The region of the Rio Aripuanã in the Central Amazon Basin is home to a unique diversity of plants and animals, including several large mammals that have not yet been scientifically described. In 2006, Stiftung Artenschutz funded two research expeditions which were carried out in cooperation with the Brazilian NGO Hiléia.
The human population already located in the area will maintain the right to live in the reserve and use its natural resources in a sustainable manner, but no newcomers are allowed to settle any longer and commercial farming or large-scale plantations are banned.
The aim of this project is to assure that active protection of the new reserve "RDS Juma" will be implemented and not remain on paper only. Access to the reserve needs to be strictly controlled to counter illegal wood cutting. Step by step, the local people will be introduced to alternative, sustainable sources of income. At the moment, they primarily earn money from selling timber and from hunting. Sustainable use of rainforest products and tourism, however, will not only be compatible with the goals of biodiversity conservation, but will also offer a long term economic perspective to the inhabitants.
A further aim of this project is to carefully design the reserve's completely protected core area in due consideration of the unique ecological value of the region along the Rio Aripuanã. This requires support from the local inhabitants and the relevant environmental authorities.
Stiftung Artenschutz supports Hiléia in implementing the following conservation measures:
- Installation of a pontoon on the Rio Aripuanã to control access to the reserve. The pontoon will also serve as a basis for activities such as training workshops (see below).
- Training of voluntary forest guards.
- Workshops for the local inhabitants to:
- introduce apiculture as an alternative source of income;
- introduce permaculture in an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable way.
For the Juma Project Stiftung Artenschutz gratefully acknowledges funding from the Schellenberg Stiftung.