Marlon Prestes, Brazil

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Marlon Prestes, Instituto de Pesquisa em Vida Selvagem e Educação Ambiental – SPVS, Brazild

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2016 Profile:  Marlon Prestes, Brazil 
Organization name: Instituto de Pesquisa em Vida Selvagem e Educação Ambiental – SPVS
(Institute for Wildlife Research and Environmental Education – SPVS)
*-Organization full street address (in your local format):d
Rua Victorio Viezzer, 651 – 80810-340 – Curitiba – Paraná
*-Organization full mailing address, if different:
*-Country: Brazil
*-Work phone with country and area code: 55 41 3094 4600
*-Work fax with country and area code: 55 41 3094 4600

describe the history of your personal work in conservation and GIS:
I graduated in Geography from the Federal University of Paraná, 1996. Since 1994 I have worked in the mapping and GIS, worked for seven years in one of the majors mapping companies of the country, developing projects based on satellite images and aerial photographs, construction and updating of databases.
In 1999 I started working with the legal issues in my state, issues of suitability and environmental regularization of country properties. In recent years I have been working in SPVS coordinating the GIS lab and among the key initiatives can be highlighted in the following projects:

- Projects of Action Against Global Warming - the coast of Paraná: Projects contribute to combating the phenomenon of global warming, and at the same time, preserve the largest remaining Atlantic Forest in Brazil, are developed on the northern coast of Paraná State.

- Research in the SPVS Reserve: In three SPVS Reserves have been made management plans, which provides information on socioeconomic, geographic, physical and land in the region, and vegetation data, mammal, fauna, reptiles and birds. From this instrument were encouraged numerous studies aimed at improving the knowledge on biodiversity and ecology of the area, contributing significantly to the enrichment of information about the biome.

- Avoided Deforestation Program: It is an unprecedented initiative that seeks to protect the last remaining natural areas of Araucaria Forest in Paraná State, for its potential to offset greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming phenomenon. The project supports the owners of natural areas in the conservation of the last remnants of this ecosystem, threatened with extinction.

- Adoption Program Araucaria Forest : Through the adoption of areas, this campaign helps to protect the remnants of Araucaria forests that still exist. With the temporary adoption, the downer shall have the support to develop a broad effort to preserve your area. Through partnerships with the second sector, is intended financial resources for the owner to make possible the protection of their natural areas. These activities have direct supervision of SPVS.

- Red-tailed Parrot Conservation Project: Since 1998, SPVS develops Red-tailed Parrot Conservation Project (Amazona brasiliensis) in the coast of Paraná. The main objective is to protect the species, by scientific knowledge, management, and awareness of society about the importance of conservation of the parrot and the biodiversity of the Atlantic Forest.

- Project Development Model for Landscape Conservation with Araucaria Forest: Study design of the landscape and biodiversity conservation on small farms producing tobacco in the southern region of Parana, diagnosis of the environmental and legal properties, aiming to implement measures to improve environmental quality.

- Support Program for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Curitiba and metropolitan region - Conbio: The program aims to encourage attitudes that preserve biodiversity and reverse environmental degradation in the remaining areas of native vegetation in Curitiba and metropolitan region. Therefore, spread the conservation management of small urban green areas, seeking to expand the number of citizens participating in this initiative. It is conducted in partnership with the Municipality of Curitiba.

describe the work that your current organization does:
Instituto de Pesquisa em Vida Selvagem e Educação Ambiental – SPVS (Institute for Wildlife Research and Environmental Education – SPVS) is a nonprofit entity that develops dinnovative, quality projects in nature conservation that focus on expanding and replicating actions to preserve our natural heritage and biodiversity.

Has been working in the different Brazilian biomes for 30 years, always partnering with companies, public institutions and the third sector, aiming to influence public policies and seeking to raise awareness about how much quality of life, economic activity and development depend on well-preserved natural areas and the conservation of biodiversity.

The organization’s capacity for innovation and creativity combined with scientific knowledge and a deep understanding of the importance of biodiversity conservation, align the SPVS projects with the current issues that directly affect production activities, the lives of people and business sustainability.

The mission of SPVS is to work for nature conservation, through the protection of native areas, environmental education actions and the development of models for the rational use of natural resources.

describe what is the most unique and the most challenging about the conservation/GIS work that you do:
The Araucaria Forest, or Mixed Ombrophilous Forest (MOF), is an ecosystem within the Brazilian Atlantic Forest biome, one of the world’s 25 hotspots in terms of biodiversity and endemism (Galindo-Leal et al. 2003). The Atlantic Forest generally speaking, is found in the coastal regions of Brazil where it originally occupied roughly 1,300,000 km², or 15% of Brazilian territory, this area has been drastically reduced to a mere 5 to 8% of the original vegetation cover (Zaú et al. 1998, Hirota, 2003 and SOS Mata Atlântica 2009).

The description of the Araucaria Forest provided here aims to set the context for the reader to grasp the biological importance of this ecosystem and its critical state of degradation. Data from the earlier part of this decade showed that at that time only 0.8% of this ecosystem was well-conserved (Fupef, 2001), this fact contributed to the chosen course of action for dthe Avoided Deforestation Program (described) as a conservation strategy for the last remnants.

Its phytogeographic boundary is determined naturally by the presence of the Araucaria angustifolia or Paraná pine, which is considered the characteristic species of this formation.

This formation is limited to a region with a subtropical pluvial climate below the Tropic of Capricorn, at altitudes that range from 500 to 1,200 meters. It is most prevalent in Brazil in the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul; with fragmented areas in the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais at the higher altitudes of Serra da Mantiqueira and its ramifications, as well as the northeastern portion of Argentina, in the Missiones province on the border with SantaCatarina (Hueck, 1953; Veloso et al, 1991).

Of the nearly 200,000 km2 that it occupied originally (Hueck, 1972;Maack, 1968; FUPEF, 2001), over 40% was in Paraná. Santa Catarina had the second greatest occurrence of this ecosystem, there Araucaria Forests once covered over 60% of the state’s territory.

The destruction of the original forest cover of the Araucaria Forest would naturally endanger the preservation of the species in this formation. According to the official species status list for the State of Paraná, at least 78 species are threatened to some degree; this is based on data from 1995, which is considered slightly outdated. Among the many Flora species of the Mixed Ombrophilous Forest facing some degree of extinction, there is: araucaria (Araucaria angustifolia), xaxim-bugio (Dicksonia sellowiana), Brazilian walnut (Ocotea porosa), canela sassafrás (Ocotea odorifera) canela-preta (Ocotea catharinensis), it is important to note that all of these species are on the list as a result of excessive exploitation.

The Araucaria Forest is home to an enormous diversity of animals. The birds alone add up to over 250 species, the equivalent to at least 15% of the total native species for Brazil.

The Araucaria is considered essential to the preservation of many fauna species, like the brown capuchin (macaco-prego; Cebus sp.), the brown howler monkey (bugio-ruivo; Alouatta guariba), the southern muriqui (monocarvoeiro; Brachyteles arachnoides) and birds like the vinaceous amazon parrot (Amazona vinacea), because of its seeds (pinhões) which are their main source of food during the cold months, a time when animals need more caloric foods.

The cycle of the pinhão stimulates a complex food chain; some animal species are able to reach the crowns of the trees and can open, husk and pick the seed cones (pinhas). On the ground, species like the collared peccary (cateto; Pecari tajacu), the white-lipped peccary (queixadas; Tayassu pecari), opossum (gambás; Didelphis sp.), deer (Mazama sp.), quatis (Nasua nasua), pacas (Cuniculus paca) and cutias (Dasyprocta azarae) eat the fallen pinhas and seeds dropped by the other animals. Finally what remains of the pinhões is transformed into a source of food for ants, slugs, flies and beetles. Indirectly, other animals are benefited by the cycle ofthepinhão. With the increase in the number of species in the forest in search of food, there are more hunting opportunities for jaguars (Panthera onça), pumas (Puma concolor), oncillas (gatos-do-mato; Leopardus tigrinus), lizards and snakes.d

The importance of preserving the forest is reflected in the high endemism of the different animal classes. Among the mammals, 39% are endemic to this formation, the same occurs with the majority of the butterflies, reptiles, amphibians and birds. The majority of all of the species observed are endangered to some degree, and this situation is due principally to the extreme reduction in habitat that continues occurring.

The evaluation of the main lists of endangered species (National List of Brazilian Fauna Species Endangered with Extinction, MMA, 2003; IUCN Red List, 2004; List of Endangered Fauna Species in Paraná -2004) indicate that at least eleven fauna species from the Araucaria Forest are under some level of threat.

Among them we highlight the neo-tropical otter (Lontra longicaudis), the small cat (jaguatirica; Leopardus pardalis), oncillas (gato-do-matopequeno; Leopardus tigrinus), the vinaceous amazon parrot (Amazona vinacea), the azure jay (gralha-azul; Cyanocorax caeruleus), the black hawk-eagle (Spyzaetus tyrannus), the brown howler monkey (Alouatta guariba) and the southern muriqui (Brachyteles arachnoides). Paraná is the southern distribution boundary for the muriqui, which is considered one of the 35 most endangered mammal species in the world.

The main economic cycles in the southern region of Brazil have been closely tied to the extraction of forest products, especially in the State of Paraná. These cycles drove social and technological development in the region and lasted for long periods, such as the erva-mate cycle and the paraná pine cycle (the wood obtained from the araucarias).


At the end of the 1930s, a new pattern of territorial occupation began in Paraná in the southwestern and western regions by migrants from the states of Rio Grande do Sul and especially Santa Catarina, who moved to small properties working with polycultures, predominantly cereals and oils, as well as pig farming. Thus, by the 1960s, the entire region was occupied.

The colonization of the southern states of Brazil and the economic cycles based mainly on extractivism, and later by intensive agriculture, has had a direct influence on the loss of Araucaria Forests and Natural Grasslands. This process has led to the scenario we see today of mere fragments of this forest typology in a good state of conservation, with less than 0.8% of the original total for the State of Paraná (FUPEF, 2001). However, to this day, the importance of the Araucaria in the history, culture, habits and arts of the people of Paraná is undeniable.

Assessments of the various ecosystems around the planet show thatthe Araucaria Forest is one of the formations with the greatest diversity worldwide and it is also among the most endangered (Dinerstein et al. 1995; Biodiversity Support Program, 1995; Cemex & Conservation International, 1999).

Studies on the loss of forest cover (considering the Araucaria Forest, the Atlantic Forest and the Subtropical Semideciduous Forest from Paraná River), up until 1960, are all based on estimates carried out by Reinhard Maack, a geographer who created one of the most detailed and precise reports on the physical and biological characteristics of Paraná. Gubert Filho d(1988), based on data from Dillewijn (1966) and Maack (1968), made some projections about the evolution of the forest remnants in the state. Using the year 1890 as the starting point for his analysis of the original cover, it is estimated that over a period of roughly 100 years, this cover had been reduced to approximately 7% of its original cover (see chart below), with the greatest devastation occurring from 1950 to 1965.

In less than 80 years Paraná had its forest cover reduced to nearly 8% of its original cover.

In 1984, a survey conducted by IBDF (the Brazilian Institute of Forest Development, later transformed into IBAMA) recorded only 3.7% of the original cover of Araucaria Forest in Paraná, of which only 0.6% was made up of untouched areas. In 2001, a study carried out by FUPEF (Foundation for Forestry Research in Paraná), based on satellite images from 1998, found that practically no remnants of this typology exist with the original characteristics, and only 0.8 % (nearly 661 km2 or 66,000 hectares) of this typology remain in an advanced stage of succession in the state.

The last tracts of well-preserved Araucaria Forest are now limited to a few hundred small and medium-sized private properties that are under constant pressure to adapt to the conventional models of development. The owners end up using the forest resources to meet their immediate needs, without envisioning possibilities other than direct economic benefits over the medium and long-term.

The Natural Grasslands also suffer from intense human pressure, which irreversibly change the rural ecosystem, leading to the loss of biodiversity and altering the balance of the water cycle. There are also changes in the landscape which have a profound effect on the potential for regional ecotourism. Illegal burning practiced annually, the expansion of soy plantations and the uncontrolled proliferation of exotic invasive species, like pine, brachiaria grass and molasses grass, among others, are the problems that most affect the natural Grasslands at this time (SOS Mata Atlântica, 2005).

In short, the few remaining fragments of the ecosystem continue facing threats from illegal extraction of wood, illegal burning, substitution of the native forest cover with commercial crops, urban pressure and land occupation by social movements.d

This entire process contributes to the disappearance of the lush forest, with its majestic trees and its rich flora and fauna. The fragmentation of the forest causes the interruption of the gene flow, which results in the reduction and isolation of wild populations, causing a loss of biodiversity and species extinction.

A considerable number of actions are being carried out by governmental and non-governmental groups and institutions for conserving the biodiversity of the Araucaria Forest. dHowever, many of these are very specific with limited funding and in the majority of cases this interferes with the continuity of the work. Various actions combine environmental and social aspects, aiming to improve the economic structure of the families or communities that live near or within the natural areas; these projects do not usually focus strictly on the protection of the natural heritage found in the Mixed Ombrophilous Forest and Natural Grasslands, with the exception of some Private Natural Heritage Reserves and other public conservation units that were created recently.

Based on the information presented on the threats to the Araucaria Forest, the need becomes evident for a coordinated action capable of joining forces to preserve biodiversity. Recovery from the endangered species status depends on efficient strategies and emergency measures that prioritize the conservation of well-preserved remnants of Atlantic Forest, for the natural or managed conservation of these species.


2016 ABSTRACT: “Curitiba Metropolitan Water Project”      PROJECT OBJECTIVE: The overall objective of the Project is to promote nature conservation actions in areas of water springs and forest remnants in private areas in the metropolitan area of Curitiba, through the implementation of a mechanism called Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES). Made up of 29 municipalities, the metropolitan area of Curitiba is the eighth most populous metropolitan area in Brazil, with 3,223,836 inhabitants, and concentrates 30.86% of the state population. It is also the second largest metropolitan area in the country in extension, with 16,581.21km². The potential for businesses, good infrastructure, the constant development, logistics, industrial expansion and the state government's support can turn the metropolitan area of Curitiba at the headquarters of the largest industrial center in southern Brazil. Because of this existing pressures in the forest remnants and areas of water supply springs the needs for environmental policy clearly outlined at the regional level. THE SPECIFIC OBJETIVES ARE: (1) to contribute to the quality and availability of water for supplying Curitiba and the metropolitan region; (2) to provide technical support through environmental conservation outreach; (3) to value and recognize landowners who carry out actions / or management that includes the protection of water bodies through awards as a way of increasing income; (4) to stimulate the formulation of municipal laws for PES that will result in long-term actions and participation of all sectors of society; (5) to promote arrangements among different players that allow for the structuring of award mechanisms for owners of natural areas; (6) Conduct a conservation education program in the municipal schools of the municipalities in which the project takes place. IMPACT: - Improvement in the quality and quantity of water from public water sources that supply Curitiba and the Metropolitan Region; - Valuation of natural resources and ecosystem services by the population; - Public policies for PES implemented in the municipality(ies); - Promotion of conservation of biodiversity in the Atlantic Forest biome; - Involvement of companies to guarantee the long-term sustainability of the project; - Increase in the income of landowners responsible for the provision of ecosystem services. - Elementary school educators of the Municipalities trained in conservation education and implementing in the classroom, the theme focused on nature conservation and water resources.