Working with the Global Environment Facility, the World Bank helped the Brazilian Government implement a series of protected areas that have reversed deforestation in the Amazon and returned benefits to communities. Awarded the U.S. Treasury Development Impact Honor award in 2012, the Amazon Region Protected Areas Program (ARPA) is among the most successful land management programs on the planet.
In the run up to the World Parks Congress, we spoke with Adriana Moreira, team leader for ARPA, about the project’s success and how she plans to apply the lessons she learned into a new project that aims to triple the marine area under protection in Brazil while directly benefiting 800,000 people.
1. What lessons did you learn from your work in the Amazon?
We learned three important lessons: (1) involve the community from the beginning, (2) use financing mechanisms with an exit strategy, (3) use a landscape approach.
The most important lesson is that it is crucial to involve the local community from the start of project development. This ensures that resources and benefits flow to the people who rely on them directly and that laws will be upheld.
We also learned the importance of innovative financing. Many projects are financed for just a few years and need to find other ways to continue on in the future. Working with foundations, the private sector and multi-lateral groups, we secured US$215 million for 25 years. After that, increased government budget and revenue from tourism to the protected areas will cover maintenance costs. This exit-strategy ensures that financing does not have an expiration date.