This month we launched the Amazon Fruit and Climate Change Observatory in Bolivia, which is the culmination of a 10-month project that focuses on strengthening the management of non-timber forest products in the Bolivian Amazon rainforest such as açaí, Brazil nuts, cacao or copoazu. Not only do non-timber forest products help prevent deforestation by placing economic value on keeping forests standing, the diversification of fruits helps local communities mitigate and adapt to climate change.
The Amazonian Fruits and Climate Change Observatory is a virtual repository that compiles and shares important information on Amazonian forest products such as Brazil nuts, açaí, cacao, copoazu, majo and royal palm. Additionally, it provides updates on the state of forests and climate change in the department of Pando, Bolivia. It also features geographic information and technical documents with relevant information on the value chains of the region’s main Amazonian fruits, and tools that allow the socioeconomic monitoring of a specific harvesters’ initiative and production. Users are also granted access to a compilation of documents with information relevant to climate change and forest-sector related public policies.
Through the Observatory, this information is made available to all stakeholders involved in the processing of forest products, including local harvesters, public and private technical assistance institutions, private entrepreneurs and government decision-makers. This directly benefits around 87,500 people linked to the harvest of Amazonian fruits in Pando, Bolivia, including indigenous and local communities, along with 9 local enterprises developing capacity for the use of the information generated by the Observatory.
Thanks to the harvest of Amazonian fruits, deforestation and slash-and-burn are low in Pando compared to other parts of the Bolivian Amazon, turning this area into a refuge for the Bolivian lowlands. As the Observatory website states, “A healthy forest is a productive forest. A productive forest is a forest resilient to climate change.”
This project would not be possible without the support of the EUROCLIMA+ program. For more information about the observatory please visit the website here.
Right in time for the new year, the Peruvian Government officially declared our Los Amigos Conservation Area as a nationally recognized conservation area through Ministerial Resolution 245-2021-MINAM, citing its importance in preserving the forest cover that contributes to the conservation of the Amazon rainforest ecoregion’s biodiversity. This recognition and achievement for the Peruvian Amazon reaffirms our commitment to the protection of the myriad of species and ecosystems found in one of the most biodiverse areas in the world.
Los Amigos will now be included in official registration documents from Peru’s National System of Protected Natural Areas, which detail each area’s biological, environmental or landscape conservation value. The Peruvian government will also issue an official map of Los Amigos and provide training and advice for its planning and management if needed. Additionally, Los Amigos’s national recognition helps protect it against interests from third parties, such as those who may assess its large tracts of forest as prospective cash cows for logging or mining.
Located in one of the largest and richest regions in terms of diversity of flora and fauna in the country, the Los Amigos landscape includes a mosaic of terrestrial and aquatic habitats, including palm swamps, bamboo thickets, oxbow lakes, and various types of flooded and non-flooded forests. Wildlife is abundant, including 12 globally threatened species and abundant Amazonian fauna including giant otters, harpy eagles, spider monkeys and jaguars. Los Amigos and its surrounding areas register a total 617 species of birds, including threatened and endangered species, classifying it as one of the richest bird stations in the entire Amazon. The area also contains 11 species of primates and by way of comparison, all of Costa Rica holds only four.
Moreover, the Los Amigos Biological Station on the property has been the subject of various investigations on ecology, biological inventories, animal behavior and interactions between plants and animals. The station has hosted more than 213 research projects and produced 223 publications, including biological inventories of more than 30 types of organisms. It truly is a hub for research on this vital ecosystem.
Interested in learning more about Los Amigos Conservation Hub or visiting the biological station? Click here for more information.
In 2022, the Amazon Conservation Association looks forward to another year of maximizing the synergy of people, science, and innovation to protect and conserve the Amazon.
Here are three simple resolutions for you to join us in starting the year with purpose to make a real difference for nature in 2022:
Support your community and forests by shopping from local environmentally-conscious and forest-friendly businesses.
Join our Wild Keepers monthly giving program to amplify your impact by joining forces with other nature advocates to accomplish more through this powerful community effort.
Create a free estate plan to protect the people, pets, places, and causes you care about. We have partnered with FreeWill to offer our community a trusted, free online platform that makes creating a will quick and easy. Start your plan today!
Take a few moments to start the new year well — for you, your loved ones, and the Amazon.