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Private Reserves

Located in the heart of the Atlantic Forest biome, the Das Águas, Guaricica, and Papagaio-de-cara-roxa Private Reserves stand as a testament to our commitment to nature. Spanning over 19,000 hectares, these reserves are a haven for native vegetation, nestled in the municipalities of Antonina and Guaraqueçaba, on the picturesque coast of Paraná (PR).

Today, these Private Reserves are part of a broader initiative created in 2018: the Atlantic Forest Great Reserve. This initiative emerged from the joint efforts of various local actors in Paraná (PR), Santa Catarina (SC), and São Paulo (SP), under the leadership of SPVS and other partners. Encompassing an area of 2.7 million hectares of natural terrestrial environments and another 2.2 million hectares of marine areas, it is home to Indigenous and traditional communities and precious historical heritage.


Foto: Gabriel Marchi ©

About the Private Reserves

The creation of these Private Reserves was not just a conservation effort but a pioneering step towards reconciling biodiversity conservation with the fight against global warming. It began with partnerships between SPVS and the non-governmental organization The Nature Conservancy and the companies Chevron, General Motors, and American Electric Power. In 1999, three highly innovative projects based on international research were approved, setting a new standard for conservation initiatives worldwide.

With the funding provided by these three companies, the establishment of the three Private Reserves became a groundbreaking, long-term commitment in terms of their scope. Beyond addressing climate and biodiversity concerns, the projects put forward a model for involving local communities, creating employment opportunities, generating income, and fostering regional development.

Once the partnership was formalized, the projects were outlined, with seven components that would coordinate and drive the efforts to establish the Private Reserves. These included Prospection, acquisition, and regularization of areas; management of the Private Reserves; ecological restoration; conservation and development; carbon monitoring and verification; carbon leakage control; and Project management.

These initiatives' continuous operation for over twenty years has delivered numerous ecosystem services and benefits to the population. These include preserving water resources, conserving springs and natural areas, protecting various species of fauna and flora, creating employment and income opportunities, providing educational programs, and contributing to climate regulation, among others.


The emergence of regulations for similar actions has brought attention to initiatives like REDD+ - an acronym for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, along with Biodiversity Conservation. This tool has been discussed within the United Nations framework for climate change negotiations and aims to establish multiple benefits from investments in this area. The three projects implemented in Paraná are considered exemplary instances of REDD+, even predating the formal establishment of this mechanism.

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Why should I support the initiative?

Research indicates a growing global concern with environmental conservation, particularly in light of alarming reports on ongoing deforestation, observable climate change, rising occurrences of extreme natural events, humanitarian and health crises, and the socio-economic repercussions resulting from the loss of natural habitats, to name a few examples.

A reflection of this trend is the widespread adoption of the acronym ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), which signifies the increasing pressure on companies to adopt strategies focused on environmental conservation and human and social development initiatives.

In this context, supporting the preservation of natural areas through efficient and proven methods and techniques while simultaneously creating social and economic benefits for the Atlantic Forest region represents a significant opportunity for companies and institutions committed to long-term social and environmental agenda.

When participating in protecting Private Reserves, our supporters must recognize that they are advocating for a new development approach based on Nature Production. This strategy fosters an economy that thrives on conserving and enhancing natural, social, and cultural heritage.

In addition to participating in tangible biodiversity conservation efforts, our supporters will also have the opportunity to associate their brand with the Private Reserves and SPVS. This partnership opens doors for marketing and communication initiatives focused on social and environmental responsibility. Supporters can also apply for certification, such as the LIFE Certification, to formally recognize their conservation efforts and incorporate the outcomes into their sustainability reports.

Who can support us?

Companies and institutions interested in replicating the model of restoration and conservation of these areas, as well as non-governmental organizations, public authorities, and research institutions, are the primary partners in supporting the efforts to preserve the Private Reserves. 

Are you interested in supporting Private Reserves? Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or to discuss how to initiate partnership proposals.

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Maintaining Private Reserves has gradually increased the region's biodiversity wealth and resulted in various benefits, including job creation, income generation, tourism growth, and the provision of ecosystem services. Additionally, significant revenue has been generated for municipalities through ecological fiscal transfer based on conserved natural areas (ICMS-Ecológico) in Antonina and Guaraqueçaba. Integrating traditional community knowledge of local nature with biodiversity conservation techniques is among the key positive aspects of the initiative.

The SPVS Reserves have consistently depended on the efforts of local residents, who possess valuable knowledge about the region's dynamics. These residents play crucial roles in identifying species, observing results and indicators, accompanying researchers in the field, engaging in local relations, and participating in various other activities essential for the reserves' success.

Private Reserves are now crucial in carbon offsetting as well. In less than 20 years, these areas have accumulated a stock of approximately 2 million tons of carbon, with a capture potential of 10,000 tons annually. This significant volume helps mitigate the impacts of global climate change, for example.

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Socioeconomic benefits

When engaging with governmental partners, it is feasible to achieve financial benefits through incentive legislation, one notable example being the ecological fiscal transfer system known as ICMS Ecológico. Established in 1991, this initiative is one of the nation's most effective conservation measures. It involves the transfer of financial resources to municipalities that have implemented Conservation Units or water sources catering to nearby areas.

Antonina and Guaraqueçaba serve as prime examples of this partnership model. Through the ICMS Ecológico program, the three SPVS Private Reserves generated approximately 6 million reais in income for the municipalities in 2021. This financial return incentivizes local authorities to promote the establishment of new public and private Conservation Units and enhance their management practices.

Furthermore, providing water and other environmental services to these communities underscores the significance of maintaining and managing Private Reserves. All the water supplied to the city of Antonina is sourced directly from the Das Águas Reserve—a collaboration that ensures residents have continuous access to clean water for consumption.

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, the Reserves serve as invaluable research sites, facilitating scientific inquiry and exploration. Over 100 collaborative scientific studies with educational institutions have been conducted in the Private Reserves, contributing to the conservation of crucial species like big cats, the discovery of previously unidentified native species, effective area management, and the preservation of 61 archaeological sites.

Discover the areas

After about 20 years of conservation and restoration work, the Guaricica Private Reserve has been officially opened to the general public. Visits must be booked in advance. Groups of up to six people are welcome for the guided Guaricica Experience between Wednesdays and Saturdays. Click here for prices and protocols.

Another way to learn about SPVS's efforts in Private Reserves is through the book "Reservas Naturais da SPVS: 20 anos de história" (SPVS Private Reserves: 20 years of history). In this fluid and meaningful reading, you can explore the restoration process, the challenges of nature production, and the benefits achieved over time without stepping outside your door. Download it for free*.

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