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WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
The vast Amazon rain forest helps stabilize the local and global climate, harbors at least 10% of the world’s known species, and provides a home for more than 40 million people. To permanently protect 150 million acres of the Brazilian Amazon, Brazil established the Amazon Region Protected Areas (ARPA) program in 2002. Created in partnership with WWF and others, the program is the world’s largest initiative for the conservation of tropical forests.
In 2014, WWF helped launch ARPA for Life, an initiative securing $215 million of long-term funding for the program through an innovative conservation finance approach known as Project Finance for Permanence. These projects secure necessary policy changes and funding to ensure that large-scale systems of conservation areas are well managed, sustainably financed, and benefit the communities that depend on them.
Now, two decades after its creation, ARPA continues to play an essential role in the conservation of this invaluable rain forest, preserving biodiversity, reducing deforestation, and supporting local livelihoods.
"Looking back across ARPA's 20 years, it's amazing to think about the profound impact we've had—for the people of Brazil and the Amazon,” said Meg Symington, WWF’s managing director for the Amazon, who played a crucial role in the development of the program. “I treasure the meaningful partnerships we've forged over two decades and consider myself privileged to have been part of ARPA for so long. I can't wait to see what the next 20 years will bring."
In the past 20 years, ARPA has evaluated and improved these management mechanisms, constantly developing novel approaches to adapt to an ever-changing Amazonian reality. ARPA for Life also became a model and inspiration for the establishment of future Project Finance for Permanence initiatives in Bhutan, Peru, and, most recently, Colombia.