Nature Reserves in the Atlantic Rainforest
SPVS has three nature reserves covering a total area of 46,000 acres near the coast of the Paraná State in Southern Brazil. These areas constitute an eﬃcient management standard for protected areas. They encourage scientiﬁc research, the monitoring of biodiversity and help to contribute to the conservation of the Guaraqueçaba Environmental Protection Area (EPA), a region belonging to the largest remnant area of one of the world’s most endangered biodiversity hotspots, the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest.
Beyond biodiversity, the nature reserves of SPVS seek to connect local people with biodiversity through formal education, income generation, employment for local populations and fostering cooperative work amongst small local businesses. All the work that SPVS does has an underlying goal: of stimulating a type of regional development that respects local people and at the same time protects biodiversity.
Several initiatives have been undertaken since the nature reserves were created in the framework of the Guaraqueçaba Climate Action Project. Some of them involve the public sector and other nonproﬁt organizations that work towards solving social issues, including education, health care and income generation. So far, however, SPVS is almost the only non-governmental organization that implements long-lasting social projects in the region. So far, the Nature Reserves of SPVS are one of the largest employers of the region.
However, the conﬂict between the need to conserve endangered environments and species and to address urgent social issues remains a big challenge for the region.
Biodiversity Conservation and Climate-change Project
In 1999, SPVS began three innovative projects in its nature reserves – a globally pioneering initiative which consists of the management and protection of 18,600 hectares of Atlantic Forest, which results in the reducing of stressors such as deforestation and ﬁres and the capture of atmospheric carbon through restoration activities and the growth of secondary forests.