Interchange of philosophies
and experiences Brazil/Australia
The restoration of a degraded ecosystem is a complex
and evolving process. The exchange of information and
practical experience is vital to increase the effectiveness
of efforts made to preserve and restore ecosystems.
In April 2002 a workshop was held on Santa Catarina
Island, Brazil for Australians and Brazilians to exchange
information and practical experiences. The Australian
participants also had the opportunity to visit some
projects in Rio de Janeiro.
This exchange is an inaugural step
in order to maintain a flow of information and skills
between these two countries of the Southern Hemisphere.
This initiative will contribute to a collective analysis
of environmental issues and may provide solutions to
the shared problems in the field of ecosystem restoration.
Catarina Island with a population of 190,000 is part
of the city of Florianópolis.
It covers an area of 424 km² with a variety of
natural environments such as mangroves, lagoons, dunes,
beaches and rainforest.
The occupation of the island by Portuguese settlers
from the Azores Islands started in the 18th century.
It is the largest island on the southern coast of Brazil,
situated in the transition zone between tropical and
subtropical zones. Originally it was approximately 90%
covered in Atlantic rainforest. Today a large part of
the old growth forest has been destroyed, with fragments
remaining in the most isolated parts of the island.
city of Rio de Janeiro, famous for its beauty, music
and beaches and home to approximately six million residents,
has some interesting experiences in ecosystem restoration.
One of the most impressive projects is the Atlantic
rainforest reforestation program. By March 2002 nearly
three million seedlings have been planted in a total
area of 1,300 hectares. Results obtained to date show
that the program has had good outcomes, such as reduction
of erosion and landsides, and an increase of biodiversity
in the area. The impressive results can be seen in the
before and after photos of "morro Dois irmãos".
important reforestation project, visited by the australians
was the Tijuca National Park. A huge area of 3,200 hectares
situated in the middle of Rio de Janeiro. In the mid
19-century the area was being heavily used for coffee
farming and the original rainforest was reduced to small
remnants. Approximately 140 years ago the area was reforested
with native species to improve the city’s catchment.
Currently there are well- maintained Atlantic rainforest
areas within Tijuca National Park. The park has more
then 60km of walking tracks, an environmental education
centre primarily for school groups.