Amazon Keystone Initiative

Geographical location:

Latin America/Caribbean > South America > Brazil


The Amazon Keystone Initiative (AKI) contributes to WWF Brazil's vision for the Amazon. It also aims to structure WWF Brazil through Italian support in a 3-year project.


The Amazon region is one of the largest natural regions in the world, a 650 million hectares area comprised of Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, and Venezuela. Globally, it is the largest and most important area of tropical forests. The Amazon basin, which is roughly the size of Europe, is the catchment area for the world’s largest and most voluminous river, with 12% of all Earth's freshwater.

The Amazon is the largest expanse of intact dense forest on the planet, surpassing even the great northern boreal forests. About 70% of the Amazon region lies within Brazil’s national boundaries. The Amazon, by far the largest and most luxuriant of the world’s extant rain forests, comprising 30% of the remaining tropical forests, is one of the most biologically rich places on Earth. Its extraordinary landscapes - from savannas to flooded forests - harbour one of Earth’s richest assortments of wildlife. Residents include thousands of plant species, over a million insect species, more than 3,000 fish species, 1,250 bird species, and over 420 mammalian species, plus species which are as yet unknown to science, representing 10% of the world's biodiversity.


- Support the Brazilian Government Protected Areas Endowment Fund.

- Implement ‘on-the-ground’ conservation in the Acre and Purus conservation block.

- Implement ‘on-the-ground’ conservation in the Itenez Mamore conservation block.


The Amazon Keystone Initiative (AKI or A-KI) fundamentally builds on the Amazon Region Protected Areas (ARPA). It will help secure ARPA’s managerial and financial health. While some protected areas have already been created, the initiative will provide the capital and expertise required to create 10 million hectares of additional, fully functional protected areas, and improve management of 20 million hectares of existing protected areas.

The AKI is committed with long-term financial sustainability of the Brazilian Network of Protected Areas: establishing the Protected Areas Endowment Fund of USD 240 million. This fund will be producing interests which will be enough to maintain the core costs of these new protected areas in perpetuity. This will ensure that we are not simply creating parks on paper, but that there will be the means to pay for their effective management.. Although this seems a lot, in relative terms it means that it will cost less to protect in perpetuity 12% of the Amazon than to pave a road of 400 km in the Amazon itself. These protected areas are not the only mechanism of conservation in place, but they will add, for example, to the existing indigenous lands, that help protect over 20% of the Brazilian Amazon, or to the areas of national forests, whose coverage the government is also increasing. WWF has committed to fundraise contributions to this fund in the order of USD 70 million over the next 10 years. The AKI will raise USD 15 million in the next 3 years.

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