The Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) is a Brazilian non-profit civil society organization, whose mission is to propose integrated solutions to social and environmental issues, with a central focus on the defence of social, collective and diffuse environmental and social rights and assets, cultural heritage, human rights and indigenous peoples, quilombolas and traditional peoples. Founded in 1994, ISA was accredited as a public interest civil society organization (OSCIP) in 2001. Organised around regional and national programmes, ISA’s principal purpose is defence of socio-environmental rights, through monitoring and proposing public policy alternatives, research, dissemination, documentation of information, development of participative models of sustainability and institutional strengthening of local partners.

ISA was one of the organizations that succeeded the Ecumenical Documentation and Information Centre (CEDI), continuing its far-reaching work of analysis and dissemination, which constituted the most complete collection on the recent history and current status of indigenous peoples living in Brazil. Although ISA’s public image is often associated with indigenous peoples and their lands, activities regarding Conservation Areas (UCs) predates the founding of ISA. CEDI had housed the embryo of the programme that today monitors, systematizes, analyses and disseminates daily information about UCs.

In 1993, the CEDI Indigenous Land Monitoring Project team began to monitor other federal special use areas in the Brazilian Amazon, including federal Conservation Areas. As a result, many cases of overlaps between indigenous lands and other federal areas were found. The monitoring found that about half the cases of overlap were between Indigenous Lands and Conservation Areas, including fully homologated Indigenous Lands. This analysis anticipated by years a challenge now commonly found in he planning and territorial management of protected areas: that of resolving the impasse of overlaps over and above the simple clash of legal status, necessarily implying the recognition of the importance of Indigenous Lands in the context of a wider political strategy for the preservation and conservation of the Amazon region and taking into account the constitutional right to exclusive use by indigenous groups of the territories they traditionally occupy.

In 1995, in a partnership born of an agreement with the SOS Mata Atlântica Foundation, the status of the remaining areas of the Atlantic Forest began to be evaluated more precisely and, as regards Conservation Areas. In 2007, ISA launched its Characterization of Conservation Areas in the Brazilian Amazon site, making publicly available a set of information. This was recognized as one of the ten best environmental sites in Brazil (Época Magazine 2008). It was this site that gave rise to online portals on Conservation Areas in the Brazilian Amazon in 2011 and in the whole of Brazil the following year, with approximately one million views a year.

The main objective continues to be to produce and disseminate reliable information that positively influences public policies and the actions of the state and civil society concerning the defence of collective rights, environmental protection and conservation, as well as contributing to societal control of collective natural heritage. The new portals provided basic information on each Conservation Area, federal and state, regarding its management, environmental characterization, location, overlap with Indigenous Lands and the sequence of its legal documentation, as well as providing available local and national news. Besides basic introductory texts and in-depth treatments of some themes, it provides a cartographic interface to provide information on different themes and at different scales, enabling a rich contextualization of the Brazilian territory.

Who is here and who has helped along the way...?

Who is here?

Overall coordination

Antonio Oviedo


Monitoring and production of content

Fany Pantaleoni Ricardo

Tiago Moreira dos Santos

Tainá Aragão

Giovanna Costanti de Lima

Beatriz Moraes Murer 

Clara de Assis Andrade

Jade Vieira Cavalhieri

Yasmim Kananda Cavalcante

Joana Traldi Bomfim

Victor da Silva Araujo


Development and coding

João Ricardo Rampinelli

Silvio Carlos 



Cícero Augusto

William Pereira de Lima

Michelle Araujo de Lira



Alfredo Zea

Anthony R. (Tony) Gross


Who has helped along the way?

Alana Almeida de Souza

Alex Piaz 

Alexandre Degan 

Alicia Rolla 

Bruna Dell Agnolo

Bruno Marianno

David Rodgers

Daniele Leal de Araújo

Eduardo Ultima 

Eliseu Teixeira Neto

Francisco d'Albertas Gomes de Carvalho 

Harold Martin Wright III

Helena Chiaretti Leonel Ferreira

Ítalo Rocha Freitas

Jackson dos Santos Brito 

Letícia Braga Aniceto

Lia Taruiap Troncarelli 

Luana Lopes de Lucca

Marcelo Lopes Oliveira

Marina Spindel

Nurit Rachel Bensusan

Paula Zaterka Giroldo 

Paulo Henrique Aguiar

Rosely Alvim Sanches

Rosimeire Rurico

Silvia de Melo Futada

Thais Bucci Francisco

Thomas Gallois



Adriana Ramos, Ana Paula Leite Prates, Caroline Jeanne Delelis, David Leonardo Bouças da Silva, Enrique Svirsky, Gabriella Contoli, Henry Philippe Ibanez de Novion, Juliana Santilli, Kelly Bonach, Maurício Mercadante, Michele de Sá Dechoum, Nádia Bandeira Sacenco Kornijezuc, Patrícia Pinha, Raul Silva Telles do Vale, Sônia Wiedmann and Thiago Mota Cardoso

Thanks to all the photographers who collaborated by ceding photos and whose credits appear next to each image.