The role of different governance regimes in reducing native vegetation conversion and promoting regrowth in the Brazilian Amazon

Area-based conservation measures, including protected areas (PA) and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECM), play an important role in biodiversity conservation. In the Brazilian Amazon, even though Conservation Units and Indigenous Lands have been shown to reduce deforestation, few studies have addressed Quilombola Territories, and none of the above-mentioned areas were evaluated according to their role in promoting native vegetation regrowth. Here, we used a matching analysis to show that Brazilian Amazon Indigenous Lands, Quilombola Territories, and two types of protected areas (Conservation Units of Restrict Use and Sustainable Use) contribute to reduced native vegetation conversion, when compared to their control areas. Indigenous Lands and Conservation Units of Restrict Use lost respectively 17 and five times less native vegetation cover than their unprotected control areas, between the years of 20052012. Similarly, Quilombola Territories had native vegetation loss rates 5.6 times lower than in matched controls. Importantly, our results demonstrate for the first time that between 2012 and 2017 Indigenous Lands and Quilombola Territories contributed two and three times more to native vegetation regrowth a critical process for safeguarding biodiversity in many, if not all, parts of the world. Our results underscore the importance of areas beyond the formal protected areas system in conserving biodiversity and promoting forest regrowth.