Ceará Biodiversity Plan (Caatinga and Atlantic Forest)

Biodiversity and Climate Change

According to the new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES):

“The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”

According to United Nations, part of a new new agenda must be aligned to tackle the twin global challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss in a more coordinated manner, with the understanding that climate change threatens to undermine all efforts to conserve and sustainably manage biodiversity and that nature itself offers some of the most effective solutions to avert the worst impacts of a warming planet.

Biodiversity is critical to the natural functioning of the world in different aspects – environmental and social – and is also an important consideration for all organizations. Because of that CEPB joins forces with the State Government of Ceará (Brazil) through the State Environment Department, as well as with other national and regional bodies and organizations to create the Biodiversity Plan for the State of Ceará.

All the efforts to create this new document comes with the goal to promote integrated actions and develop projects focused on the protection and conservation of the Caatinga biome and the Atlantic Forest to combat mainly desertification in the region, with the adoption of mitigation and adaptation actions to the effects of climate change, aiming at sustainable development (environmental, economic and social) in the territory of the State of Ceará.

1) Protection of the Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest:

  • Build an information system on the Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest;
  • Reforestation projects for the Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest;
  • Atlas of Protected Areas of the Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest Biome in the State of Ceará;
  • Identification of Priority Areas for the conservation of the Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest;
  • Increase the percentage of Protected Areas in the Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest Biome in the State of Ceará;
  • Integration of the Protected Areas of the State of Ceará through the Establishment of ecological / fauna Corridors;
  • Monitoring and identification of areas affected by forest fires and fires in the State of Ceará.

2) Combating desertification

  • Identification of areas susceptible to desertification in the Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest;
  • Identification, Elaboration and Reproduction of Practices of Living with the Semiarid Region.

3) Adaptation and mitigation to climate change

  • Analysis of the effects of climate change on the Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest;
  • Implement actions to adapt to the effects of climate change;

4) Sustainable use of the Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest.

  • Rational use of the Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest vegetation;
  • Establishment and application of sustainable production models based on agroecology;

5) Environmental education

  • Environmental Education course contextualized with a focus on the Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest, agenda 2030 and the effects of climate change on the Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest.

State of Emergency in Forest Fires

The number of fires in Ceará has already reached 20,203 in 2020, according to the Enel Distribuição Ceará Monitoring and Alert System. According to the agency, in the month of October alone, the number of outbreaks grew 54%. The most affected macro-regions are those of Cariri (3,939), Sertão de Crateús (3,697) and Centro Sul (3,223). Other regions of Ceará, such as the Central sertões (2,230), Sobral (1,674) and Canindé (1,053) also present worrying records. the state government decreed, for the first time in history, a state of environmental emergency aimed at fighting forest fires, mainly in conservation units.

Photo by Honório Barbosa

In 2019, Ceará added the largest number of fires since 2016, when 4,316 were recorded. The impacts, upon reaching the areas, occur in the short, medium and long term. “In the short term, we have visual pollution. In addition, fire dries up the soil and destroys seeds, plants and the place of life of small animals. In the medium term, it reduced the capacity for food production and, when we think about In the long term, there is an increase in the area of degraded caatinga forest and even desertification “, explains Eden Fernandes, zootechnician and Technology Transfer analyst at Embrapa, in the city of Sobral, one of the most impacted by land degradation in Ceará.

All the efforts to create this new document comes with the goal to promote integrated actions and develop projects focused on the protection and conservation of the Caatinga biome and the Atlantic Forest to combat mainly desertification in the region, with the adoption of mitigation and adaptation actions to the effects of climate change, aiming at sustainable development (environmental, economic and social) in the territory of the State of Ceará.

Thus, at this moment, CEPB has been contributing to the creation of an analysis model with the objective of providing effective information to governments and organizations, in this specific case, to the Ceará Government, in order to supply key information for the creation of efficient policies that seek to reduce the impacts of climate change in the regions most affected, aiming above all to create objective scenarios to predict the climatic risk of these regions.

The white-tufted marmoset is a typical specie of the biodiversity of the Atlantic forest in Ceará. One of the species most affected by fires in the regions. Fires are more common in the second half of the year, when periods of drought become more intense.

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