Protecting Brazilian Atlantic Forest
according to universal ecocentric ethics
Our goal is to protect the whole Serra Bonita mountain range, a total area is 18,500 acres, through land acquisition and conversion into a big consortium of Reserves, surveyed and managed collectively by Instituto Uiraçu through a Land Stewardship Fund. For this purpose we have mapped and assessed all the properties in the target area. IU maintains three lines of action for the protection of the Serra Bonita Reserve (all purchased and protected areas):
1. Expansion of the SBR - purchase of new properties for the Serra Bonita Reserve
2. Maintenance & Surveillance - protection of the SBR properties
3. Productive Activities - activities that generate revenue to ensure the long-term viability of the SBR
1. Expansion of the Serra Bonita Reserve
When created, in 2003, the Serra Bonita Reserve was comprised by properties owned by the Becker family and the company Agroflorestal Camacan (AFC), that combines fine cacao production with habitat protection. The total initial area was 3,101 acres.
Currently, with funds from awards, gifts, projects and donations from individuals and non-profit organizations, the SBR has reached 5,500 acres. On the right is a list of properties that comprise the protected area in the Serra Bonita mountain range, their sizes, dates of purchase and respective owners. Together, they form the Serra Bonita Reserve.
We keep an updated list of properties available for sale, their owners, and a list of priority/strategic ones to enhance the protection of Serra Bonita. This way, our partners, donors and individuals who wish to be Reserve owners can consult us on land purchase possibilities.
click to zoom in
For a MAP of the current status of the SBR, click here: For better navigation, download the file and open it on Google Earth.
BLUE: ideal area (total area we aim to protect)
GREEN: areas already protected under the status of Private Reserves (RPPN)
PINK: areas recently purchased, in the process of being registeres as Private Reserves
WHITE: areas in negotiation for purchase in 2015
2. Reserve Maintenance & Surveillance
IU has four park rangers, trained in firefighting, environmental laws, communication skills, and navigation and monitoring using GPS, helping prevent poaching, logging and other illegal activities. Not only they are trained, but also skilled and experient in surveying the Reserve area, in their own traditional knowledge. Therefore, they are very important collaborators in the SBR project.
They were trained by IU through a project developed by the Coordination of Environmental Education, and were selected among 20 participants in the training course. IU´s partner AFC provides the funds for the rangers´ wages. As the SBR grows, we also need to improve the surveillance and protection, through better infrastructure and equipment, and training and hiring more rangers.
3. Productive Activities
To ensure the long-term viability of the Serra Bonita Reserve, it is important that we develop activities to bring revenue. According to Brazilian environmental laws, the only activity allowed inside an RPPN (Private Reserve) is visitation.
So, we developed two strategies: one, we have focused strongly on building quality infrastructure to receive nature watchers, birdwatchers, researchers and students to the core of the Reserve, where they can carry out their activities away from the town´s turmoil and close to their objects of interest.
Two, we have spared small areas at each new property (less than 10% of each) where facilities can be built for productive activities compatible with our conservation goals, such as the production of fine cacao, and other activities being considered for future implementation.