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  • State of the Amazon: Freshwater Connectivity and Ecosystem Health

    2015

    REPORT LIVING AMAZON

  • State of the Amazon: Freshwater Connectivity and Ecosystem Health

    W W F L I V I N G A M A Z O N I N I T I A T I V E

    1st Edition

    Brasilia, Brazil

    April, 2015

    SUGGESTED CITATION

    Macedo, M. and L. Castello. 2015. State of the Amazon: Freshwater Connectivity and Ecosystem Health; edited by D. Oliveira, C. C. Maretti and S. Charity. Brasília, Brazil: WWF Living Amazon Initiative. 136pp.

    PUBLICATION INFORMATION State of the Amazon Series editors: Cláudio C. Maretti, Denise Oliveira and Sandra Charity. This publication State of the Amazon: Freshwater Connectivity and Ecosystem Health: Publication editors: Denise Oliveira, Cláudio C. Maretti, and Sandra Charity. Publication text editors: Sandra Charity and Denise Oliveira. Core Scientific Report (chapters 1-6): Written by Marcia Macedo and Leandro Castello; scientific assessment commissioned by WWF Living Amazon Initiative (LAI). Conclusions and Recommendations (chapter 7): Cláudio C. Maretti, Marcia Macedo, Leandro Castello, Sandra Charity, Denise Oliveira, André S. Dias, Tarsicio Granizo, Karen Lawrence

    WWF Living Amazon Integrated Approaches for a More Sustainable Development in the Pan-Amazon Cláudio C. Maretti; Sandra Charity; Denise Oliveira; Tarsicio Granizo; André S. Dias; and Karen Lawrence.

    Maps: Paul Lefebvre/Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC); Valderli Piontekwoski/Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM, Portuguese acronym); and Landscape Ecology Lab /WWF Brazil.

    Photos: Adriano Gambarini; André Bärtschi; Brent Stirton/Getty Images; Denise Oliveira; Edison Caetano; Fernando Pelicice; Gleilson Miranda/Funai; Juvenal Pereira; Kevin Schafer/naturepl.com; María del Pilar Ramírez; Mark Sabaj Perez; Michel Roggo; Omar Rocha; Paulo Brando; Roger Leguen; Zig Koch.

    Front cover Mouth of the Teles Pires and Juruena rivers forming the Tapajós River, on the borders of Mato Grosso, Amazonas and Pará states, Brazil. © Zig Koch / WWF-Living Amazon Initiative.

    WWF is one of the world’s largest and most experienced independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in more than 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

    WWF Living Amazon Initiative is one of nine Global Initiatives of the WWF Network. It has been developed since 2006 and implemented since 2008. Since 2013 it has had a focused approach, as an initiative dealing with regional or transboundary issues related to protected areas and indigenous territories, hydropower and deforestation, complementing the work done nationally and locally by the offices and organizations of the WWF Network working in the Amazon.

    A WWF Living Amazon Initiative production Published in April 2015 by WWF – World Wide Fund For Nature (Formerly World Wildlife Fund - Gland, Switzerland). Any reproduction in full or in part must mention the title and credit the above-mentioned publisher as the copyright owner.

    © Text 2015 WWF

    All rights reserved.

    ISBN 978-2-940529-19-3

    For more information: livingamazon@wwf.org.br www.panda.org/amazon

  • APPs Areas of Permanent Preservation ABC Low-Carbon Agriculture ACTO Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization ARPA Amazon Region Protected Areas Program BNDES Brazilian National Economic and Social Development Bank C carbon CAF Latin American Development Bank CH4 methane CO2 carbon dioxide COSIPLAN The South American Infrastructure and Planning Council EIA Environmental Impact Assessment EIA-RIMA Environmental Impact Assessment and Report on Impacts to the Environment ET evapotranspiration Fonplata Plata Basin Development Fund GHG greenhouse gas Hg mercury IBI Index of Biotic Integrity IDB Inter-American Development Bank IIRSA The Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America IPs indigenous peoples IRBM integrated river basin management ITs indigenous territories LAI Living Amazon Initiative MeHg methylmercury NPP net primary production PA protected area PNMC National Climate Change Plan (Brazil) PPCDAm Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon Q discharge RIMA Report on Impacts to the Environment SAMS South American Monsoon System THg total mercury TRMM Tropical Rainforest Monitoring Mission UNASUR Union of South American Nations WHRC Woods Hole Research Center DS Changes in soil water storage

    LIST OF ACRONYMS LIST OF ACRONYMS 4 FOREWORD 8 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 10 1. INTRODUCTION 18 1.1. Amazon hydrological connectivity 20 1.2. Objectives 21

    2. AMAZON FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS 26 2.1. Freshwater ecosystem types 27 2.2. Aquatic ecosystem services 30

    3. DRIVERS OF HYDROLOGICAL ALTERATION 38 3.1. Dams 39 3.2. Land-cover change 42 3.3. Mineral extraction 45 3.4. Climate change 46

    4. IMPACTS ON FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS 60 4.1. Disruption of physical processes 60 4.2. Disruption of biological processes 61 4.3. Disruption of ecosystem services 64

    5. EXISTING POLICIES 68 5.1. Protected areas 68 5.2. Climate and land-use policy 70 5.3. Water resource management 71 5.4. Environmental licensing of dams 72 5.5. Gaps in existing policies 75

    6. MANAGING FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEM CONNECTIVITY 96 6.1. Assessing vulnerability 97 6.3. Developing indicators of ecosystem integrity 99 6.4. Implementing management 102

    7. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 106 7.1 Freshwater ecosystems and hydrological connectivity 107 7.2 Ecosystem services and social impacts 109 7.3 Managing ecological impacts 110 7.4 Monitoring and evaluation 112

    8. REFERENCES 122 9. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 134

    CONTENTS

    State of the Amazon: Freshwater Connectivity and Ecosystem Health p. 4

  • TABLE OF EXTRA CONTENTS THE AMAZON IS… 22

    FISH TYPES 33

    AMAZON FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEM TYPES 34

    TOCANTINS RIVER BASIN AS THE FUTURE OF THE AMAZON? 48

    DEFORESTATION SCENARIOS IN THE AREA OF INFLUENCE OF 50 THE TAPAJÓS HYDROPOWER COMPLEX

    DEFORESTATION FRONTS AND TRENDS IN THE AMAZON 56

    PROTECTED ECOLOGICAL REPRESENTATION IN THE AMAZON AND THE ‘AQUASCAPES’ 76

    TAPAJÓS: INTEGRATED PLANNING FOR BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION 78

    BRAZILIAN ENERGY POLICY AND THE MANAGEMENT OF 92 AMAZON FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS

    WWF LIVING AMAZON INTEGRATED APPROACHES FOR A MORE 114 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE PAN-AMAZON

    © Denise O

    liveira/W W

    F-Living Am azon Initiative

    Amazon forest, Madre de Dios, Peru.

  • FOREWORD WWF launched its Living Amazon Initiative, one of nine Global Initiatives of the WWF Network, in 2008. Since 2013 we have pursued a focused approach to dealing with

    regional and transboundary issues related to protected areas and indigenous territories, hydropower, and deforestation, complementing the national and local work of the offices and organizations of the WWF Network.

    As part of our approach, WWF Living Amazon Initiative developed the State of the Amazon report series, which describes the key conservation goals and issues of sustainable development on a Pan-Amazon scale and presents challenges and examples from both national and local perspectives.

    In November 2014, we presented the first report, State of the Amazon: Ecological Representation, Protected Areas and Indigenous Territories, at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Australia.

    WWF Living Amazon Initiative is pleased to present the newest report in the series, State of the Amazon: Freshwater Connectivity and Ecosystem Health, which provides a comprehensive assessment of the current state of Amazon freshwater ecosystems and highlights the importance of hydrological connectivity and land-water interactions in maintaining the ecological functions that support water, food and energy security.

    Prominent researchers wrote the core scientific assessment, which they presented at a technical workshop to discuss the freshwater ecosystems in the Pan-Amazon. Organized by WWF Living Amazon Initiative, the workshop benefited from the collaboration of prestigious scientists from several research institutions (see complete list in Acknowledgements chapter).

    Focused on topics from a draft scientific report, the two-day discussions and exchanges of information were important to our evaluation of the drivers of degradation; the public policies that influence them; and better Pan- Amazon planning, management and monitoring for maintenance of Amazon ecological stability. Other key themes of the discussions were the urgency of integrating biodiversity conservation and social issues into hydropower and infrastructure planning, and the policy elements needed to develop an integrated framework for Amazon freshwater ecosystem management.

    The scientific assessment and discussions confirmed what we already knew: freshwater ecosystems are less protected, including in the Amazon, and, in some areas, under greater threat than are other resources. Most policies do not consider just how important freshwater ecosystem protection is, for reasons including lack of knowledge and adequate shared understanding. Freshwater ecosystems clearly show the impacts of climate change and the general lack of integrated appr

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