the Amazon, beginning over 40 years ago. From its initial site-based and research projects in the 1960s, WWF has, over the years, expanded its work to include species research and scientific analyses, local institutional capacity building, policy development and reform, support for the designation and improved management of protected areas, certified forestry and forest management, environmental education, promotion of better management practices for productive activities (forestry, fisheries, etc.), and creation of alternative sources of income for local communities.
Key protected areas
WWF work in the Amazon includes participation in the creation of a number of important protected areas including Peru’s Manu National Park in 1973, Bolivia’s Pilon Lajas National Park in 1976, French Guiana’s Amazonian Park in 2007, and Colombia’s Yaigoje- Apaporis National Park in 2009. In Brazil, WWF was instrumental in the conception and subsequent implementation of the Government’s primary mechanism for creation and consolidation of protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon: the Amazon Region Protected Areas program (ARPA)7 launched in 2002.
Articulating efforts throughout the Amazon
WWF has a strong institutional presence in 8 of the 9 Amazonian countries, and a review of the organization’s experience to date underscores the scope and breadth of the relationships that we have developed with numerous partners over the years. WWF has strived to develop relationships with local, state and national governments in every country where we work, and has also invested resources, time and energy into lasting partnerships with local NGOs, civil society groups and the private sector. Going forward, we see these partnerships and relationships as one of the most critical factors in determining our success and ability to implement the broad and ambitious objectives of the WWF Living Amazon Initiative.
A comprehensive approach: Living Amazon Initiative
Given that the forces shaping the Amazon Biome extend far beyond a local context and know no political boundaries, we can no longer work on pieces of the puzzle in isolation from one another. Rather, we must address the biome as a whole in order to secure the viability of the entire system. Therefore, although our presence in the region has been key to many conservation results over the years, it is with the articulation of the Living Amazon Initiative in 2008 that WWF has been able to bring together 40 years of experience as part of a unified blueprint to address the challenges to the Amazon Biome as a whole.
The primary objective of developing the WWF Living Amazon Initiative
is thus to redouble our efforts as an organization on a scale equivalent and relevant to the scope of the problem at hand.