Amazon Communities Exchange Knowledge and Resume Biodiversity and Monitoring

Traditional communities in the Amazon, unit conservation (UC) managers, and researchers will resume face-to-face Knowledge Gatherings in 2022. These events were suspended almost two years ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to sharing experiences and knowledge among local residents and researchers, the Gatherings are an opportunity to discuss the results of monitoring activities and new demands from the community.

The Knowledge Gatherings are part of the Participatory Biodiversity Monitoring Project (MPB), which integrates Monitora, Brazil's National Biodiversity Monitoring Program. Eighteen protected areas are monitored by the Ecological Research Institute (IPÊ) and the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), under the Partnership for the Conservation of Amazon Biodiversity (PCAB) supported by USAID/Brazil. 

Before each Gathering, an information-sharing exercise is held in each community to offer participants a preview of the results. The goal is to encourage the exchange of ideas to ensure effective discussions. 

The calendar for the year is  being finalized, currently three events have been scheduled. The first will be held in February at the Rio Cautário Extractive Reserve, in the state of Rondônia, where the Brazil nut chain is monitored. The following month, will be realized in the Trombetas Biological Reserve, where the monitoring goal is turtles. A Gathering is scheduled in March for the Cazumbá-Iracema Extractive Reserve in Acre.

"We are reaching the end of our project cycle, which is why we want to ensure the teams are strong and remain engaged in the initiative, so that they can continue without us," says Pollyana Figueira, MPB executive coordinator.

In 2022, the project will enter its final stage. IPÊ's proposal is to strengthen local teams, including local residents and community monitors, together with ICMBio to continue monitoring several species, including turtles, fish, and nuts.

"We have managed to achieve our goals of implementing participatory monitoring and supporting the institutionalization of Monitora within ICMBio. This gives us a feeling of mission accomplished," adds Cristina Tofoli, MPB general coordinator at IPÊ.

In the second half of 2021, a publication named "Knowledge Gatherings — a new way to talk about conservation" was launched.

Since its implementation in 2013, IPE has benefited 4,000 people in 18 conservation units, covering over 12 million hectares of forest.