Brazil Is Set To Expand Marine Protected Areas And Make Conservation History

Brazil is prepared and ready to change the dynamics of conservation in the South Atlantic. Following the recent moves of Mexico and Chile  both creating Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s), Brazil should soon be joining them.

Currently, 1.5% of Brazil’s jurisdictional waters are under some sort of protection, the Brazilian government has opened public proposals to establish MPA’s around the oceanic archipelagos of St. Peter/St. Paul Archipelago’s and Martin Vaz, an area covering approximately 348,000 square miles. This would bump the currently 1.5% of protected area to a 21%.

Both areas that would be protected are full of rich biodiversity home to endangered species including whales, sharks, sea turtles, and pelagic species severely depleted by industrial overfishing.

The potentially protected areas are related to the Brazilian Blue Initiative, which is focusing on a strategy to achieve a minimum of 10% conservation in Brazilian coastal and marine jurisdictions. Brazil has recently made numerous commitments to protect marine biodiversity including partaking in the Promise of Sydney, the 2017 Ocean Conference, and the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.

Ocean conservationist pioneer Sylvia Earle recently met with Brazil’s President Michel Temer and took part in discussions to expand MPA’s. Earle’s impact worldwide has been astonishing  in her conservation work and her partaking in conversations is certainly a big step forward in advancing towards MPA’s.

The President of Brazil, Michel Temer, is expected to make a decision in early March, after the public consultation period ends. Any organization or individual interested in submitting expressions of support for  these MPAs can do so by writing to assistcm@marinha.mil.br and gm@mma.gov.br.

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