Workshop develops protocol to monitor sustainable pirarucu fishing in Amazon protected areas

USAID partners the Ecological Research Institute (IPÊ) and Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) hosted the Second Workshop toward a Monitoring Protocol for sustainable pirarucu fishing in Conservation Areas, September 4-8. The workshop is part of the Participatory Biodiversity Monitoring initiative, which covers nearly 12 million hectares of tropical forests over 17 protected areas in the Amazon.

Under the initiative, communities are the lead protagonists and main transformation agents for the protected areas’ management. Local communities exchange knowledge with researchers, managers, public and private institutions, and become monitors of the surrounding biodiversity, contributing to its conservation. They benefit from training in IPE’s advanced participatory biodiversity monitoring methodologies and they actively participate in the development of the protected area management plans.

“We need to learn more and compile more data, as this will be important to ensure proper resource management and sustainability,” says Manuel Cunha, manager of the Medio Juruá Extractive Reserve and local community member.

The workshop took place in Manaus over a full week and discussed the conservation and trade of pirarucu from the Reserves of Medio and Baixo Juruá, Auati-Paraná and Unini river, as well as the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve. Social participation permeates the creation of protocols at various levels: “It is important to engage people that have a hands-on approach to management. Sometimes we are not able to involve them all, but we keep trying”, explains Cristina Tófoli, IPÊ’s project coordinator.

Dione Torquato, president of the National Council for Traditional Peoples and Communities, praised the way the protocols are being brought to life: “Congratulations to the technical team for their sensibility in discussing these issues with local communities”.

Protocols will now be drafted, reviewed and submitted to local groups and managers for validation at a future workshop with the communities.