Coral Reef Monitoring
The Brazilian National Coral Reef Monitoring Program started in 2002 with a two-year pilot phase to test and adapt Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) protocols to characteristics of Brazilian reefs. The adopted protocol is Reef Check compatible, expanded to include more indicators and identification at species level, individual size measurements as well as abundance, and to incorporate more refined measurements for coral bleaching and diseases. The program has run now for seven years and one of the objectives is to monitor the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas under different management regimes. The results are published in periodic reports (www.mma.gov.br) and in the GCRMN Status of the Reefs, where Brazil is part of the South American Node (www.gcrmn.org). The data is also send to Reef Check (www.reefcheck.org) headquarters every year and information on sites is sent to Reef Base (www.reefbase.org).
Six localities, including 4 federal MPAs have been monitored, covering an area of 2000 kms. Results include effects of fishing on populations of exploited several species, with abundance significantly higher inside no take areas. Large-scale coral bleaching was observed associated to elevated sea temperatures in the period. The Participation and support of NGOs, research institutions and local volunteers has been essential to its success and is the key for the long-term sustainability of the program. In 2010the Chico Mendes Brazilian Institute of Biodiversity incorporated the Coral Reef Monitoring Program under the regular activities of the federal MPAs. For this, more than 60 MPA personnel and local guides and volunteers have been trained on monitoring activities during several courses and joint expeditions.
The Program is executed by Instituto Recifes Costeiros, the Federal University of Pernambuco, the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment and the Chioc Mendes Institute of Biodiversity.
In addition to the national program, reefs of the state of Bahia, including Abrolhos region, have been monitored by the Federal University of Bahia using the AGRRA protocol since 1999, and the results are also part of the GCRMN reports (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Several measures were taken in order protect coral reefs, including a significant number of conventions, laws, norms and procedures. In 1992, Brazil was the first country to sign the Convention of the Biological Diversity and this commitment has stimulated a series of conservation measures. In this context, the Law of Environmental Crimes and the Law of the National System of Conservation Units were of special significance.
The Institute Chico Mendes of Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), the body responsible for conservation and management of threatened species in Brazil, in partnership with IUCN and the Global Marine Species Assessment is leading a national initiative to assess the status of conservation of species, including coral reef species, in Brazil.
Mapping shallow coral reefs
A project for mapping shallow reefs was developed in Brazil by Ministry of the Environment in partnership with the National Space Research Institute (INPE), the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) and the Costal Reefs Project. The Atlas has maps of coral reefs of nine protected areas, from Brazilian reef environment and an analysis of the representativity of these ecosystems with respect to some of the existing categories of protected areas. Brazil has a 106.574 square km of total occurrence area of reefs (northeast continental shelf), and 1.008,49 square km of mapped shallow reefs. This project has been using actual images such as of the CBERS satellites. Some local projects such as Pro Abrolhos Project and Marine Management Areas Project are mapping coral reefs with high-level definition images. The mapping was used as a tool to identify priority areas at Brazilian costal and marine zones to biodiversity conservation.
Coral Reef Conservation Campaign
It was started in 2000, that it focused on promoting public awareness regarding the importance of the conservation of coral reefs, which aims to raise the awareness of the various users of coralline areas on the importance and fragility of these environments. As products of the Campaign was launched posters, brochures, booklet, and a video (DVD) that contains the icons of the Campaign mixing real images to drawings, with an accessible language with 8 minutes of duration.
Last Updated: 6 January 2015