In 1999, the primary and secondary forests in the State of Rio de Janeiro covered an area of 9,385 km2 (21% of the total land area). At the current annual rate of deforestation, the rainforest cover will have disappeared within a few decades if nothing is done to halt this process.
In the context of Financial Cooperation, the German Government is supporting Brazil to protect the coastal rainforest belt (Mata Atlântica). Several projects are carried out to preserve the remaining and to recuperate the degraded areas in seven Federal States: Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná, Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Bahia, and Rio de Janeiro.
The project has a duration of eight years and foresees, among others:
- To create the necessary conditions for protecting the Conservation Units of the State of Rio de Janeiro (physical part, planning, administration, human resources and finances)
- To support actions for the conservation and recuperation of the coastal rainforest in the project region (reduce deforestation, support reforestation)
With these activities the rate of deforestation in the protected areas are expected to come to a halt, and to be less than 5% in the whole rainforest belt of the state of Rio de Janeiro.
The project is composed of the following six components or fields of action:
- Establishment and extension of 17 Protected Areas (PA);
- Environmental actions in Pas, buffer zones and surroundings;
- Prevention and control of forest fires;
- Establishment of a GIS based state-wide environmental monitoring and control system;
- Complementary studies, planning, training;
- Institutional development and project management.
The project is implemented in close coordination with other organizations and institutions engaged in the environmental sector at local, regional and national level.
Technical, administrative, operational and financial assistance to the Client in all stages of the project cycle, from the elaboration and implementation of concepts and strategies for PA management to the financing of infrastructure and environmental measures aimed to optimize the protection of the rainforest belt in PAs and buffer zones. In detail:Operational planning, technical and financial management of project, tender procedures and contracting;
- Strategies, methods and instruments to ensure sustainable use and protection of the natural resources;
- Support programme for the extension of existing and establishment of new PAs, including those of the private sector;
- Management plans for Pas, embedded in a spatial planning concept, jointly with local population and civic society; Creation of consultative councils.
- Implementation of environmental strategies and activities for buffer zones of the PA;
- Improvement of infrastructure especially for ecotourism and procurement of equipment for PAs;
- Recruitment and training of staff in PA management and administration, including park rangers;
- Design and introduction of an integrated system for environmental monitoring based on specific mapping, strengthening of involved institutions;
- Forest fire management systems, including improved cooperation with fire brigades and improved equipment;
- Improved hardware and software for monitoring and control (GIS and GPS), and fire combat;
- Assistance to the INEA in organizational restructuring as it was created out of three different institutions (forest, water and soils, environmental licensing);
- Assistance in introducing financing mechanism for the PA;
- Assistance in design and introduction of an enforcement and compensation system for environmental damage.