Community-Based Management of Amazonian Biodiversity Assets

João Vitor Campos-Silva, Joseph E. Hawes, Carolina T. Freitas, Paulo C.M. Andrade, Carlos A. Peres

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Citations (Scopus)


The Amazon is the largest forest system on Earth, supporting a variety of indigenous societies, small farmers, extractivists, and artisanal fishers with different cultures and relations with wildlife. However, the Brazilian Amazon has lost more than 436, 000 km2 of forest in the last 30 years, and Protected Areas may not be enough to ensure the conservation of biodiversity and cultural heritage. On the other hand, formal alliances with rural inhabitants can decentralize resource management, strengthen full-time surveillance systems, reduce overall costs, and boost conservation effectiveness. Here, we provide an assessment of the two largest community-based management (CBM) programs in the Brazilian Amazon, which are inducing strong social and ecological benefits at a large scale. First, we show the benefits from CBM of giant arapaima, which has promoted an impressive stock recovery of the world’s largest freshwater scaled fish (Arapaima spp.), generating income and other benefits for rural livelihoods in Amazonian floodplains. Second, we show that CBM of freshwater turtles (Podocnemis spp.) has also promoted the population recovery of overexploited turtles, contributing to the maintenance of important cultural values. We also identified a set of social and institutional principles, and the intrinsic values of natural resources, which can help develop successful CBM programs. Finally, we discuss how these principles can strengthen existing initiatives and/or inspire new ones. Reconciling biodiversity conservation and local aspirations for rural development is an urgent socioecological demand in Amazonia. Raising the profile of successful initiatives can be a powerful strategy to disseminate a message of hope and action to local and international agencies that can support the scaling up of these successful models.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationParticipatory Biodiversity Conservation
Subtitle of host publicationConcepts, Experiences, and Perspectives
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783030416867
ISBN (Print)9783030416850
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Arapaima
  • Co-management
  • Fisheries
  • Podocnemis
  • Protected Areas
  • Socioecological system
  • Sustainable development
  • Turtles

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