Protecting the Amazon coast

When most people think of the Amazon, they picture the inner Amazon Rainforest and its rich biodiversity. Elusive jaguars, giant kapok trees, dazzling morphos butterflies…the rainforest captivates audiences far and wide. But a second natural wonder deserves widespread recognition and urgent protection: the Amazon coast and its vast mangrove network.

Nestled within the Amazonian biome is the world’s second-largest mangrove forest, stretching 13,989 square kilometers across Brazil’s Amapá, Pará, and Maranhão states. Pará state’s biologically diverse coastal zone provides food security and financial livelihood to 80,000+ people across 500+ communities. The region also holds profound cultural importance for Indigenous Peoples and traditional groups who retain cultural practices, values, and ecological knowledge intrinsically connected to the mangroves. Protecting and investing in this region of the Amazon presents a unique opportunity to support biodiversity conservation, food security, and climate change mitigation.

Mangroves in Brazil.

Rare and community-led conservation in Pará state 

Rare Brazil engages multi-level stakeholders including the User Associations of Marine Extractive Reserves (AUREMs), Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), the Environmental and Sustainability Secretariat of the State of Pará (SEMAS), the State Secretariat for Agricultural Development and Fisheries (SEDAP), and Coastal 500. Through our diverse consortium of partners, Rare works to:

  • Implement Fish Forever solutions and establish active management of the RESEX across Pará state.
  • Mobilize support for the conservation and sustainable use of resources in Pará state’s coastal marine zone protected areas.
  • Develop knowledge through monitoring biodiversity in the Amazon coastal zone.
  • Prioritize the artisanal fisheries agenda on the global stage and develop a holistic vision for improving the quality of life for communities that depend on Brazil’s natural resources.

Mothers of the Mangroves

With Rare’s support, women in Pará state formed Mothers of the Mangroves to elevate women’s roles as conservation leaders. Comprised of more than 600 members, the group shares traditional conservation knowledge and new fisheries management lessons with family members, friends, neighbors, and youth groups stretching across 37 communities and 12 extractive reserves

The Amazon Mangrove Conference

On September 4, 2023, Rare Brazil hosted the first Amazon Mangrove Conference in partnership with the 12 Associations of Marine Extractive Reserves, National Commission for the Strengthening of Marine Extractive Reserves, and Coastal and Marine Peoples (CONFREM). The conference focused on conserving Brazil’s mangrove ecosystem, which contains 8.5% of the world’s mangrove carbon stocks and sequesters 13.5% of global carbon annually. The Amazon Mangrove Conference aims to be a lasting space for learning and dialogue between communities in Pará state and critical actors for Amazon mangrove conservation.

Young Protagonists in the Amazon Mangroves

The Cuíras Network “Young Protagonists in the Amazon Mangroves” supports and kickstarts initiatives to encourage the social participation of young people and youth groups across the 12 extractive reserves. The network comprises 26 young leaders who actively run conservation projects in the Resex to protect the Amazon mangroves and local biodiversity.

Green July, a movement to protect mangrove ecosystems

Initiated by Rare and Pará state community members, Green July is an annual grassroots initiative that celebrates the importance of mangrove ecosystems for healthy fisheries, community wellbeing, and climate resilience. Through events like parades, games, and live concerts, the month-long campaign reaches 200 communities and over 18,000 families along the Amazon coast to foster collective conservation action.