Since it was established in 1999, the Mamirauá Institute has directed its efforts toward research projects, technical assistance and resource management in the Mamirauá and Amanã Reserves, in the state of Amazonas, Brazil. Together, these reserves occupy an area of 3,474,000 ha.
IDSM has a strong history in science, conducting research in a broad range of areas focused on biodiversity conservation for the purpose of managing resources and achieving sustainable development. Local people are closely involved in monitoring natural resource use. IDSM uses participatory management to contribute to the conservation of natural resources and to improve the quality of life of the residents of the Mamirauá and Amanã Reserves. IDSM provides technical support to these local communities, so that they can manage natural resources, establishing rules of use, restrictions of access and protection activities. The work on natural resource management is accomplished through the following programs:
- Management of Agroecosytems
- Community Management
- Fishing Management
- Community Forest Management
- Quality of Life
- Community-based Tourism
The research findings and methodologies pioneered by IDSM have been taken up elsewhere in Amazonia; for example methodologies for monitoring and managing the giant, air breathing arapaima fish.