September 23, 2011
On September 27 the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, will host a photo exhibit and book launch in the Amazon Science Gallery of the National Zoo to celebrate achievements of the Initiative for Conservation in the Andean Amazon (ICAA).
ICAA, USAID's biodiversity conservation program in the headwaters of the largest river in the world, is working with national and municipal governments and local communities to implement conservation programs in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. This event marks the end of the first phase of ICAA (2006 - 2011) and the inauguration of ICAA II.
The book, entitled Andean Amazon: Peoples, Conservation and Development, spotlights the program's achievements and features spectacular pictures from the Amazon by renowned photographer Thomas Müller.
USAID's efforts have resulted in better protection and management of over 8 million hectares of Amazon rainforest, more environmentally-friendly livelihoods for indigenous and other local communities, and the training of over 55,000 people in conservation and resource management.
ICAA is a true community-driven partnership. USAID has successfully mobilized host country governments, universities, NGOs and other USG entities to work together to conserve this biologically and culturally rich landscape. And our partners have matched USAID's $35 million investment with $28 million in additional funding.
"USAID recognizes that our support alone can't preserve the biodiversity of the Andean Amazon. Nor should we be trying to tackle this problem on our own," said Mark Lopes, USAID's Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean. "So we designed the ICAA project as a broad partnership through which the various players could align efforts and channel our combined resources, innovation and know-how toward conservation. And the response has been tremendous. Partnerships of this kind are the way of the future."
The second phase of the program (2011-2016) will support sound landscape planning, sustainable development, environmental governance, capacity-building, climate change mitigation, and ecosystem protection in the four countries.