What does it take, a case study: putting the pieces back together in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest

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Alice Reisfeld, Barbarba Cavalcante

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One of the most threatened forest ecosystems on the planet, yet biologically diverse, the Atlantic Forest supports ta high number of endemic and threatened birds globally. Once one of the world’s largest forests, extensive deforestation has resulted in only 12% remaining. A third of South America’s human population live in the Atlantic Forest biome, and the forest has made way for agriculture – both subsistence and industrial scale. As a result, much of the endemic Atlantic Forest fauna and flora is in danger of extinction. The scale of the challenge to conserve the Atlantic Forest, demands a bold approach. Over the past 16 years, SAVE Brasil has been protecting fragmented pieces of forest in Serra do Urubu (Northeastern Brazil). However, it is not practical to eliminate farming – crops, cattle, forest and people all go together – but sustainable agroforestry and commodity production can be achieved. This is possible through three strategies: 1) community engagement, 2) promoting best practice models within the corridors, and 3) building multi-stakeholder partnerships to develop sustainability strategies for scaling-up. Through the protection of crucial forest, annual bird monitoring has confirmed populations of threatened species are stable. Serra do Urubu is now a pilot area for the “Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact,” an initiative involving NGOs, businesses and Brazilian universities, which aims to restore 15 million hectares of forest. SAVE Brasil’s strategy for the long-term restoration of the forests of the Serra do Urubu region includes developing agro-forestry systems which help rebuild forest connectivity.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program