What is Arpa?

Arpa (Amazon Region Protected Areas Program) is a Brazilian government program led by the Ministry of the Environment (MMA) and managed by the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (Funbio).  The Program is funded by resources from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) – through the World Bank –, the government of Germany – through the German Development Bank (KfW), WWF network – through WWF-Brazil, and the Amazon Fund — through the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).

The Program was launched in 2002 and was designed to last for 13 years, and implemented in three independent and continuous phases.  It is one of the largest tropical forest conservation programs in the world and the biggest one regarding protected areas conservation in Brazil.

Arpa was created with the goal of expanding and strengthening the Brazilian National System of Protected Areas (SNUC) in the Amazon, through the protection of 60 million hectares, and ensuring financial resources for the management of those areas in the short and long run, while promoting sustainable development in that region.

The Program earned international recognition.  It combines conservation biology with best practices in planning and management.  Protected areas (PAs) with Arpa support benefit from assets, works and services which are needed for the implementation of integration activities involving the communities in the PA surroundings, Board creation, management plans, land tenure surveys, patrolling and other actions which are necessary for the PA operation.

Arpa is aligned with the Brazilian government main policies and strategies for Amazon conservation, e.g.:

– Sustainable Amazon Plan (PAS) – integration with Arpa starts with the consultation and involvement of the various sectors of regional and national society, besides crosscutting PAS’ five priority theme axial lines: sustainable production with advanced technology; new financial standard; environmental management and land ordering; social inclusion and citizenship; and development infrastructure.

– Legal Amazon[1] Deforestation Prevention and Control Action Plan (PPCDAM) – its contributions and interfaces with Arpa are in line with the goals and general guidelines of both of them, including the PPCDAM targets for land and territorial ordering in the region, through PAs creation and implementation.

– National Protected Areas Plan (PNAP) – Arpa contributes to the implementation of several PNAP guidelines, e.g. insuring the representation of various ecosystems and promoting the articulation of different segments of society to qualify biodiversity conservation actions.

– National Plan for Climate Change (PNMC) – Arpa gives relevant support to the implementation of PNMC. The creation of 13 PAs in the Amazon in 2003-2017 with Arpa support will, alone, prevent the emission of 0.43 billion tons of Carbon in the atmosphere by 2050.  Therefore, the future expansion of SNUC during Arpa’s 2nd Phase and the improvement in PA management will increase the program’s contribution to decrease deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon.


[1] Legal Amazon is an administrative region comprising the Brazilian Amazon.