More than 10,000 people live in five small towns and dozens of small villages inside the Mamirauá and Amanã SDRs. These ribeirinhos, as they are known, manage the reserves collectively, making decisions on zoning, fishing quotas and development initiatives using information provided by scientists.
The Piagaçu-Purus SDR has great potential to improve the quality of life of the local people. The human population inside the reserve is estimated to range between 5,000 and 6,000 inhabitants, who survive by means of agriculture and sustenance hunting as well as the exploitation of fish, Brazil nuts, timber and non-timber products. If properly managed, the reserve will improve the quality of life for its residents by establishing sustainable levels of resource use.