The Natural World Heritage sites protect areas considered exceptional because of its biological diversity and its marvelous sightseeing. In natural sites, environmental protection, respect for cultural diversity and for traditional populations are treated with special attention. Besides natural benefits, these sites generate a significant income coming from the development of ecotourism.
UNESCO in Brazil develops actions with various partnerships, both governmental and non-governmental, with the objective to implement coordinated management of the various Brazilian natural sites. This way, UNESCO in Brazil integrates responsibilities and actions in national, state and municipal levels, to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity in Natural World Heritage sites of Brazil.
In Brazil, there are several Natural World Heritage sites. The country is the signatory of the 1972 Convention of World Heritage Sites since 1977.
The long history that links Brazil to UNESCO has allowed the creation of privileged spaces placed at the disposal of the Organization’s values and missions. These spaces may just as easily be world heritage sites, nature reserves of the MaB Programme or those Universities that host UNESCO chairs. In each one, UNESCO has managed to leave its mark by transforming it into a space for excellence, preservation, or knowledge, thus contributing towards the diffusion of the Organization’s ideals.
Consolidation of World Natural Heritage Sites in Brazil
Presently, the UNESCO Office in Brazil intends to continue paying special attention to these spaces. With continued respect for its initial vocation and its specific mission, the different programme teams are actively working together to enhance the value of its potential resources in terms of development. This collaboration is particularly keyed towards giving a leading role to Brazil’s natural and cultural diversity in responding to the country’s priorities and challenges.
The Biosphere Reserves, for example, could offer a framework for cooperation among the various UNESCO sectors. Preserving the environment (natural sciences) could find an extension in valuing indigenous knowledge (culture), culminating in the creation of employment and activities in the field of ‘responsible tourism’.
In the same way, such integrated procedures may produce material for pedagogical contents (education) or for disseminating knowledge on the internet using communication and information technologies (ICT).
List of Natural World Heritage Sites in Brazil
- Iguaçu National Park - Date of Inscription: 1986
- Atlantic Forest Southeast Reserves - Date of Inscription: 1999
- Costa do Descobrimento (Discovery Cost): Atlantic Forest Reserves - Date of Inscription: 1999
- Pantanal Conservation Area - Date of Inscription: 2000
- Central Amazon Conservation Complex - Date of Inscription: 2000
- Cerrado Protected Areas: Chapada dos Veadeiros and Emas National Parks - Date of Inscription: 2001
- Brazilian Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas Reserves - Date of Inscription: 2001
Biosphere Reserves in Brazil
Brazil has important reserves of natural resources, large biomes with important bodies of freshwater, and extensive areas that contain rich and complex biodiversity.
These assets and potentialities are in danger, however, due to uncontrolled exploitation by human beings. This may be most evident with respect to the fate of its main biomes.
UNESCO Brasilia Office has cooperated on Biosphere Reserves, an area in which Brazil has been particularly active and innovative within the scope of the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MaB), for more than fifteen years. However, there is still a need to consolidate the achievements and to improve the functioning of the network of biospheres reserves. Brazil also has various natural sites declared as World Heritage.