Brazil Designates Four New Large Marine Protected Areas in the South Atlantic
March 20, 2018
ARLINGTON, Va. (March 20, 2018) – Conservation International applauds President Michel Temer of Brazil on the designation of four new marine protected areas (MPAs) around the Trindade-Martin Vaz and the São Pedro and São Paulo Archipelagos, two regions in the South Atlantic. The four new MPAs cover an area of more than 900,000 square kilometers — larger than the countries of France, England, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland combined.
Sylvia Earle, the renowned oceanographer and founder of Mission Blue, joined Rodrigo Medeiros, Vice President at Conservation International Brazil, on behalf of over 30 partner organizations in a meeting with President Temer to discuss the marine protected areas.
The announcement from President Temer follows an active online campaign, featuring Brazilian actors such as Maitê Proença, Mateus Solano and Maria Paula as well as scientists and surfers, who have voiced their support for the MPAs. The campaign, called “It’s Ocean Time,” has already received 10,000 supporters.
These four MPAs will increase the percentage of protection of the Brazilian Exclusive Economic Zone from the present 1.5 percent to near 24 percent. Near 12 percent of these new areas (111 thousand square kilometers) will receive protection from industrial fishing, mining and other detrimental activities. Marine protected areas have been shown to aid biodiversity, fishing and other local industries while also minimizing the impacts of climate change.
“For Brazil, these new marine protected areas will be important politically and environmentally. And for Conservation International, this process represents our fight to advance the valuation of the marine ecosystems — something we have been doing for years,” said Medeiros.
The range of biodiversity in species is immense in the four MPAs. Trindade-Martin Vaz Archipelago and the surrounding seamounts hold algae diversity, habitat for sharks and other fish, marine turtle nesting and unique species of coral and sponges. Also, the São Pedro and São Paulo Archipelago is home to important migratory species such as the Mobula manta rays and the whale sharks.
Conservation International supports coastal communities in a myriad of conservation projects in Brazil. Highlights are available on Human Nature.
About Conservation International
Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature that people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International and its groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign, and follow Conservation International’s work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.