Award for IKI project in Brazil

Rock with bromeliads and sand bank of a river in the protected area of Serra do Mar with mangrove vegetation on the Ilha Grande, Mata Atlantica; photo: Werner Rudhardt.

Rock with bromeliads and sand bank of a river in the protected area of Serra do Mar with mangrove vegetation on the Ilha Grande, Mata Atlantica; photo: Werner Rudhardt.

The project Biodiversity and Climate Protection in the Mata Atlântica has been selected as part of a competition launched by the UN Environment Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean as one of ten case studies involving the innovative and reproducible implementation of technologies and practices geared to ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) to climate change. The project supports Brazil with improving conservation of biodiversity and restoration of original forest areas in selected networked conservation areas (‘Mosaicos’) in the Mata Atlântica.

The project developed an EbA capacity building strategy and provided training in seminars and teaching materials to more than 260 local, regional and national stakeholders from the public and private sectors on issues of climate protection and EbA. This enabled participants to integrate the EbA approach into spatial planning processes and national policies and thereby contribute to the identification, prioritisation and implementation of EbA measures. In addition, the strategy also includes the training of over 60 EbA trainers, with a view to enabling key stakeholders to disseminate the EbA concept as multipliers. These measures support preparations for Brazil’s National Adaptation Plan to Climate Change (PNA) and integration of the EbA approach into territorial planning instruments.

EbA workshop in Mata Atlantica; photo: GIZ. 

The Mata Atlântica rainforest lies on Brazil’s eastern seaboard and is considered one of the five most important biodiversity hotspots on the planet. Its function as a carbon sink is of global importance, and it fulfils vital functions for the Brazilian population, such as providing drinking water to major cities including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Deforestation rates in the 20th century were particularly high, although these have declined gradually in recent years. Nevertheless, serious fragmentation of remaining forest areas presents a continued threat to the conservation of biodiversity. Furthermore, climate change poses an additional challenge for the region. Extreme weather events in recent years have resulted in considerable social and economic damage. The conservation and restoration of Mata Atlântica is currently a key challenge for the region.

The competition was initiated by the Regional Gateway for Technology Transfer and Climate Change Action in Latin America and the Caribbean (REGATTA), set up by the United Nations Environment Programme. The selected case studies will be published in the anthology ‘Evidence of Ecosystem-Based Adaptation: Cases in Latin America and the Caribbean’ (available in Spanish and English).

The Mata Atlântica project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and KfW Development Bank and coordinated on the Brazilian side by the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment (MMA).

A webinar on the case studies is available in English and Spanish.