Breakthrough in Brazil

After over three years of hard work by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and other organisations, the management plan for Brazil’s 184,000-hectare Cristalino State Park has finally been completed.

The park is on the southern edge of the Amazon rainforest, where there is the highest threat of encroaching cattle, soya and other destructive agriculture.

The State government, which manages the park, asked FFI and our partner the Cristalino Ecological Foundation to facilitate the planning process. Our thorough knowledge of both the forest and the communities’ lives and concerns enabled us to engage all stakeholders in a constructive process, with excellent results.

FFI believes that local buy-in is the only way to successfully conserve this rainforest refuge, home to endangered species such as the white-whiskered spider monkey.

An intensive workshop with local people enabled us to better understand the history of conflict around the park. We then helped them find practical solutions for the future.

Thanks to this process, communities are becoming increasingly aware of and involved in activities in the park, whether it is conservation, research or education. FFI is now supporting the implementation of the plan.

“I found it really rewarding to help the communities to actively participate in the park management plan. It was an opportunity to show that FFI is committed to our mission to take into account human needs and that we actually deliver it!”

Cynthia Machado, FFI’s Technical Director in Brazil.

Did you know?

FFI is starting to develop a certification system so that local people with small biodiversity-friendly farms along the buffer zone of the park can sell their products for a premium. Crops include banana, coffee, Brazil nuts, acai and cassava.

Photo credits: Evan Bowen-Jones/FFI.