Promoting Sites of Exceptional Value in Brazil
The natural World Heritage sites protect areas considered exceptional because of its biological diversity and of its marvelous sightseeing. In natural sites, the environmental protection, the respect for cultural diversity and for traditional populations are treated with special attention. Besides natural benefits, the natural sites generate a significant income originated 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 World Heritage Natural Sites of Brazil.
In Brazil, there are several World Heritage Natural sites. The country is signatory of the Convention of World Heritage Sites since 1977:
- Iguaçu National Park
- Atlantic Forest Southeast Reserves
- Serra da Capivara National Park
- Costa do Descobrimento (Discovery Cost): Atlantic Forest Reserves
- Cerrado Conversation Area
- Pantanal Conservation Area
- Jaú National Park
- Brazil's Atlantic Islands: Fernando de Noronha e Atol das Rocas
The long history that links Brazil to UNESCO has permitted 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.
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).