Applied science facilitates the large-scale expansion of protected areas in an Amazonian hot spot

Nigel C.A. Pitman, Corine F. Vriesendorp, Diana Alvira Reyes, Debra K. Moskovits, Nicholas Kotlinski, Richard C. Smith, Michelle E. Thompson, Alaka Wali, Margarita Benavides Matarazzo, Álvaro Del Campo, Dani E. Rivera González, Lelis Rivera Chávez, Amy D. Rosenthal, José Álvarez Alonso, María Elena Díaz Ñaupari, Lesley S. De Souza, Freddy R. Ferreyra Vela, Cristian Ney Gonzales Tanchiva, Christopher C. Jarrett, Ana A. LemosAna Rosa Sáenz Rodríguez, Douglas F. Stotz, Tomomi Suwa, Mario Pariona Fonseca, Ashwin Ravikumar, Teofilo Torres Tuesta, Adriana Bravo, Alessandro Catenazzi, Juan Díaz Alván, Giussepe Gagliardi-Urrutia, Roosevelt García-Villacorta, Max H. Hidalgo, Tony Mori Vargas, Jonh J. Mueses-Cisneros, Gabriela Núñez-Iturri, Tatiana Pequeño, Marcos A. Ríos Paredes, Lily O. Rodríguez, Robert F. Stallard, Luis A. Torres Montenegro, Pablo J. Venegas, Rudolf Von May, Nélida Barbagelata Ramírez, Javier A. Maldonado Ocampo, Italo Mesones Acuy

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10 Scopus citations


Meeting international commitments to protect 17% of terrestrial ecosystems worldwide will require >3 million square kilometers of new protected areas and strategies to create those areas in a way that respects local communities and land use. In 2000–2016, biological and social scientists worked to increase the protected proportion of Peru’s largest department via 14 interdisciplinary inventories covering >9 million hectares of this megadiverse corner of the Amazon basin. In each landscape, the strategy was the same: convene diverse partners, identify biological and sociocultural assets, document residents’ use of natural resources, and tailor the findings to the needs of decision-makers. Nine of the 14 landscapes have since been protected (5.7 million hectares of new protected areas), contributing to a quadrupling of conservation coverage in Loreto (from 6 to 23%). We outline the methods and enabling conditions most crucial for successfully applying similar campaigns elsewhere on Earth.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabe2998
JournalScience advances
Issue number31
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Rapid inventories in Loreto were funded by the Field Museum, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Hamill Family Foundation, Thomas W. Haas Foundation, Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, Blue Moon Fund, Boeing Company, Exelon Corporation, and Nalco Corporation. The writing of this paper was supported by a grant from the Field Museum Grainger Bioinformatics Center.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 The Authors, some rights reserved.


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