The Amazon contains the largest expanse of intact tropical forests and network of rivers on the planet — and no country can boast more Amazonian territory than Brazil. For those living in Brazil and elsewhere around the Amazon, protected areas and indigenous lands have been an effective means, through conservation, of maintaining regional climate stability and safeguarding natural resources.
Now, with support from the Amazon Fund of Brazil’s National Development Bank (BNDES) and from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (IPÊ) has launched a new initiative with the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), the Chico Mendes Institute and Conservation of Biodiversity (ICMBio), the State Secretariat of the Environment of Amazonas (SEMA) and the Institute of Forestry and Biodiversity of the State of Pará (Ideflor-Bio) to strengthen management of more than 80 protected areas and indigenous lands, and to fund sustainable development projects to benefit communities within and surrounding these territories.
LIRA: Legado Integrado da Região Amazônica
In total, the new “LIRA” Project (Integrated Legacy of the Amazon Region) will encompass 80 million hectares of the Brazilian Amazon, effectively increasing resilience to deforestation and other threats to the region’s natural resources and ecological integrity.
Brazil’s Development Bank (BNDES) and its Amazon Fund have a proven track record of long-term financing for projects that contribute to the conservation of the Amazon . Together with BNDES, institutional partners ICMBio, FUNAI, and the states of Amazonas and Pará, IPÊ will launch a public call for proposals in early February .
Up to 12 proposed projects to improve management and financing of protected areas and indigenous lands and to develop sustainable production alternatives will be selected. Each selected project would receive between R$1.5M-6M for implementation. The LIRA Project will provide an additional R$150k in support for each project, beyond the implementation funding, for social participation in territorial management, to increase employment and improve livelihoods of forest communities. LIRA will also offer training and capacity building opportunities, and promote adoption of technology solutions to improve monitoring of biodiversity and territorial conservation.
Read the full press release about LIRA from BNDES (in Portuguese).
A duet for conservation
LIRA was envisioned as a complement to Brazil’s vast Amazon Region Protected Areas (ARPA) program, which aims to conserve 60 million hectares in perpetuity.