Mamirauá Reserve for Sustainable Development - Working with Indigenous communities in the Amazon

Instituto Mamirauá
Published: 31 August 2020
Last edited: 16 November 2020
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The Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development was created in 1999 to provide science, technology and innovation to communities in the Amazon region. This is done with a high level of ethics and responsibility, respecting their traditional knowledge.


The Institute is responsible for the creation of the Mamirauá Reserve. With 1,240,000 hectares, the reserve has the largest wetland area on the planet and is the first Sustainable Development Reserve (IUCN category 6) in Brazil.


In recent decades, Mamiraua has been over-exploited by private companies, so the Institute works closely with local communities to ensure the sustainable use of fisheries resources.


South America
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Freshwater ecosystems
Tropical evergreen forest
Wetland (swamp, marsh, peatland)
Indigenous people
Outreach & communications
Protected area management planning
Sustainable livelihoods
Traditional knowledge
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
Resilience and disaster risk management
Territorial and spatial development
Land and Forest degradation
Loss of Biodiversity
Ecosystem loss
Unsustainable harvesting incl. Overfishing
Lack of access to long-term funding
Sustainable development goals
SDG 15 – Life on land
SDG 16 – Peace, justice and strong institutions
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 2: Biodiversity values integrated
Target 4: Sustainable production and consumption
Target 10: Ecosystems vulnerable to climate change
Target 11: Protected areas
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Target 17: Biodiversity strategies and action plans
Target 18: Traditional knowledge
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge
Sendai Framework
Target 2: Reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030
Target 5: Increase the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020
Target 6: Enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of this Framework by 2030
Business engagement approach
Direct engagement with a company
Direct engagement with associations
Indirect through consumers


Reserva de Desarrollo Sostenible Mamirauá
Show on Protected Planet


The most important challenge presented by the region is the monopolization of the companies for making use of the fishing resource and the deep understanding of the worldview of the local communities with a view to implementing a sustainable fishing program that respects their ways of working.


  • Communities of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve.
  • Nearby cities that depend on water resources. 
  • The nation of Brazil that depends on the conservation of forest cover to ensure environmental services.

How do the building blocks interact?

The Institute seeks to ensure the conservation and development of the communities that make up the Amazon through the three pillars described where the common factor is working closely with the communities. 


It is the closeness to the community that gives rise to respect and trust, which allows research to be carried out and knowledge to be generated jointly, which in turn serves as input for communities to make decisions. This same closeness creates an understanding of the actual needs of the communities and facilitates working together to develop and implement eco-technologies that help solve some of the problems faced by the communities.


  1. The communities of the Mamiraua Reserve possess technical and scientific information for decision-making purposes.
  2. The reserve has a sustainable fishing program.
  3. The conservation work in Mamiraua ensures the conservation of the most important and biodiverse marshland on the planet.
  4. There are more than 300 professionals actively working in conservation in this region.


Carlos Estrada

The work done in Mamiraúa is known by many people thanks to Luciano Regis, a young and passionate leader, who cherishes the biodiversity of Brazil and is committed to conservation in his country, which ranks first in the world in terms of biodiversity. His work has provided him with the opportunity to get to know the communities living in Mamirauá, their traditions, their way of life and their connection to conservation. They have inspired him to undertake developmental activities to promote local development and conservation. 


His work led him to join RELLAC – Youth, an organization composed of professional young people in Protected Natural Areas in Latin America and the Caribbean, where with leadership he managed to strengthen a youth network for conservation in Brazil. 


Luciano and the youth of RELLAC are a role model for #NatureForAll, a global movement whose mission is to inspire love for nature.

Contributed by

#NatureForAll IUCN #NatureForAll

Other contributors

Luciano Regis
Instituto Mamirauá