A big win for the Peruvian Amazon

Red and brown monkey on branch in foliage with mouth wide open


The red howler monkey—found throughout the western Amazon basin—gets its droopy, oversized neck pouch from an enlarged voice box and cup-shaped hyoid bone, which allow the otherwise unassuming primate to project its call a mile or more. They generally get along fine in human-disturbed parts of the Amazon because they aren’t very picky about the kinds of leaves they eat. But many of the rain forest’s other animals don’t have that flexibility. With illegal logging, mining, ranching, and farming devouring whole swaths of the ecosystem at a time, protecting the Amazon and its biodiversity is as urgent as it gets.

That’s why WWF and partners helped negotiate and fund a new “debt-for-nature swap” in the Peruvian Amazon, an agreement that allows Peru to redirect $20 million in debt payments owed to the US toward tropical forest protection efforts. The debt swap will also help bolster Patrimonio Natural del Perú, a WWF-supported initiative that uses Project Finance for Permanence (PFP)—another creative model that secures all the policy changes, conditions, and funding for large-scale conservation projects—to ensure the future of Peru’s national parks and protected areas.

Explore More

World Wildlife magazine provides an inspiring, in-depth look at the connections between animals, people and our planet. Published quarterly by WWF, the magazine helps make you a part of our efforts to solve some of the most pressing issues facing the natural world.

View all issues