Enacting Regulations to Protect Amazon Watersheds in the Face of Emergency
|Protecting 18 million acres of fragile headwater basins that are the lifeblood of the rainforest and its people
In the face of the worst drought recorded in the Amazon River basin in over 100 years, the Regional Government of Loreto is implementing actions to protect 18 million acres of fragile headwater basins that are the lifeblood of the rainforest and its people. The government approved an ordinance to protect these headwaters in 2009, assisted by the government office of PROCREL (Program for Conservation, Management, and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity in Loreto) that NCI helps to manage.
Climate change, rampant deforestation and pollution have been taking their toll on the resilience of the Amazon in recent years, and headwater basins are particularly vulnerable. When the steep slopes in these areas are deforested, water quality and quantity suffers, which can have a dramatic impact on the lives of rural and indigenous populations and countless other plant and animal species. "If we don't act now, the great Amazon Rainforests will be gone within our children’s lifetimes," explains Byron Swift, President of NCI.
PROCREL is a program of the Regional Government of Loreto along with NCI and the Institute for the Investigation of the Peruvian Amazon (IIAP) and is supported by the government, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Blue Moon Fund and national funding agencies.