The goal of the Andes-Amazon Initiative is to ensure the long-term ecological integrity and climatic function of the Amazon basin. According to current estimates, achieving that goal will require that at least 70 percent of historic forest cover remain intact.
To that end, we have invested more than $300 million in conservation and supporting strategies, helping to bring over 150 million hectares — or nearly one-third of the original forest cover of the Amazon — under sustainable management.
The Andes-Amazon Initiative is dedicated to promoting conservation and sustainable development by working with and supporting NGOs, indigenous organizations, research institutions, governmental agencies and committed private sector partners.
The evolution of the Andes-Amazon Initiative
The foundation began supporting biodiversity and forest conservation in the Amazon basin in 2001, and launched the Andes-Amazon Initiative in 2003. Funding for the Andes-Amazon Initiative is currently authorized through 2016.
From the beginning, the majority of our projects have focused on the creation and consolidation of protected areas, with supporting strategies centered on capacity building, science and public policy.
From 2011 to 2013, we tested several new approaches:
- Support for clean commodity supply chains in forestry and cattle ranching — the primary drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the Brazilian Amazon
- Integrated land use planning and governance in the Andean Amazon, particularly in Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia
- Strategies to reduce or mitigate the impact of infrastructure development
- The advancement of REDD frameworks to increase the value of standing forest
After testing these approaches, we decided to focus our resources and efforts on securing current conservation gains in the Andes-Amazon region by accelerating the consolidation of the protected areas we have supported in the past and reducing the external pressures that threaten their forest cover and biodiversity. Between now and 2016, we are committed to ensuring that the protected areas we have helped to create and strengthen over the past 12 years, and our partner organizations in the region, will be resilient to pressure and threats over the long term.
Our work falls under three distinct but integrated strategies focused on consolidating protected areas within a few ‘priority mosaics’ we have identified in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil. These mosaics were selected based on conservation significance, degree of short- and long-term threats, level of protected area consolidation and our history of engagement in each area. Our three strategies are as follows:
Protected area systems
Integration of protected areas in land-use planning
- Improve monitoring for adaptive management and establish sustainable finance structures for protected area systems in Brazil, Peru and Colombia.
Individual protected areas
- Strengthen the durability of certain protected areas and indigenous lands in priority mosaics in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil by ensuring they are integrated in jurisdictional land-use plans, economic and ecological zoning, and development policies.
- Increase management effectiveness of key protected areas and indigenous lands in priority mosaics in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
Click the map for a detailed view of all protected areas and indigenous lands in the Andes-Amazon region.