Protected areas (Figure 1) are undoubtedly the most important means of conservation of the forests, biodiversity and genetic resources. In many cases, they are also the last refuge of the native inhabitants of the Amazon, for whom they provide all the necessities for maintaining their way of life. However, they also have a high potential in areas of ecotourism and scientific research.
Establishing such areas and their legislative protection supported by the state has a positive effect on the environment and protection of our natural heritage for future generations. The steadily growing world population and its technological development are closely connected to natural resources and their exploitation. Protected areas represent territories that we have evaluated as the most important ones and that we try to preserve in their original state. Such actions put us in a more dignified position towards other living inhabitants of our planet, who in this way can keep their right to free life and reproduction.
Figure 1. Map of protected areas and indigenous territories of the Amazon, 2012. Source: raisg.socioambiental.org
Approximately in the last fifty years, even less developed countries realized the necessity to form institutions, that would engage intensively in protection of the environment. These consequently serve for both internal and external protection of the marked areas. Not only government institutions, but lately also the private sector understood the urgency of protection of the environment and so a large number of so called private protected areas exist today. Another example of positive development is the fact, that after centuries of suppression, the governments started returning the land in protected areas in the Amazon to the indigenous people for autonomous self-government .
Figure 2. Map showing the overlapping of a protected area and a mining concession. Source: Castillo, B.H., 2004. Indigenous Peoples in Isolation in the Peruvian Amazon. International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), Copenhagen, Denmark .
Revkin, A., 2004. The burning season: the murder of Chico Mendes and the fight for the Amazon rain forest. Island Press.
Authors of the text: Alexandr Rollo, Jiří Lipenský, Ludvík Bortl, Marie Kalousová, and Hana Vebrová.
Authors of the pictures: Alexandr Rollo (AR), Jiří Lipenský (JL) and Lukáš Huml (LH).