Cerrado: 31 Protected Areas gain an action plan for up to 2030
Spanning over 3.5 million hectares of extreme natural beauty, the Brazilian Cerrado contains a diverse range of plant and animal species, medicinal herbs, quilombo communities and indigenous land. This plethora of natural and socio-cultural wealth is preserved in a group of 31 protected areas located between the north and northwest regions of the state of Minas Gerais. Now this area known as the Sertão Veredas Peruaçu Mosaic will benefit from an action plan that is set to encourage sustainable development until 2030.
Starting next year, the advisory council for the mosaic will seek to implement actions relating to five main themes: integrated management, ecotourism, plant extractivism, conservation of water resources and sustainable agribusiness.
Ecological agricultural methods will start to be developed alongside the region’s family farmers, including the creation of nurseries and forest farming areas on rural properties, and training will be provided to the residents of rural communities to strengthen existing extractivism cooperatives and encourage the creation of new ones. Fire fighters will also be offered support to combat forest fires, and the potential of community-based tourism will be leveraged through the training of guides and tour leaders and the creation of new treks. Payments for Environmental Services and the recuperation of degraded springs are two other priorities included in the Sertão Veredas Peruaçu Mosaic action plan.
“This plan is essential so that the actions we have been developing over many years do not come to an abrupt halt as a result of the country’s changing political situation. This has meant we have to be more innovative to ensure we can get even more projects and initiatives off the ground in the local communities and protected areas in the Mosaic,” commented Vinícius Pereira, a conservation analyst for WWF-Brazil.
César Vitor do Espírito Santo, executive superintendent of the Pro-Nature Foundation (Funatura) explains that the plan also involves the creation of a fund for the mosaic. The funds raised will be used to implement the plan’s actions: “We hope that the plan for the Sertão Veredas Peruaçu Mosaic will act as a catalyst for sustainable development in the region, which is a diverse and complex territory economically, socially and culturally speaking.”
Joel Sirqueira, manager of the Vale do Peruaçu Cooperative of Family and Extrativist Farmers and (Cooperuaçu), an agro-extractivist cooperative that WWF-Brazil has supported since its creation, explains that the plan was organised as a resource to enable the continued conservation of the Cerrado. “It provides guidance in a way that has been planned out collectively, which makes sense as everything was also built up in this way,” he explains. “It’s much more motivating for extrativist farmers or new companies or cooperatives such as Cooperuaçu when they have access to a document providing guidance,” he said.
The “Conservation-Based Territorial Development Plan” has been drawn up by the Pro-Nature Foundation (Funatura) with the support o the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.
WWF-Brazil and the Sertão Veredas Peruaçu Mosaic
WWF-Brazil has been active in the region of the Sertão Veredas Peruaçu Mosaic through its Sertões Project since 2010, and more recently with the support of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund in its actions to encourage the implementation and integrated management of protected areas, strengthen the production chain for the fruits of the Cerrado, develop communication actions that value efforts to save the Cerrado, and create territorial planning to systematically design the conservation of the Cerrado biome.