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With its unique ecosystems and rapid industrialization, Brazil is one of our key areas of focus. Home to a diverse array of ecosystems, including tropical and coastal rainforests, wetlands and savannas, Brazil is one of the most biologically diverse countries on Earth. In Brazil, we are concentrating our efforts in the Atlantic Forest and the Cerrado.

The Atlantic Forest
Brazil's Atlantic Forest is one of the most biologically rich, and threatened, ecosystems in the world. Once a continuous stretch of tropical and subtropical rain forest along the eastern coast of Brazil, the Atlantic Forest today exists in isolated patches that represent only about seven percent of the area's original forest cover. In spite of this fragmentation, the Forest houses a vast array of species, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth.

From 1945 to 1990, more than two million hectares of Atlantic Forest were removed by commercial logging operations and land clearing for agriculture. Today, rapid population growth and industrialization threaten the Atlantic coast of Brazil, which is home to more than 70 percent of the country's population.


Instituto BioAtlântica
We have joined the Instituto BioAtlântica in its "Conservation on Private Lands" project. The project demonstrates that when large private land holders, such as fiber companies, are provided with the necessary scientific information and legal options, they can assist in the creation of biodiversity corridors through the declaration of private reserves on their land. more

The Cerrado
The Cerrado, covering nearly 1.8 million square kilometers of the southeastern portion of Brazil, is the most extensive woodland savanna region in South America. It is estimated that about 20 percent of the area's original vegetation remains intact today. This region, renowned for its plant biodiversity, is home to approximately 10,000 plants, of which about 44 percent are found nowhere else on Earth.

An estimated 67 percent of the Cerrado has suffered from human pressures of some kind. Over the last several decades, significant portions of natural habitat in the Cerrado have been converted for human use, primarily for cattle ranching, agriculture and charcoal production.

In partnership with Bunge Limited, Brazil's largest soybean processor, we are undertaking activities designed to promote conservation and sustainable agriculture and to serve as a model for other companies operating in this biologically important region. more


© CI, Russell A. Mittermeier
Atlantic Forest, Brazil

Brazil, a megadiverse country fact sheet (pdf, 110kb)

• Conservation Regions: Brazil
• CI Brazil Website (Portuguese)
• The Atlantic Forest Hotspot
• The Cerrado Hotspot
• The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund in the Atlantic Forest

 Photo credits for banner image: (Zebras in Botswana) © CI, Chris Brooks