&&&&General biodiversity

Conservation expeditions



What specialists are saying about our expeditions:

I think it is really interesting that tangible things come from your program. Not only are you trying to conserve wildlife, but the people on your tours go out and write articles that inform the world about the endangered species. I really admire that you watch the animals in their natural habitats while observing their daily lives. The authenticity of your tour sounds absolutely incredible.

Erica Wertheim
EarthCare - US

Participate in the tiger
research expedition

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Land Trust for
reserve purchase

Buy a parcel of the total land and be entitled to schedule prolongued visits to the wildlife reserve throughout the year, at no cost.

Cats need large territories to live.
We are selecting key areas to establish reserves and permanent base camps, in the Araucaria and Atlantic Rainforests of Brazil. We also plan to seek areas in Sumatra. Contributions are tax-deductible.
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Resource management and forest certification

Projeto Puma provides consultancy for both FSC certification and for identification of High Conservation Values (HCVs), and beyond, by also producing scientific information on the role of such forests in the survival of emblematic species and on maintenance of environmental integrity.

Bad networking and collapse of forest companies

The role of forest certification for business growth in Brazil is still not completely understood and has been often underestimated. Sustainable management plans look good in the paper, but they are often not fully implemented. This has been the cause of collapse of large companies in the recent past, the most notorious case was Gethal, which was the largest timber company in South America. Illegal or unproper logging, lack of a dialog channel with environmental agencies and community, all sum up to build an unsecure and fragile business foundation. This business model will not resist a serious audition by local environmental and public lands agencies, a situation that may be worsened by negative public opinion, neighbours, and NGOs.

Often the reason for collapse is not bad timber management. However, by leaving networking and good neighbourhood in second plan, companies run the risk of ending up by themselves, with no one to take part on their cause. Particullarly concerning is the widespread irrational fear of 'invasion' by foreigners that purchase large extents of Amazon forest, incentivated by central government under the hood of maintaining 'soberany'.

Companies should seek good allies, not those that you can brible, but those that are convinced of the benefits that forest management provide to wilderness, wildlife, and to local livehood.

Companies should be agents of transformation

Companies lack the understanding that they, as major players in the social and economic circuit, must be also agents of transformation. Managers, decision makers, environmental officers, and most scientists (those that do not work directly with the subject) also often lack the vision that forest management is perhaps the best solution to preserve the existing forests. The government does not have the resources to patrol all reserves. Trainned people working constantly in a forestry area will, in the other hand, naturally intimidate invaders, hunters, and have the potencial to transform the reality of slash and burning around them.

Forest management should be implemented in buffer areas around reserves, and within those in the category of 'sustainable use', and the government should estimulate forestry companies.

Forest companies must realize their potencial as agents of transformation, by demonstrating to environmental officers and the public that their managed forests are ecologically more sound than other land tenure systems.

How Projeto Puma can help

Projeto Puma has extensive experience in forestry areas, and has many examples that managed forests may function as well as and often better than government-established protected areas for conservation of natural systems and wild fauna and flora.

The first step to achieve the desired goal of business security and sustainability is to hire a High Conservation Value (HCV) assessmenet, which can use most of the data already available in managed areas. The next step involves trainning of personnel, including forest managers, so that the funcionality of the system is understood, enabling them to become multipliers and capable of demonstrating how the managed forest is ecologically and socially sound. Third, true links must be made with environmental and public land agencies, as well as with local communities and NGOs.

FSC Certification

As to October 2009, 117.09 million ha of forests have been certified by the Forest Stwardship Council (FSC) in 50 countries. The certification process ensure that harvesting and production is in accordance with legislation, people's right, and environment.

'FSC is a certification system that provides internationally recognized standard-setting, trademark assurance and accreditation services to companies, organizations, and communities interested in responsible forestry'.

The 10 FSC Principles and 56 Criteria describe how the forests have to be managed to meet the social, economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual needs of present and future generations. They include managerial aspects as well as environmental and social requirements. In fact, FSC rules are the strictest and FSC’s social and environmental requirements the highest.

Brazil nut identified as a High Conservation Value (HCV) by
Projeto Puma in a certified amazonian forest

High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs)

Every forest has some environmental and social value. The values it contains may include rare species, recreational sites or resources harvested by local residents. Where these values are considered to be of outstanding significance or critical importance, the forest can be defined as a High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF).

The key to the concept of HCVFs is the identification of High Conservation Values (HCVs): it is these values that are important and need to be protected. High Conservation Value Forests are simply the forests where these values are found, or, more precisely, the forest area that needs to be appropriately managed in order to maintain or enhance the identified values. Identifying these areas is therefore the essential first step in developing appropriate management for them.

The HCVF concept was initially developed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for use in forest management certification and first published in 1999. Under Principle 9 for FSC certification, forest managers are required to identify any High Conservation Values (HCVs) that occur within their individual forest management units, to manage them in order to maintain or enhance the values identified, and to monitor the success of this management.

Following its publication, the concept has been applied both within the FSC system and more broadly. For example, the approach is increasingly being used for landscape mapping and in conservation and natural resource planning and advocacy. It is also being used in purchasing policies and recently has begun to appear in discussions and policies of government agencies.

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