Conservation of a coral reef in Brazil

Group photo of many people in front of a big Terramar-Poster

Group photo of the kick-off event of the new IKI project; photo: Sergio Poggi

Representing Federal Minister Dr Barbara Hendricks, Head of Division Dr Ostermeyer-Schlöder officially launched the project 'Conservation and Integrated Management of Marine and Coastal Biodiversity (TerraMar)' at a ceremony on 17 August in Brazil. The project's total costs are EUR 11 million and is being supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB) with EUR 6 million. Brazil is investing a further EUR 5 million. The project will be implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. National and regional representatives of the Brazilian Environment Ministry (MMA), its downstream nature conservation office (ICMBio) and representatives of the governments of the four federal states involved in the project (Pernambuco, Alagoas, Bahia and Espírito Santo) took part in the event.

The Brazilian coast is one of the longest in the world and is home to unique biodiversity. However, the fragile marine ecosystems, especially coral reefs, are under threat not only from illegal fishing and unsustainable tourism, but also the unchecked expansion of coastal cities and environmental disasters. The project will work in the marine protected area of over 400,000 hectares (área de preservação ambiental (APA)) along the Costa dos Corais. Located on Brazil's north-eastern coast, this roughly 135 kilometre section of coastline off the coast of the federal states of Pernambuco and Alagoas counts as one of the largest coral reefs in South America. The offshore island group Abrolhos, located between the federal states of Bahia and Espírito Santo, will also be protected. The project supports the development of an integrated environmental plan for the marine and coastal areas in both regions.

The project involves non-governmental organisations, universities and the local civil society through a participatory approach. The aim is to make the experiences gathered available at a later stage to other projects with a similar focus. At the event, Dr Ostermeyer-Schlöder underscored the intention of both countries to implement not only Aichi Biodiversity Targets 6 (sustainable fishery) and 10 (reducing pressure on coral reefs) but also Target 11: 'We would like 10% of the Brazilian coast to be placed under state protection by 2020; it is currently at 3%.'

Germany and Brazil are sharing the total project costs of EUR 11 million for initial and ongoing education and the development of methods to protect and sustainably manage coastal and marine biodiversity. Through the IKI, BMUB is contributing EUR 6 million, and Brazil is investing a further EUR 5 million in materials and equipment. The project will be implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.