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Priority Areas for Conservation in the Amazon Biome: Experiences and methodologies.

Ministério do Meio Ambiente/Programa Áreas Protegidas da Amazônia

Date and Time
23 May 2008 13:15 - 14:45

Ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 9)

The Program of Work on Protected Areas under the CBD (Decision VII/28, goal 1.1) emphasizes the need to complete gap analyses and to designate protected areas according to the national or regional gap analysis (including precise maps). Evaluation and identification of areas and priority actions for the conservation of the Brazilian biomes is a pioneer initiative. Between 1997 and 2000, the Brazilian government (MMA) organized a large consultation process to define priority areas for conservation in all biomes: the Amazon Forest, Caatinga, Cerrado and Pantanal, Atlantic Forest and Pampa, plus the Coastal and Marine Zone. Priority areas for biodiversity conservation have been reviewed in 2006. The methodology applied, based on Systematic Conservation Planning, used an approach that promotes higher objectivity and efficiency. It promotes increased participation and produces information that makes possible informed decision-making and capacity to value opportunities. Among the Brazilian biomes, the Amazon Forest is characterized by its enormous dimensions and diversity, occupying almost 50 % of the Brazilian territory. It represents 60 % of the overall biome, the neighboring countries Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela sharing the remaining 40%. The review of priority areas in the Amazon Forest was coordinated by the ARPA Program, resulting in 825 priority areas for conservation, sustainable use and benefit sharing of Brazilian biodiversity. In other countries in South America, experiences with priorities areas for conservation, using Systematic Conservation Planning or other similar approaches have been realized. Identifying and sharing these results is an important challenge for conservation.