Foto: Julio Itacaramby
The Cerrado is the most biodiverse grassland in the world, home to over 11 thousand species of native plant, 199 species of mammal and an 837 species-strong portfolio of avifauna. Add to that 1,200 species of fish, 180 species of reptile and 150 species of amphibian and you have the full spectrum of wildlife under the care of the biome’s Protected Areas. Cerrado PAs also play a crucial role in ensuring the nation’s fresh water supply, as they protect the headwaters of six major rivers, including the Tocantins.
Phase 2 of the Rural Environmental Registration project (Project CAR) at the Pouso Alto Environmental Protection Area hopes to secure formal recognition for the Veadeiros-Paranã Mosaic, which straddles 42 Protected Areas in a region considered a biodiversity conservation hotspot. If signed into law, the mosaic will become Brazil’s largest single agglomeration of PAs. To ensure that this happens, a geographical survey has been conducted to obtain National Protected Area Registration (the Portuguese acronym is CNUC) for 14 of the 42 PAs, including municipal protected areas and private reserves. Without CNUC registration, the Ministry for the Environment will not grant these areas the National Protected Areas System (SNUC) accreditation on which the mosaic depends.
The project is supported by the TFCA, an American law passed in 1998 that allows a portion of national debt to the US to be commuted into investment in forest conservation and sustainable use. Funbio is executive secretary of the TFCA Account Committee in Brazil, which is chaired by the Ministry for the Environment.