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Ecological Principles for Decision Making in the Amazon


This course was specifically designed for representatives of government institutions (federal, state, and municipal), non-governmental (civil society organizations such as unions, cooperatives, and NGOs), the private sector and legislators who hold positions of leadership. It offers high quality scientific and technical information intended to help participants understand ecological principles and apply them in formulating public policy across all sectors, addressing the sustainable use and conservation of the Amazon’s forest resources. Participants leave with more tools to face a challenge common to all communities across the Amazon: that of using local resources sustainably.


Day 1

Opening session and welcome

  • Introduction the Ecological principles and concepts
  • Amazonian Diversity: landscape, ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Causes and effects of anthropogenic change in the Amazonian landscape: the loss of environmental services
  • The human presence in the Amazon basin its effects and impact on biodiversity
  • Field Trip to the History and Geography Institute
  • Travel to Rio Negro
  • The várzea ecosystem and its productivity
  • Várzea ecosystem function and human impact

DISCUSSION: Summary of the day, Municipal economic activities and the future of the region, pros and cons

Day 2

  • Anthropogenic impacts on the Amazonian Ecosystem
  • How large infrastructure projects affect land use change and regional development policy
  • The case of the Rio Negro Bridge and urban expansion
  • Urban expansion, regional change, and land use policy, the future of Iranduba
  • Investment in the Urucu-Coari-Manaus pipeline and the impacts on the energy grid for the Manaus metropolitan area
  • A quick stopover to see forest fragmentation
  • The impacts of forest fragmentation
  • Brief presentation about the Novo Airão region
  • Facing the challenges of finding economic alternatives in an area defined as a protected area—the role of tourism in the municipality of Novo Airão: Participant discussion

DISCUSSION: summary of the day, and discussion on the deforestation process in the Amazon 
The impact of large scale infrastructure

Day 3

  • The Payment for Environmental Services in Costa Rica
  • Forest ecology, forest dynamics, and Ecotourism
  • Economic alternatives based on sustainable production of craftwork made from waste wood
  • Visit to the Shipyard: history of a regionally traditional industry
  • Forest Management and Certification
  • Environmental Economics: how alternatives can help conservation and vice versa
  • Conservation of Biodiversity: Challenges and Solutions
  • Anavilhanas Ecological Station
  • The lower mosaic of Rio Negro: management challenges

Day 4

  • Conservation of Biodiversity Continued
  • Boat ride around the area to get to know Anavilhanas and the Igapó system
  • Group Action Plan Exercise in three distinct settings: how to reconcile environmental protection and regional urban development
  • Group Presentations