Conservationists get used to hearing bad news. But once in a while, there's a big win and really great news. Today is one of those days.
ARPA--the Amazon Region Protected Areas program--was originally sustained in part by funding from the World Bank and other overseas donors, but without permanent Brazilian funding it was far from secure.
ARPA was initiated with a vision to consolidate and interconnect Amazonian protected areas, to create large reserve networks that will hopefully be resilient to future land-use and climate change.
Now, with a permanent commitment to fund the network--with US$215 million this year--the ARPA reserves are guaranteed financial support, theoretically in perpetuity.
The importance of the ARPA network and Amazon rainforest generally--for biodiversity, the global climate, and scores of indigenous cultures--is highlighted in this nice 5-minute video.
The great news about ARPA comes on top of a sharp drop in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon--which is nearly 80% lower than in the early 2000s. The ARPA reserves and other protected areas, such as indigenous lands, are clearly partly responsible.
So, break out a bottle of bubbly. Tomorrow it's back to the battle but today, conservationists can celebrate a huge milestone and well-deserved victory.