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Evaluating Conservation Projects in the Amazon...and yet another book!

(28 November 2014)

From October to December 2014, I am leading a 7 person team to evaluate a broad programme on conservation of biodiversity in the Amazon region of  Colombia, Perú and Ecuador. This programme, financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), supports over 25 organizations that help indigenous communities, farmer organizations, local governments, small companies and producer groups to conserve forests, make wise use of forest products and engage in sustainable production. Thanks to this work, I am able to visit a number of wonderful pristine areas in the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Amazon and meet great people, committed to the survival of the nature in this region of key importance. However, I could also witness the horrible effects of illegal mining, the negative impact of ill-planned infrastructure and social consequences of uncontrolled urbanization.

This kind of assignments really show both sides of the medal: the impressive beauty and the enormous threats to the Amazon integrity. These two sides have been well described in a recent book that we published with WWF: State of the Amazon: Ecological Representation in Protected Areas and Indigenous Territories