The Brazilian Protected Areas Program by jlesterback


									The Brazilian Protected Areas Program∗
      e                                          e          ılia
Minist´rio do Meio Ambiente, Esplanada dos Minist´rios, Bras´ 70068-900, Distrito Federal, Brasil,

Introduction                                                             Law 9.985, 18 July 2000). Three government institutions
                                                                         administer the SNUC. The National Environment Council
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) provides                    (CONAMA), a consultative and deliberative organ of the
the most important framework for conserving Brazilian                    National Environment System (SISNAMA) that is linked
biodiversity. Brazil is a signatory to the CBD, and during               directly to the presidency) monitors its implementation,
the last Conference of the Parties (COP 7) in 2004, the                  which is coordinated by MMA. Within the MMA, the Di-
Brazilian delegation worked arduously for the approval                   rectorate of Ecosystems of the Brazilian Institute for the
of the Program of Work on Protected Areas (PWPA). The                    Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA)
PWPA had as one of its conditions the provision that devel-              is responsible for creating and managing federal protected
oped countries contribute additional financial resources                 areas. Analogous secretariats and forestry institutes are
for its implementation (CBD, COP 7 2004). The Brazilian                  responsible for the equivalent areas at the state and mu-
Ministry of the Environment (Minist´rio do Meio Ambi-                    nicipal levels. The SNUC divides protected areas into two
ente [MMA]) is now developing actions in agreement with                  categories: (1) strictly protected, with biodiversity con-
the CBD’s PWPA goals. Of major significance will be the                  servation as the principal objective, including national
expansion of the number of protected areas that repre-                   parks (equivalent to World Conservation Union [IUCN]
sent, without a doubt, essential instruments for conserva-               category II), biological reserves (Ia), ecological stations
tion, sustainable use, and fair distribution of the benefits             (Ia), natural monuments (III), and wildlife refuges (III);
provided by Brazil’s biodiversity.                                       and (2) sustainable use, allowing for varying forms and
   The Brazilian strategy to select new protected areas in-              degrees of exploitation, with biodiversity protection as a
cludes two key considerations: a focus on areas of high                  secondary objective, including environmental protection
biological importance and prioritization of those areas                  areas (IUCN category V), areas of particular ecological
under strong anthropogenic pressure. The MMA has pro-                    interest (IV), national forests (VI), extractivist reserves
duced a map of biodiversity conservation priority areas                  (VI), fauna reserves (VI), sustainable development re-
for the entire country and is currently mapping the vege-                serves (VI), and private natural heritage reserves (RPPNs;
tation cover for all of the biomes. Involving numerous in-               IV).
stitutions, this will allow for the continuous updating and                  Until recently, the federal government gave priority
enhancement of the methods and reasoning employed                        to the traditional, federally administered protected ar-
for the identification of conservation priority areas.                   eas, without due consideration to alternative models,
                                                                         other spheres and levels of government, or the private
                                                                         sector. In the last case, considerable success has been
                                                                         achieved through a program that provides incentives
Strengthening the National Protected Areas System                        for the establishment of reserves on private land. These
                                                                         RPPNs are registered with IBAMA and provide for the pro-
A major review of the Brazilian protected areas system                   tection in perpetuity of areas voluntarily designated by
began in 1988. After more than 10 years of discussion,                   landowners.
deliberations, and refinement, by both government and                        The sector of the federal government responsible for
the public, it was made law in 2000—the Sistema Na-                      protected areas has been reexamining past positions and
cional de Unidades de Conserva¸˜o da Natureza (SNUC;                     policies and is undertaking the following programs:

∗ Modified
         from a speech presented at the IV Brazilian Congress for Protected Areas, Curitiba, Brazil, November 2004.
Paper submitted December 30, 2004; revised manuscript accepted February 9, 2005.


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Volume 19, No. 3, June 2005
Silva                                                                                   Brazilian Protected Areas Program    609

 1. Implementation of the National Register of Protected       vation of biodiversity and protect traditional populations
    Areas, as determined in Article 50 of the SNUC             from the possibility of being expelled from their lands
    (IBAMA 2000), which combines information on all            by, for example, timber companies and large landown-
    protected areas nationwide and facilitates network-        ers. The term traditional populations does not include
    ing on challenges and the exchange of ideas and solu-      indigenous peoples. The Brazilian Constitution ensures
    tions. Priority is given to the resolution and regular-    the rights of indigenous peoples over the land they oc-
    ization of land tenure in the protected areas and their    cupy. The state is responsible for delimiting these areas,
    implementation and protection through the control          protecting them, and disallowing any public policy that
    and elimination of activities prejudicial to the in-       could result in their unwilling displacement.
    tegrity of the parks and their wildlife.                      The process of creating new protected areas now
 2. The Protected Areas Programme for Amazonia                 in place is conducted transparently and under public
    (ARPA), which aims to increase the number and size         scrutiny, involving state and municipal governments, ru-
    of protected areas in the Amazon, is a partnership of      ral producers and workers, universities, nongovernmen-
    states and municipalities with the Brazilian Biodiver-     tal organizations, and other interested stakeholders. Once
    sity Fund (FUNBIO), supported by the Global Envi-          created, the management of protected areas is, ideally,
    ronmental Facility, the German Development Bank,           participatory—fully involving the local communities. Fol-
    and World Wildlife Fund Brazil (Presidˆncia da Re-         lowing current law (Article 29 of the SNUC), the MMA
    publica, Casa Civil 2002). Although ARPA has effec-        has been working to set up an executive council or con-
    tively been in operation for only a little more than       sultative committee for the management and administra-
    1 year, it is effecting major improvements in the          tion of each protected area, with fair representation of all
    prospects of 29 federal and state protected areas in       interested stakeholders, including government and non-
    the Amazon region. Approximately US$1 million has          governmental organizations.
    been made available for the purchase and mainte-              The federal government created nearly 3.1 million ha
    nance of equipment in these areas, and it is expected      of protected areas in the form of national parks, ecolog-
    that a further $4.4 million will be invested in goods,     ical stations, extractive reserves, and national forests be-
    services, and support for their activities in 2005. (All   tween early 2002 and December 2004. Three initiatives
    monetary designations are in U.S. dollars unless oth-      are worth highlighting: (1) creation of the Serra of Itaja´ı
    erwise stated.)                                            National Park in the Atlantic Forest, Santa Catarina, with
 3. In 2005 approximately $17 million is being made                                                            a
                                                               57,000 ha; (2) enlargement of the Grande Sert˜o Veredas
    available for the creation of protected areas and          National Park by 147,000 ha to 231,000 ha, extending
    the preparation and implementation of management           from the Cerrado of extreme northwestern Minas Gerais
    plans for parks and reserves in the Atlantic Forest.       to the Serra Geral in southwestern Bahia; (3) creation
    Special attention is being given to state, municipal,                                             u
                                                               of four extractive reserves (Cururup´ , 185,000 ha in the
    and private protected areas.                                                a         a
                                                               state of Maranh˜o; Capan˜ Grande, 304,150 ha in the state
 4. Finalization of the legal framework to strengthen pri-     of Amazonas; and Riozinho do Anfrisio, 736,000 ha, and
    vate reserves and the preparation of specific guide-       Verde para Sempre, 1,200,000 ha, in the state of Par´).a
    lines for drawing up their management plans is under          In its first 2 years (2002–2004), the present govern-
    way.                                                       ment has placed more area under protection than all of
                                                               the previous four elected governments combined during
                                                               the same mandate period. An additional 13.5 million ha of
                                                               protected areas will be created in the Amazon region by
Creation of New Protected Areas                                2006 under the Action Plan for the Prevention and Con-
                                                               trol of Deforestation in Legal Amazonia (drawn up in 2004
The processes involved in creating and managing Brazil-        by the Permanent Interministerial Working Group for the
ian protected areas have changed profoundly, particularly      Reduction of Deforestation Rates in Amazonia Legal, es-
with regard to consideration for and the participation of                                             e
                                                               tablished by decree in 2003 [Presidˆncia da Republica,
local communities and society in general. These changes        Casa Civil 2004]).
are evident in the law that regulates SNUC. The MMA is
giving particular attention to the creation of protected ar-
eas where traditional populations are present that cater       Implementation, Management, and Financing of
to their needs and aspirations while guaranteeing the con-     Existing Protected Areas
servation of the wildlife and natural resources responsible
for their livelihoods. In these places we are supporting       The implementation and effective management of pro-
the establishment of extractive reserves and sustainable       tected areas is an enormous challenge. Approximately 5
development reserves in marine and terrestrial environ-        million ha or 6.5% of the national territory is currently
ments. These management categories ensure the conser-          the responsibility of the federal government. This is a

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                                                                                               Volume 19, No. 3, June 2005
610       Brazilian Protected Areas Program                                                                               Silva

significant amount, although well below the ideal. In the          Conservation planning, taking into consideration scien-
short term, we hope to achieve protected area coverage          tific precepts and the biases resulting from the creation of
close to that recommended by the scientific community.          protected areas in the past, is essential as Brazil moves for-
In addition to creating new areas, ensuring effective man-      ward with its ambitious objectives. Strategic information
agement of existing units is essential. The magnitude of        on the conservation status and the use of biodiversity in
some of these problems is worth noting:                         the various Brazilian biomes is, as such, essential for the
                                                                adequate implementation of national and regional conser-
 1. Of the 53 national parks in the country, only 20 are        vation measures and programs. Two major initiatives are
    open to public visitation.                                  underway in this respect.
 2. Some protected areas decreed as far back as the
    1960s are still not legally or fully created, and/or pre-
    vious landowners have yet to be financially compen-
    sated. More than 50% of the area designated as federal      Mapping the Remnants of Brazilian Biomes
    protected areas requires some type of land-tenure
    regularization, and approximately 25% requires in-          A comprehensive assessment of the remnants of natural
    demnification.                                              vegetation in each of the six Brazilian biomes—Amazon,
 3. Of the 254 federal protected areas, only 60 have a          Atlantic Forest, Cerrado, Caatinga, Pantanal, and South-
    functioning executive council.                              ern Grasslands—will be carried out once the MMA has
                                                                completed the Map of the Brazilian Biomes in the second
   One of the main financial tools for the implementation       part of 2005. The map is being produced in collaboration
of protected areas is the so-called Environmental Compen-       with the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics a
sation Mechanism. The SNUC requires that at least 0.5%          (IBGE). It is an unprecedented analysis that will provide
of the total cost of development projects that have sig-        the tools for formulating public policy for the conserva-
nificant environmental impact (e.g., hydroelectric dams,        tion and sustainable use of Brazil’s biodiversity. In partic-
roads, gas pipelines) be set aside for the creation or man-     ular, it will be essential for conducting a nationwide gap
agement of protected areas. Revenue of approximately            analysis on the coverage provided by protected areas so
$67 million has resulted through this mechanism since the       as to best plan the needed expansion of the system under
SNUC Law was approved in 2000. Of this sum, 78% was             a more robust scientific platform.
used to regularize land tenure for federal, state, and mu-
nicipal protected areas. The remaining funds were used
mostly in preparing management plans and providing the
appropriate infrastructure (e.g., buildings, means of trans-    Priority Areas for Conservation
port). The Fund for Protected Areas of Amazonia was set
up through the ARPA Project. This fund will eventually en-      Through the Project for the Conservation and Sustainable
sure the long-term maintenance of protected areas sup-          Use of Brazilian Biological Diversity (PROBIO; funded by
ported by ARPA and is expected to reach at least $60            the Global Environmental Facility), the MMA has been
million by the year 2007 (Presidˆncia da Rep´ blica, Casa
                                   e           u                able to support numerous studies and workshops that
Civil 2002).                                                    have assessed the scale, nature, and geography of Brazil-
                                                                ian biodiversity and allowed for the identification of pri-
                                                                ority areas for its conservation and sustainable use (MMA
Indigenous Lands and Conservation Planning
                                                                1996). Five workshops were conducted, in collaboration
Indigenous lands in Brazil have not been effectively man-       with numerous nongovernmental organizations and uni-
aged in synergy with protected areas. The MMA, working          versity and research institutions, which reviewed and an-
closely with the National Indian Foundation, the Brazilian      alyzed our present understanding of the biogeography, so-
government’s agency for indigenous affairs, is working to       cioeconomy, human demography, land use, development
resolve this lack of integration (FUNAI 2005). A working        tendencies, and threats in all six terrestrial biomes and
group has been established that includes representatives        the marine and coastal zones. The workshops resulted
from the MMA, the Ministry of Justice, the National In-         in the identification of 900 priority areas (MMA 2002).
dian Foundation, and indigenous peoples from around             The importance of these areas was officially recognized
the country. A first outcome was the preparation of a           by the federal government in the Decree No. 5.092 of
project submitted to the Global Environmental Facility for      21 May 2004 and in the Ministry of the Environment De-
$30 million for projects related to wildlife conservation       cree No. 126 of 27 May 2004. This map of priority ar-
on indigenous lands. The planning and integrated man-           eas and the map of remnants in each Brazilian biome will
agement of indigenous lands and protected areas under           form the basis for proposals for new protected areas, most
sustainable landscape and conservation corridor frame-          especially in the Cerrado, Caatinga, and Southern Grass-
works will greatly enhance Brazil’s capacity to conserve        lands, where strategic and effective parks and reserves are
its biodiversity.                                               lacking.

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Volume 19, No. 3, June 2005
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Final Considerations                                            Literature Cited

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Protected areas are the major tool available for this, and      FUNAI (Funda¸˜o Nacional do ´ndio). 2005. Web site (in Portuguese).
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                                                                                                         Volume 19, No. 3, June 2005

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