On June 11, Brazil's president signed a decree creating four new protected areas and expanding one other national parks in the Central Biodiversity Corridor in the Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot. The declaration increases the area under protection by 65,070 hectares in total.
The new protected areas are: Boa Nova National Park (12,065 hectares), Wildlife Refuges of Boa Nova (15,024 hectares), Serra das Lontras National Park (11,336 hectares) and Cariri National Park (19,264 hectares). In addition, the Pau-Brasil National Park was expanded by 7,381 hectares (now covering 18,934 hectares).
CI-Brazil and local partners had a crucial role in the creation of these areas, with support from GCF and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
After a preliminary effort to conduct a gap analysis and collect socioeconomic information throughout the region, 17 priority areas were selected for creation or expansion based on their biodiversity importance and level of threat. These studies caught the attention of the federal government, which commissioned a task force to expand the region’s network of protected areas. This task force was coordinated by Brazil’s Ministry of the Environment, in partnership with Brazil’s environmental agency, several universities, CI-Brazil, Flora Brasil and other partner organizations.
GCF has been supporting CI-Brazil and the efforts of the task force since 2005. With scarce background information for these areas, efforts were dedicated to gathering information and building the case to to take to the state and federal governments for creating and expanding priority areas. The initiative supported by GCF is currently focused on the creation of 19 new federal and state protected areas, and the expansion of three existing federal protected areas. When completed, the establishment of these new protected areas will advance conservation targets set for at least 34 threatened terrestrial vertebrate species, representing 54 percent of all endemic and threatened terrestrial vertebrate species in the Central Corridor, or 78 percent of those occurring in southern Bahia.
With the protected areas announced last week and those created in the past few years, the Southern Bahia Initiative supported by GCF has contributed to the creation of a total of 11 protected areas and the expansion of two more, altogether covering approximately 206,452 hectares. Learn more about our portfolio in South America