While the overriding conservation tasks in Amazonia in the late 1970s were the formulation of a coherent approach and the establishment of a program based on it, the main tasks during the early 1980s were the consolidation of past gains and the expansion of conservation's domain within the extant policy framework. The IBDF's program had to become a routinized, efficiently administered part of the forest agency's mission, and a secure niche in national life had to be carved for the program. A second federal agency, the Secretariat of the Environment (SEMA), became involved in biological conservation and had to mesh its policies with the IBDF's. Conservationists approached these tasks much as they had the earlier ones, balancing sensitivity to their immediate circumstances with a respect for the broader conventions of international conservation.
The IBDF faced three pressing tasks. The first was creating a strong, permanent constituency for conservation. The military government, whose favor provided the IBDF's conservation program with almost all its political support, would not last forever. By the late 1970s, Brazil was increasingly anxious to restore the democratic institutions extinguished with the coup of 1964; even the military had begun talking about a retreat from power. While many of the administrative changes that had worked to conservation's advantage were likely to outlast the military regime, conservationists had to anticipate the more democratic, pluralist political system that would characterize the developed Brazil of the future. To be sure, constituency building began well before the successes of 1979 and 1980, but it was only after those years that it assumed a prominent role.
The second task was consolidating recent legislative successes. The decrees of 1979 and 1980 had created an impressive set of protected areas on paper; now the new protected areas had to be managed. The IBDF's administrative structure had to be adapted to its new conser-