Story | 05 Sep, 2019

The living Amazon is given a breath of fresh air

IUCN will work on a new partnership for the IUCN Green List in the Amazon with support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Andes-Amazon Initiative. IUCN will promote the Green List Standard that describes and encourages fair and effective conservation in the Amazon region.

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Photo: WWF Columbia

IUCN has been awarded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation a three-year project to support partnership for successful Amazon protected areas through the IUCN Green List programme.

The Foundation is a long-term supporter of the region, evidenced by the Andes Amazon Initiative since 2001 and more than $400 million invested into improving protected areas and securing indigenous lands. It is also supporting new financing initiatives for nature such as ARPA for Life, Herencia Colombia, and Peru’s Natural Legacy. The Foundation has a clear vision of long-term, verified success in nature conservation and counts on the IUCN to:

  • Promote an Amazon Green List Standard and community of protected and conserved areas
  • To support the Green List in at least 5 Amazon countries
  • To collaborate with national and regional conservation partners
  • To undertake site-level diagnosis for at least 20 protected areas in the Amazon region, and help them to achieve success through the IUCN Green List programme.

The project will be inclusive of IUCN’s commission experts, members and local partners and actors. IUCN transparently shares solutions and will celebrate success in the region and at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in 2020.

The IUCN Green List in Latin America sees IUCN members and experts engaged in Colombia (the programme pioneers), Peru, Mexico and Costa Rica and continuing dialogue with other countries in the Amazon region such as Ecuador, Brazil and Bolivia.

There are seven Latin American protected areas on the Green List to date and more than 50 candidates. Globally, to date, 46 sites are Green Listed with more than 400 candidates. Notable examples of the Green List success stories so far include the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve and Cordillera Azul National Park in the Amazon basin, Peru, and an Expert Assessment Group (EAGL) of conservation professionals engaged and established for Colombia and Peru.

With this new partnership project, IUCN will be able to move forward in at least five Amazon countries and support Green List processes through training, regional cohesion, knowledge exchange, and ‘twinning’ between protected areas. IUCN will also consolidate existing partner commitments at local, national and regional levels, and provide technical cohesion for governance and management assessments: a partner to be counted on.

Building the Amazon Green List process relies on three pillars:

  • Commitment - the 20 areas to be involved must voluntarily commit to the IUCN Green List standards.
  • Diagnosis - the 20 areas will be assessed for good governance and management effectiveness through participatory and inclusive approaches.
  • Improvement - targeted investment will help improve results and achieve Green List Certification.

What happens next?

The project will be presented at the III LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN CONGRESS OF PROTECTED AREAS where Amazon countries and partners will be further engaged and joint commitments will be secured. Then, participating protected and conserved areas will be identified and national and regional Green List process will be established. Finally, collaborative diagnosis and improvement will move 20 sites towards Green List recognition.

We expect to apply the Amazon Green List Standard criteria and indicators with Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil. We will create a new Green List including implementing partners and regional community of Green List sites.

We expect to see twenty Green List candidates evaluated …and hopefully Green List certified!

With dedicated effort and inspirational commitments, IUCN and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation will be able to help showcase success stories of Amazon-led conservation action - a much-needed breath of fresh air for this globally important region.