Amazon Sustainable Landscapes
Dear Colleagues,
The Amazon Sustainable Landscapes Program (ASL) team is excited to share our first newsletter a platform for national projects, lessons learned, knowledge events, and other resources that contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of the Amazon region. 

With a commitment of US$113 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and over US$680 million in expected cofinancing, the ASL aims to protect globally significant biodiversity and implement policies to foster sustainable land use and restoration of native vegetation cover. For the ASL, we believe that if: (i) an adequate area of the Amazon is conserved under various regimes (protected areas and indigenous lands); (ii) agriculture, degraded, and forest lands are managed sustainably and with zero illegal deforestation tolerance; (iii) national policies and strategies support sustainable development that minimizes deforestation and loss of ecosystem services; and (iv) capacity of and regional cooperation between key players is improved; then the protection of the Amazon’s biodiversity and the integrity of its ecosystem services can be achieved. 

The program includes four national projects in Brazil, Colombia and Peru, and a regional coordinating project. By the end of 2017, these projects had been endorsed by the GEF CEO and now the teams are beginning implementation. A snapshot of each project is presented here. Together, these projects aim to improve management of 82 million hectares of landscapes, promote sustainable land management practices in 8.5 million hectares, and support actions that will directly help reduce CO2 emissions by 166 million tons. These targets can be achieved through the collaborative effort of the country governments, national and international partners, and the GEF implementing agencies: the World Bank Group (WBG) as lead agency, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Through our newsletters, we will share the progress and highlight inspiring stories from the field. Please feel free to contribute.
Thank you for your support,

The ASL Team 

Photo credits for top photo (left to right): Marizilda Cruppe, Walter Wust, Giulianna Camarena.
News at a glance ( scroll down to read more )
  • ASL's Annual Conference
  • ASL at the GEF Assembly
  • ASL launches program video
  • Acre, Brazil shares lessons for success with other ASL countries
  • Colombian farmers conserving and restoring the forest in Guaviare
  • A platform to measure the economic value of the Amazon’s ecosystem services
  • Seminar held on connectivity corridors to conserve biodiversity
  • Patrimonio del Peru showcased at the GCAS Forests, Food, and Land Day
  • Expanding Colombia’s Chiribiquete National Park
  • Amazon governors commit to combat climate change & deforestation
Bringing the team together – ASL’s first Annual Conference
In May 2018, the ASL held its first annual conference in Iquitos, Peru, bringing together representatives from the governments of Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia, as well as from national and international NGOs, donor agencies, WBG, WWF and UNDP. The meeting aimed to promote an exchange of knowledge and experiences on how to improve biodiversity conservation in and sustainable management of the Amazon landscapes, and to start building a joint vision for a second phase of the ASL. Future exchanges and collaboration on specific topics were identified to continue strengthening networks and improving connectivity in the Amazon.
ASL highlighted at the GEF Assembly
At the Sixth GEF Assembly in Da Nang, Vietnam, in June 2018, the ASL hosted and participated in two important events. A side event with the program’s name and organized by the WBG, WWF and UNDP, provided an overview of the program and its partnerships with governments, donors, and implementing and executing agencies, which was followed by a rich and constructive conversation. In addition, the ASL participated in the roundtable for the Amazon and the Congo Basin organized by the GEF. The roundtable brought together country representatives, scientists and academic experts to share experiences in sustainable forest management and the inclusion of biodiversity management principles into sectors that are driving deforestation.

Significant progress has been made in managing protected areas and forest landscapes generating local economic benefits. However, there are significant emerging threats to maintaining the ecological integrity and landscape connectivity throughout the biome. Participants agreed that addressing these threats and managing the Amazon’s resources to achieve multiple benefits requires working with all stakeholders ranging from local community and indigenous peoples through sectoral line ministries to international organizations, and across all sorts of boundaries between and within countries. The group also discussed that the shared management of freshwater resources requires renewed attention. Finally, there was consensus that managing the Amazon must include finding a path out of poverty for the 34 million people who depend on its natural capital for their current and future welfare. 
Video: The Amazon Joining forces to protect the world’s largest rainforest 
The ASL’s new program video was presented at the GEF Assembly in Vietnam. Highlighting the forest's biodiversity, it shows the threats to the Amazon and how Brazil, Colombia and Peru have joined together to protect the vast and diverse ecosystem, support communities, and ensure landscape connectivity. Also available in Spanish and Portuguese.
The State of Acre in Brazil is experiencing a renaissance of forests with economic and social benefits for its people. The State has become an emblem of successful deforestation control, restoration of degraded lands, and economic inclusion. Acre holds valuable lessons for governments and businesses on how to reduce deforestation across an entire jurisdiction while increasing sustainable economic development and enhancing quality of life for its population.

This March, the ASL organized a knowledge exchange visit to study best practices managing natural resources. Government representatives from other Amazon countries Colombia and Peru witnessed first-hand how the World Bank-supported Acre Social and Economic Inclusion and Sustainable Development Project (PROACRE) works with isolated and marginalized communities, providing them with health services, technical assistance, tools, and supplies for small scale agriculture and forest conservation initiatives. The visit also featured the “Peixes da Amazônia”, or fish farming complex, an established public, private and community partnership that manages one of Acre's largest fish production chains. COOPEACRE, a cooperative of over 3,000 producers of Brazil nut, rubber, heart of palm, and fruit pulp, provided visitors with lessons about processing and commercialization for national and international markets. The ASL will scale up activities based on these lessons and provide opportunities for other beneficiaries to join future visits. Photo: Angela Peres
In the department of Guaviare in the Colombian Amazon, 362 campesino families are actively participating in the conservation and restoration of the forest to counteract the deforestation that threatens the ecological connectivity between the Andes forest and the Colombian Amazon. These families are beneficiaries of the ASL Colombian project " Forest Conservation and Sustainability in the Heart of the Amazon" that aims to prevent deforestation of 9.1 million hectares while providing alternative livelihoods to local communities improving their quality of life and strengthening their organizational process. With the involvement of multiple organizations and following a detailed participatory process, the families have signed an agreement to conserve the forest in their farms and allocate hectares for a productive agroforestry project, and in exchange receive training, inputs, and economic incentives. This is an ongoing innovative process with an expanded network of beneficiaries and with multiple lessons for similar experiences aiming to promote community participation in conservation.  Photo: Instituto SINCHI
Measuring the economic value of the Amazon’s ecosystem services
The World Bank, with the financial support of the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, has developed a “valuation platform” that seeks to expand and improve empirical knowledge on the value of local and regional ecosystem services provided by the Amazon rainforest. The platform provides spatially-explicit knowledge on a subset of ecosystem services values (including timber and non-timber forest products, biodiversity, hydrological services, and carbon stocks), and on the changes in these values due to loss in forest cover. This platform was presented by Dr. Jon Strand at a virtual meeting organized by the ASL in July at the WBG’s headquarters.
Connectivity corridors to conserve biodiversity
The ASL Program member countries participated in a three-day seminar on connectivity corridors, titled Enlarging Connectivity: Which criteria are necessary to establish ecological corridors through restoration and landscapes management? The seminar aimed to enhance the synergies between initiatives in South America, with a focus on Brazilian, Colombian and Peruvian Amazon and Brazilian, Argentinian and Paraguayan Atlantic forest. 

While there have been significant efforts to establish and protect important ecological areas, many areas are situated within a fragmented and degraded landscape. Connecting and managing these protected areas with the surrounding productive landscapes in an integrated and sustainable way will foster the survival and ecological viability of multiple species in the Amazon region as well as other forests in the continent. During the seminar, participants from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay and Peru highlighted the importance of promoting such connectivity not only from the biodiversity but also cultural, socio-economic, climate and other perspectives. The ASL will support these efforts in the Amazon. The workshop identified the following key elements for fostering connectivity: (i) engaging local communities, including on socioeconomics issues; (ii) adopting participatory governance approaches; (iii) using communication and dialogue as social mobilization tools; (iv) encouraging a policy-mix, maximizing synergies and minimizing conflicts; (v) promoting public, private, and academic partnerships; (vi) integrating landscape management across countries; (vii) developing an online platform for sharing data and lessons learned, and; (viii) increasing resilience and socioecological security for people living in the Amazon.
The seminar was hosted by the Ministry of Environment of Brazil, with the support of the WBG, the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the University of São Paulo, in São Paulo, Brazil from December 5 7, 2017.

The full workshop report will be publicly available at the end of November on the Connect website.
News from ASL countries:
On September 12th, during the Forests, Food, and Land Day at the Global Climate Action Summit, the ASL project “Securing the Future of Peru’s Natural Protected Areas,” implemented by the Peruvian government with WWF as the GEF agency, was showcased at the event Working Together: A coalition of non-state actors supporting Peru to secure climate benefits. The project will support the multi-partner, public-private initiative known as “Peru’s Natural Legacy” or PdP ( for its name in Spanish, Patrimonio del Peru), which aims to develop an innovative model for the financial sustainability of the National Protected Area System. This model will result in improved management of almost 17 million hectares in 38 protected areas in the Peruvian Amazon by 2028. Peruvian Minister of Environment, Fabiola Muñoz Dodero, stated that the goal is to generate the financing necessary to achieve strategic, and effective management of protected natural areas so they can provide ecosystem services, conserve the representative ecosystems of Peru, and ensure the well-being of the people living within and around these areas. GEF CEO Naoko Ishii highlighted the organization’s commitment towards this goal, noting more broadly that the Amazon region brings together both the GEF mission as steward of the Global Commons and as financial mechanism for the Rio Conventions. Photo: SERNANP

Read more about the event:

Expanding Colombia’s Chiribiquete National Park – the world’s largest national park protecting a tropical rainforest
In July 2018, the area of the National Natural Park of Chiribiquete was formally expanded from 2.7 million to 4.27 million hectares and became the first Colombian park to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in recognition of its “outstanding universal value” for nature and people. Chiribiquete’s expanded area will strengthen the ecological integrity of the area’s ecosystems and surrounding wildlife corridors; preserve areas of invaluable archeological richness; conserve territories inhabited by indigenous communities in voluntary isolation; and continue providing ecosystem services that support the livelihoods of the communities living in the surrounding areas. As indicated by the announcement from the Colombian Ministry of Environment, this important event is the result of a long process guided by the strong commitment from the national government and supported by regional, national and international organizations including ASL partners and donors. Improving the park’s management effectiveness will be supported through a collaborative effort of multiple entities and projects including the ASL Colombian project “Forest conservation and sustainability in the heart of the Colombian Amazon.” Photo: Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia
Other news:
Amazon governors' commit to combat climate change & deforestation
During the annual meeting of the Governor’s Climate and Forest task force (GCF) held in San Francisco, California, September 10–12, eight governors from Amazon states in Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru, signed a new declaration to show their commitment to fulfill the commitments of the Rio Branco Declaration and support multiple activities to address climate change and combat deforestation. Additionally, the GCF agreed on a set of unifying principles for collaboration and partnership between subnational governments, indigenous peoples and local communities. Photo: GCF

Questions or news to share?