Amazon rainforest - South America

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World's largest tropical rainforest

Covers 40% South American landmass

one of most biodivewrse places on earth home to 

1 million plant species

2000 species fish

home to many endangered species- pirarucu (fish) Amazonian manatee (aquatic animal)  

& black caimon (reptile) 

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2 threats to ecosystem

Two main threats 


single biggest threat- 13% original forest been cleared 

reasons for deforestation- mining, logging and subsistence agriculture contribute

BUT... biggest problem is cattle ranching 

cattle ranching responsible for < than 60% of all deforestation 2000- 2005

Impacts of deforestation wide 

In Amazon been problems with increased forest fires & soil erosion 

+ > biodiversity caused by habitat loss 

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2nd threat - over-hunting and over-fishing

Most local people live traditional lifestyle - rely on hunting, fishing, foraging & small-scale farmingg food.

Population growth recent years caused increase in subsistence hunting, fishing by local people

Hunting primates bushmeat big problem 

Brazillian rainforest local people consume up to 5.4 million primates per year 

This is unsustainable - primates reproduce slowly - many species endangered

Loss of ceretain species- knock on effect other species 

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Background to management- Amazon rainforest

The Central American Conservation Complex is in the Brazilian Amazon

Central Amazon Conservation Complex established 2003 

Aims:protect biodiversity of area & maintain various ecosystems

Allow local people to continue using forest for livelihood- sustainable way 

Complex covers area 49000km2 

Managed  by several organisations- Brazilian Institute of the Environment & Natural Resources

(IBAMA), local gov, research institutes & mining + tourism industries representatives

Management approach uses number of schemes

to try to balance conservation and sustainable development 

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Management Strategies- Amazon rainforest

Complex divied into zones - total protection, buffer zones, sustainable use, rehabillitation and experimental use. Acitvities within these areas strictly controlled: 

1) areas of total protection- heavily restricted only researchers & authorised visitors wlloed in Jau Nartional Park 2) Areas of sustainable use- quotas to limit logging, hunting & fishing

Two sustainable development rserves (SDRs) created where hunting & logging only allowed - subsistence + limits numbers of animals & fish that can be caught

Economic Alternative Programmes set up- sustainable shemes ran by local people - receive direct income from work- communities involved in fisheries management, ecotourism, sustainable agriculture & handicraft prodcution. 

Fibrarte Project = supports local people- natural fibres- handicrafts- which they can sell

Projects set up- increase community involvement- conservation. Mamiraua 60 communities take part- monitoring wildlife.// Local representatives meet every 2 months - local gov & NGOs discuss ways of managing evnrionment & conserving biodiversity.

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Successes of management strategies- Amazon rainfor

Sustainable Development initatives been successful

Creation of conservation complex- protected surrounding area from major developments - might have impacts CACC - no dams, pipelines mines or commerical logging activities 

& currently none planned - future 

SDRs improved biodiversity. Populations key species increased

- since creation CACC black caimon popuation increased 100% 
- piracuru fish popuation increased over 300%

Economic Alternative Programmes promote sustainable activies & > poverty 

Average household income increased by up to 99% in some areas 

Local farmers & craftmen belong to producer's associations- means can sell good directly to buyers rather than trading through 'middle men' who charge comission. 

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Successes of management strategies cont... Amazon

Ecoutourism provides source of income- locals & promotes conservation 

Mamiraua low environmental impact ecoutourism lodge built recycles waste & uses solar power 
-Lodge brings jobs & money to local community
- invests money into conservation and community projects 

Local education & health improvement projects been successful

Local people trained- health workers & better rainwater collection technology  
-means local communities  access 2 clean drinking water. 

These changes improved QoL - local population shown by 54% drop infant mortality

80 local school teachers trained educate children about environment 

As a result 1800 children had classes - conservation 

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Drawbacks of management strategies- Amazon

Reserves are large & understaffed - difficult monitor + control illegal activities e.g. hunting

150 people employed in Amana and Mamiraua reserves & 100 volunteer guards
BUT < volunteers needed- cover large area effectively 

Restricting access to areas of total protection - v difficult because
1) size of the zones  2) limited numbers of staff. 

 Jau National Park only 4 permanent staff - poaching fish & turtles still a problem 

26 volunteer guards been trained- MAY improve situation

Population growth - areas - puts stress ecosystems & some areas suffer intensive fishing
- & hunting especially monkeys + manatees

Population growth around area = deforestation around edges CACC continues :( 
= habitat loss & fragmentation (forested areas split up so animals can't move in between them)

+ makes complex < accessible - increases risk of illegal overhunting & overfishing in complex 

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