Brazil’s Ministry of Environment (MMA) announced, March 18, in São Paulo’s Ribeira Valley, the transfer of resources for the creation of federal, state, municipal, and private conservation units, the implantation of ecological corridors, reforestation, research, and the promotion of ecotourism in the Atlantic Rain Forest.
The Valley contains substantial remnants of the forest that once covered 1.3 million square kilometers from the Northeast to the South of Brazil.
The Minister of Environment, Marina Silva, participated in an official ceremony in the municipality of Registro, 180 kilometers from the state capital. The actions will be implemented in partnership with the Ministries of Social Development and Agrarian Development.
The funds, from the MMA itself and the German Cooperation Bank (KfW), are for projects that will be executed by non-profit civil organizations. These organizations can form partnerships with government institutions, as well as educational and research centers.
“The investments represent the result of an ample debate with various sectors of society, especially the Network of Atlantic Rain Forest ONG’s,” said Wigold Schí¤ffer, director of the MMA’s Atlantic Rain Forest and Pampa programs.
The funds will be offered in two stages – at the national level and the local/regional level. Besides the national convocation, other initiatives will be launched during the course of the year for the implantation of the Atlantic Rain Forest participatory monitoring program, studies on environmental services in the Atlantic Rain Forest and the development of innovative financial instruments, a consciousness-raising and mobilization campaign on behalf of preservation of the biome, and the formulation of plans and implantation of ecological corridors in priority areas.
The Atlantic Rain Forest, which, according to the Constitution, is part of the national patrimony, originally covered over 1.3 square kilometers of Brazilian territory.
It extended through 17 states, fully or in part, from Rio Grande do Sul to Rio Grande do Norte. Besides being one of the world’s richest biomes in terms of biodiversity, it is of vital importance to the more than 120 million Brazilians who live within its purview.