Conservation Force is working with River Plate Anglers to increase funding for Learning-At -A-Distance projects in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest.
This funding will allow us to increase the impact of six Community Based Natural Resource Management Projects (CBNRMs) benefiting more than 900 families in Indian and Non-Indian communities. These families are the principal stakeholders and driving force for conservation in more than eight million acres of rainforest.
This donation request is made in the context of a 30-year commitment by River Plate Anglers to various conservation projects that have had a major impact on the five river basins where it operates catch-and-release fishing trips for local and international anglers. These river basins are located in a 1,000-mile-diameter semi-circle radiating outward from the City of Manaus. This is the epicenter of the peacock bass recreational fishing industry. River Plates operates on these rivers from five mobile safari camps.
The recreational fishing sector is growing rapidly in the developing world. It has the potential to create economic benefits estimated at tens of billions of dollars annually. The revenue generation potential of catch-and-release angling tourism creates an ideal opportunity to secure the funding needed to create beneficial conservation policies and practices in peacock bass river basins that comprise as much as 30 to 40% of the entire Amazon Rainforest .
While traditional ecotourism operators may generate revenues for communities within 30 to 80 miles of major tourist gateways, it is not logistically viable for them to do that in remote areas. As for revenue from sustainable extractive jungle products ( acai , nuts, etc.) and commercial fishing, these activities produce, at best, only survival levels of income with no surpluses for conservation projects.
Recreational fishing, on the other hand, produces robust revenues that may make it unnecessary to continue commercial and noncommercial practices such as farming, commercial fishing, lumbering , etc. Curtailing those activities would minimize habitat disturbances that could disrupt the entire ecological chain which the fisheries depend on.
At this point, revenues from the recreational fishing industry are, with very few exceptions, not helping fund conservation policies and programs. In fact, closer examination reveals that recreational fishing in the Amazon, though properly licensed and regulated, provides only a very small portion of the operating budget revenue for conservation at the Federal level (IBAMA) and state level (IPAAM).
Equally important, even if sport fishing revenues were providing copious amount of funding for federal and state authorities, few of those revenues in other developing countries have trickled down to the community level. Even more problematic, even if they did get down to the community level, it is unlikely that federal or state authorities could adequately police conservation efforts in and around small scattered communities in remote parts of the Amazon rainforest. That is why community developments, such as those River Plate Anglers has created, are so important. Only motivated communities can police local conservation efforts.
To read more about River Plate Anglers please see: http://www.riverplateanglers.com/