It would not be an overstatement to say that development
throughout the history of Brazil has adversely affected its essential
ecological processes, reducing either directly or indirectly its
However, the growing concern with preserving the
country's enormous biodiversity often overlooks important ecological
formations, whose few remnants are now seriously threatened.
This is the case with the subtropical forests and southern Campos
which are formations found in the Southern Region.
This region, ranging from the states of Paraná
and Santa Catarina to Rio Grande do Sul, covers 6.8% of the country's
territory, containing approximately 18% of the country's population.
These numbers alone would indicate a significant territorial
occupation rate. But if one considers that the major economic
activity is agriculture and agro-industry, then the pressure on
ecological formations and consequently on biodiversity
- becomes obvious. The State of Paraná alone, covering
only 2.4% of the country's territory, accounts for nearly 25%
of the domestic food crop
If one considers the ecological formations of natural
Campos one may say that the total protected area in these
states covers only about 2.26% of the region's surface area.
In Paraná, 181 970 ha, or 0.90% of the
state's territory, may be included in conservation units of indirect
use, and 588 740 ha, or 2.93%, in conservation units of direct
use. Both Araucariabearing subtropical forests and
general Campos are poorly represented in the area.
In Santa Catarina, 49 300 ha, or 0.51 % of the
state territory, are contemplated in conservation units of indirect
use, and 7000 ha, or 0.07%, of direct use. The Campos
and nonAraucaria-bearing forests are not apparently
protected in the Sao Jaoqium National Park, since this was established
in 1991 and so far not yet implemented.
In Rio Grande do Sul, 160 280 ha, or 0.5% of
the state territory, may be included in conservation units (Serra
National Park and Serra Geral complex), while the remaining formations
are only slightly represented or are not represented at all, except
for the wetlands and coastal lagoons in the southernmost area
(the Taim Ecological Station and Lagoa dos Peixes National Park).
The Campos formations should be highlighted,
accounting originally for 60% of the Rio Grande do Sul territory
and lacking any significance from the conservation standpoint.
Only in 1992 was an Environmental Protection Area (Ibirapuita)
set up which, being a direct use unit, will only partially protect
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