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BRAZIL ESTABLISHES LARGE MARINE PROTECTED AREAS IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN
More Than 11 Million Hectares of Oceanic Areas Placed Under No-Take Regime
By Jose Truda Palazzo and Eduardo Macedo
BRASÍLIA, Brazil, March 20, 2018 – A two-year campaign, which united civil society organizations, researchers, and industry leaders (including SDI/TDI) resulted in a landmark achievement. The President of Brazil, Michel Temer, published two decrees in the National Federal Registry establishing the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) of São Pedro & São Paulo and Trindade & Martim Vaz archipelagos. This brings the country´s MPA coverage to approximately 25% of its jurisdictional waters.
Brazil’s no-take zones will now cover 45,142 square miles, encompassing part of the islands, seamounts and relevant features of the seabed. The entire EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zones ) around the archipelagos will become multiple-use reserves, which means an additional 312,522 square miles is placed under sustainable use regimes. The areas will be jointly managed by the National Biodiversity Institute and the Navy, who is developing management plans in the next 180 days.
José Palazzo, Public Policy Development Officer for the Brazilian Humpback Whale Institute said: “it is an historic moment for Brazil as we jump from a mere 1.5% of protected marine and coastal environments to almost a quarter of our seas, ensuring protection for key pelagic environments which are essential for countless species, from sharks to beaked whales to endemic reef fish.”
The new MPAs were announced by President Temer at the World Ocean Summit after a meeting with Dr. Sylvia Earle from Mission Blue, members of the Pew Bertarelli Global Ocean Legacy Program and Brazilian NGO representatives. They will provide opportunities for high-quality liveaboard diving, whale watching, and international cooperation for marine research.
“Our work is far from complete”, adds Palazzo. “We still need to expand the National Marine Park of Abrolhos to safeguard the largest coral bank in the South Atlantic and create many more coastal sanctuaries. But it all begins with the political will to establish it and this we have achieved.”
Eduardo Macedo from International Training says “For the first time, a scuba certification agency participated in the meetings of the creation of this project that will be an international landmark for Brazil and will create new options for diving tourism in areas of environmental preservation”.
International training is proud to have offices and members dedicated to the environment through their conservation actions. We encourage all members to use their power of a vote and voice to make positive changes to our oceans and our environment.