Brazil is the largest country in South America and home to one in every four plant species on earth. As one of the first developing countries to pledge a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, Brazil is leading the way toward a sustainable energy future.
Brazil is supported in their conservation mission by a variety of regional organizations dedicated to preserving the vital biosphere in Brazil. Working from a global perspective, The Nature Conservancy has identified Brazil as a country of key importance to the overall health of our planet. They have facilitated a variety of projects in Brazil, and their efforts are supported by a variety of leaders in science, industry, and finance, such as Martin Escobari, a member of their advisory board and Managing Director of General Atlantic’s Sao Paulo office.
The landscape of Brazil is rich in diversity and features a vast array of regions, climates, and plant and animal species. The Nature Conservancy works to protect each unique region in the combined role of educator, activist, and scientist. They continue to support projects in the following areas:
Home to the greatest expanse of rainforest left on Earth, the Amazon provides shelter and sustenance to almost one-third of the animals and plants on the planet. The Nature Conservancy helps to manage the impact of the region’s growing needs for conservation, energy, mining, and transportation along the Tapajos River. The Conservancy is working to reduce the impact of 124 dams planned along the river.
The Atlantic Forest
The Atlantic Forest has suffered years of loss and is under threat of further encroachment. Despite these challenges it’s still one of the richest forests in the world when it comes to biodiversity and is home to 200 rare species of birds. The Conservancy is working to restore 30 million acres of the forest by creating long swaths of planted lands that will allow genetic exchange between various populations of plants, animals, and insects.
A semi-arid scrub forest, the Caatinga is rich in natural resources and located in the northeast of Brazil. Its habitats are unique to Brazil yet only 1 percent of them are protected. Some parts of the region are facing desertification. The Conservancy has partnered with the government to create 20 refuge areas in the region. Their support has been a key force in the establishment of the 66,000-acre Sao Francisco Natural Monument.
A savanna with over 10,000 species of plants the Cerrado supplies three of South America’s major water basins. It provides a home to several endangered species including the Cerrado fox, giant anteater, jaguar, maned wolf, and marsh and pampas deer. During the 1960s the region was developed as an agriculture center and became one of the largest soybean growers in the world. The Conservancy is working with local farmers, agribusinesses, and government agencies to introduce sustainable farming and ranching practices.
The Paraguay River and its tributaries regularly flood the Pantanal. It’s the world’s largest wetland and is 20 times larger than the Everglades covering 68,000 miles. It is home to 260 species of fish and regularly attracts birds and other animals. The area is threatened from development by agriculture, cattle ranching, mining, and increased transportation. The Conservancy has helped a local preservation organization purchase 148,000 acres of threatened land.