Project study site
PMJ is based in two contiguous sustainable-use forest reserves within the municipal district of Carauari, along the Rio Juruá, in the state of Amazonas, Brazil: the Uacari Sustainable Development Reserve (RDS Uacari) and the Médio Juruá Extractive Reserve (ResEx Médio Juruá).
The Rio Juruá is a major white-water tributary of the Solimões (Amazon) River, which meanders for over 2,000 miles through the Amazon rainforest. Every year the nutrient-rich river waters, originating in the Peruvian Andes, rise to break their banks and flood the surrounding forest to depths of up to 7m for over half the year. This powerful annual flood pulse results in strong differences between the floodplain (várzea) forests and the unflooded (terra firme) forests further inland from the river channel.
Plants and animals both have many adaptations to cope with the severe seasonality caused by the annual flood. And in a similar fashion, the lives of people living along the banks of the river are intimately linked to the rising and falling floodwaters. Activities such as hunting, fishing, agriculture and collection of other forest resources are all influenced by the seasons, as in more temporal regions of the world, although in this case driven by the seasonal floods.
PMJ works in 45 village communities from the two focal reserves, as well as expanding our attention to include 30 communities outside the reserve boundaries and the market town of Carauari (population = 25,700). Unlike in other areas of the Brazilian Amazon, deforestation is not currently the most pressing concern; here the main issue for the protection of both biodiversity and local people’s livelihoods is ensuring the sustainable use of natural forest resources.