National Report of Brazil for COP7
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National Report prepared for the 7th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Implementation of the Ramsar Convention in general, and of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 1997-2002 in particular, during the period since the National Report was prepared in 1995 for Ramsar COP6
|Designated Ramsar Administrative Authority|
|Full name of the institution|| |
Ministério do Meio Ambiente - MMA
|Name and title of the head of the institution|| |
José Sarney Filho, Minister
|Mailing address for the head of the institution|| |
Esplanada dos Ministérios - Bloco B - 5º andar - Brasília/DF - 70.068.900 - Brasil
|Telephone||+55 61 317. 1254|
|Fax||+55 61 226.7101|
|Name and title (if different) of the designated contact officer for Ramsar Convention matters|| |
Haroldo Mattos de Lemos - Secretário de Implementação de Políticas e Normas Ambientais- SIP (Secretary for Implementation of Environmental Policies and Norms)
Marília Marreco Cerqueira - Diretora do Departamento de Mobilização e Articulação Institucional - DEMAI (Director of the Institutional Coordination Department)
|Mailing address (if different) for the designated contact officer|| |
Esplanada dos Ministerios - Bloco B - Sala 836 - Brasília/DF - 70.068.900
|Telephone||+55 61 317.1215 /1217|
|Fax||+55 61 323.8318|
The Ramsar Convention was approved in Brazil by Presidential Decree No. 1905, dated May 16, 1996. Implementation of the Ramsar Convention in Brazil was initially the responsibility of IBAMA (Brazilian Institute for Environment and Natural Renewable Resources). At the end of 1995, however, during preparations for COP6, the Ministry of Environment became the focal point, undertaking all the commitments established by the Convention.
Brazil is considered to be the wealthiest country in terms of megadiversity, as it has at least 10 to 20% of the worlds biological diversity, a flow of 5,190 km3/year in its water networks, that is 12.7% of the worlds flow, and a vast territorial area, besides the 3.5 million sq. km. of coastal and marine waters under its jurisdiction.
Brazil is divided into the following biomes:
the Amazon Forest, which is the largest residual rain forest (40% of the worlds rain forests), with 3.7 million sq. km. in Brazilian territory;
the Cerrado biome, including rupicolous fields, with an area of about 2 million sq. km., the largest savannah in any country;
the Atlantic Forest, which extends from the South to the Northeast, with an area of approximately 1 million sq. km. It is one of the most important repositories of biological diversity in the country and the planet (including tableland plains, sand bars, mangroves, pine forests and southern fields);
the Caatinga, with vast semi-arid stretches, including deciduous forests and residual tropical moist forests, with approximately 1 million sq. km.;
the Mato Grosso Pantanal, the most important known wetland, with an area of circa 140 thousand sq. km. in Brazilian territory;
the coastal and marine biomes, which cover an area of about 3.5 million sq. km. under Brazilian jurisdiction, with cold waters in the southern and southeastern coasts (Argentinean zone) and warm waters in the eastern, northeastern and northern coasts. These biomes support a wide range of ecosystems which include coral reefs, dunes, wetlands, lagoons, estuaries and mangrove swamps.
Within each of these biomes there are numerous subsystems and ecosystems with particular characteristics, as well as the ecotones, all decisive for the preservation of their specific biological diversity.
In fact, there is a very extensive biological diversity at three levels (genetic, species and ecosystems), the result of a wide climatic and geomorphologic variation in a country of continental dimensions.
Furthermore, Brazil has a considerable cultural diversity, since within its borders, besides the descendants of Europeans, Asians and Africans, there are more than 200 indigenous groups, each with their own specific customs, languages and cultures. The very extension and variety of the knowledge of these groups on biological diversity constitutes a remarkable heritage.
Brazil is situated in the mid-eastern section of South America, has borders with ten countries, eight of which are Contracting Parties of the Ramsar Convention: Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela and Surinam. Only Guyana and the French Guiana did not accede to the Ramsar Convention.
Brazil has a fruitful international cooperation with its neighbors, in particular with respect to environmental issues. Among these initiatives we may highlight the following which are related to wetlands:
Initiative (In force for Brazil)
Agreement for the Conservation of Natural Resources of the South Atlantic (1969)
Fisheries Agreement (1969)
Treaty for the Use of the Shared Water Resources of the Bordering Areas of the Uruguay River and its Tributary, the Pepiri-Guaçú River (1983)
Agreement of Partial Scope for Cooperation and Exchange of Goods Used in the Defense and Protection of the Environment (1992)
Agreement on Fisheries and Preservation of Living Resources (1969)
Cooperation Agreement for the Use of Natural Resources and the Development of the Quaraí River Basin (1992)
Agreement on Environmental Issues (1995)
Treaty for the Development of the Mirim Lagoon
Agreement on the Conservation of Water Fauna in the Courses of Bordering Rivers (1995)
Agreement on the Conservation of the Flora and Fauna of the Amazonian Territories (1976)
Agreement on the Conservation of the Flora and Fauna of the Amazonian Territories (1976)
Entry into force
|Treaty for Amazonian Cooperation|| |
Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam and Ecuador.
To promote the harmonious development of the Amazon region, and permit equitable distribution of the benefits of such development among the contracting parties, raising the quality of life of their peoples and achieving the full incorporation of their Amazonian territories to their respective domestic economies.
|River Plate Basin Treaty||Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia|| |
A technical cooperation instrument for the transnational management of water resources. Among the objectives are: the rational utilization of water resources, regional development preserving flora and fauna; physical, river and land integration; promotion of increased knowledge of the basin, its resources and potential.
Entry into force
|Asuncion Treaty and the Southern Common Market |
|Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay|| |
A framework agreement that establishes mechanisms for the formation of a Free Trade Area and Customs Union among the signatory countries, with a view to creating means to expand domestic markets and thus accelerate economic development with social justice.
The Asuncion Treaty states in its preamble that the objective of the agreement should be achieved "through the most efficient use of available resources, preservation of the environment, improvement of physical interconnections, coordination of macroeconomic policies for complementing the various economic sectors, based on the principles of graduality, flexibility and equilibrium". For discussions on environment, a Sub-Working Group on Environment was created (SGT-6), subordinated to the Common Market Group (GMC). Among the issues dealt with by the SGT-6 are: non-tariff restrictions, competitiveness and the environment, international standards (ISO 14000), sectoral issues, binding legal instruments for the environment, environmental information system, MERCOSUL green seal and environmental emergencies
Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 1
To progress towards universal membership of the Convention.
1.1 Describe any actions your government has taken (such as hosting regional or subregional meetings/consultations, working cooperatively with neighbouring countries on transfrontier wetland sites) to encourage others to join the Convention.
Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 2
To achieve the wise use of wetlands by implementing and further developing the Ramsar Wise Use Guidelines.
2.1 Has a National Wetland Policy/Strategy/Action Plan been developed, or is one being developed or planned for the near future? If so:
Currently there are no specific policies, strategies or plans of action for the wetlands as a whole in Brazil, but a National Wetlands Strategy (ESNAZU) is to be drafted, which should make use of several of the Ministry of Environment initiatives related to the issue and developed over the last few years, such as: Priority Actions for the Conservation of Brazilian Biomes under the Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biological Diversity Project (PROBIO); the Plans of Action for the Brazilian Ecosystems (Atlantic Forest and Cerrado); the National Coastal Zone Management Plan; the Upper Paraguay Basin Conservation Plan (Pantanal); the National Legal Amazon Policy; and the National Water Resources Policy.
The wetlands issue is thus indirectly addressed by these instruments. For instance, the Plans of Action for the Brazilian Ecosystems aim to identify and discuss the main pressure factors on the environment and to propose concrete actions to revert the current situation of degradation, always taking into account the wetlands of each region, stressing the water resources issue because of its strategic nature.
The first step to be taken by the Ministry of Environment to provide input for ESNAZU is to develop a Georeferenced Data Bank of the Brazilian Wetlands to collect and make available more precise information on the area, diversity and conservation status of these ecosystems in Brazil. At the moment, the methodology for the data bank is being defined. Later on it should also prove useful in the drafting of the National Plan of Action for the Wetlands.
a. What are/will be its main features?
ESNAZU is to have a participatory, integrated and decentralized nature. It should include compilation and analysis of available information (data bank), identification of objectives, recommendation of the target wetlands for pilot projects for conservation and wise use, as well as identifying needs in conservation, sustainable use and sharing of benefits arising from use and the main impacts on these ecosystems. It should further propose actions, identify the necessary investments to achieve its objectives, include complementary studies on: the current status of the Brazilian wetlands; institutional and human capacity; sectoral policies that are incident on wetlands and legal structure; causes of losses/conversion of wetlands; and survey of comparative costs and benefits of the different ways of their utilization.
b. Was it, or is it, intended that the Policy/Strategy/Action Plan be adopted by the whole of Government, the Minister responsible for Ramsar matters or through some other process. Please describe.
It is expected that the National Wetlands Strategy be instituted through a National Environment Council (CONAMA) Resolution, after being approved in fora such as the National Water Resources Council and, after its establishment, the National Wetlands Committee. Once instituted, it should be adopted by the Government as a whole, at all levels, and should be coordinated by the Ministry of Environment.
c. How does it relate/will it relate to other national environmental/ conservation planning initiatives (e.g., National Environmental Action Plans, National Biodiversity Action Plans, National Conservation Strategies)?
The Ministry of Environment initiatives mentioned in item 2.1 (Priority Actions for the Conservation of Brazilian Biomes under the Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biological Diversity Project (PROBIO); the Plans of Action for the Brazilian Ecosystems (Atlantic Forest and Cerrado); the National Coastal Zone Management Plan; the Upper Paraguay Basin Conservation Plan (Pantanal); the National Legal Amazon Policy; and the National Water Resources Policy) will bring together their instruments, mechanisms and generated knowledge to produce a comprehensive ESNAZU, adapted to local realities, and concentrating efforts in a participatory manner ever aware of the complementarity of their actions. It is expected that ESNAZU will be integrated with the other initiatives under development for a faster operationalization, enabling quicker and more efficient results.
2.2 If a policy is in place, how much progress has been made in its implementation, and what are the major difficulties being encountered in doing so?
Although there is no specific wetlands policy, it has been possible to make progress in the sustainable development of these ecosystems, based on already existing environmental policies. Below is a summary of these policies, with their inter-relations to wetlands, their pluses and problems.
(i) The National Environment Policy, whose object is to make socioeconomic development compatible with the preservation of environmental quality and ecological balance, considering the environment as public heritage, intended for collective use to be necessarily protected and guaranteed. The sustainable use of water, as well as other environmental resources; planning and supervision of the use of natural resources; control, zoning and licensing of activities which are potentially or effectively pollutant; incentives for study and research of technologies for the sustainable use and protection of environmental resources; monitoring of environmental quality; recovery of degraded areas; protection of areas threatened by degradation; and environmental education at all educational levels, including community education; and the mandatory establishment of protected areas; among others, are some of the guidelines established by this policy. It is important to stress that the five Brazilian sites included in the Ramsar List are situated in legally protected areas such as national parks or environmental protection areas.
(ii) the National Marine Resources Policy, whose executing body is the Interministerial Marine Resources Commission, aims to coordinate the actions of the various federal sectors in coastal and marine areas (especially wetlands such as mangrove swamps, sand bars, coral reefs and estuaries), with a view to determining the measures which are essential to integrate the territorial sea and the continental shelf to Brazilian territory and for the rational exploitation of the oceans. With respect to responsibilities, this document specifies that "implementation of the activities related to marine resources is to be carried out in decentralized form, through various agents, under various Ministries, states, municipalities and the private sector". This Policy is made up of plans and programs, such as: the Marine Resources Sectoral Plan, the Assessment of the Brazilian Continental Shelf and the National Coastal Zone Management Plan (PNGC). Of special interest to wetlands is the PNGC, implemented through the National Coastal Zone Management Program, coordinated by the Ministry of Environment and executed in the 17 coastal states by local governments. Currently in its second phase, it is seeking to establish partnerships and to coordinate activities among government agencies in order to incorporate the environmental dimension in sectoral policies related to the coastal and marine environments. such as policies on industry, transport, land use, water resources, occupation of lands belonging to the Navy and other federal land, protected areas, tourism, and fisheries, with a view to optimizing results.
(iii) National Water Resources Policy, which creates the National Water Resources Management System. This Policy is based on the following principles: water is a public domain good; water is a limited natural resource, with economic value; when it is scarce, priority is for human and animal consumption; water resources management should always provide for the multiple use of waters; the hydrographic water basin is the basic unit for implementation of the Policy and for action by the System; water resources management should be decentralized and include the participation of government, users and communities. The Policy further establishes the following general guidelines: systematic management of water resources, without dissociating the aspects of quantity and quality; adapting water resources management to the physical, biotic, demographic, economic, social and cultural diversities of the various regions of the country; integration of water resources management with environmental management; coordination of water resources planning with users and regional, state and national planning; coordination of water resources management with land use; integration of river basin management with the estuarine and coastal zone systems.
2.3 If a Policy/Strategy/Action Plan is in place, is the responsibility for implementing it with :
a. a single Government Ministry,
b. a committee drawn from several Ministries, or
c. a cross-sectoral committee?
In the case of Brazil, the role a specific wetlands policy would have is taken on by those policies described in the previous item (2.2). If a specific policy were to be created, under the Ministry of Environment, it would follow the same guidelines established in Law No. 6938, on the National Environment Policy. According to this law, it is the responsibility of IBAMA (Brazilian Institute for Environment and Natural Renewable Resources) and the state environment agencies to be executors and of CONAMA to advise and guide.
2.4 For countries with Federal systems of Government, are there Wetland Policies/Strategies/Plans in place, being developed or planned for the provincial/state or regional levels of Government? Yes/No If yes, please give details.
Yes. Answered in items 2.1 and 2.2.
2.5 Has a review of legislation and practices which impact on wetlands been carried out, and if so, has this resulted in any changes which assist with implementation of the Ramsar Convention? Please describe these.
2.6 Describe the efforts made in your country to have wetlands considered in integrated land/water and coastal zone planning and management processes at the following levels:
The insertion of wetlands related issues in planning processes has two paths: adapting legislation on the issue and environmental management planning in itself.
From a legal point of view, the most significant progress is in the ongoing process to improve existing environmental legislation, and the increase in number and quality of the projects financed with the participation of government at all levels for the wise use of wetlands.
The Brazilian Forestry Code, enacted in 1965, already showed concern for wetlands use, restricting the occupation of the banks of rivers and natural and artificial lakes, and the areas around sources and springs, as well as establishing areas of permanent protection in wetlands.
In 1997, the law that established the National Water Resources Policy, the so called "Water Act", was enacted, establishing new prerogatives for the use of water, and indirectly for wetlands. Its essential characteristic is the shared management of water resources by the government, users and communities.
The "Law of Nature", promulgated in 1998, established sanctions for conduct and activity deemed harmful to the environment, which may be civilly, administratively and criminally prosecuted. Once degradation is established, the polluter is obliged to promote its recovery, and is subject to fines and criminal proceedings. As an example of the applicability of this law with respect to wetlands, whoever, by discharging effluents or materials, causes the extinction of fauna species existing in rivers, lakes, dams, lagoons, bays or Brazilian jurisdictional waters, is subject to detention for one to three years.
In Brazil, strategic planning is determined through Multi-Year Plans, which provide guidelines fornational environment programs, among others. The National Coastal Zone Management Program, described in item 2.2 is the clearest example of how wetlands are being taken into account in the initial stages of environmental planning.
Furthermore, demonstrative projects, both from the public and private sectors have contributed significantly to the improvement of planning and programs for the integrated management of our wetlands.
Among the projects that emphasize wise use of water resources and wetlands ate:
(i) Recovery of Degraded Areas and Ciliary Forests in Hydrographic Water Basins;
(ii) Project for Basic Studies on Water Resources
(iii) Program for the Sustainable Development of the Fields in the Legal Amazon - PRODEVAL;
(iv) Marine Mentality Program (PROMAR);
(v) Train-Sea-Coast Program
(vi) Marine Extractive Reserve of Pirajubaé;
(vii) São Francisco Project.
2.7 Have there been any publications produced, or practices documented, which could assist other countries to promote and improve the application of the Ramsar Wise Use of Wetlands Guidelines? Yes/No If Yes, please provide details and copies.
2.8 Noting COP6 Recommendation 6.14 relating to toxic chemicals and pollution, please advise of the actions taken since then "to remedy and to prevent pollution impacts affecting Ramsar sites and other wetlands" (Operative paragraph 9).
Brazil does not have specific measures for Ramsar sites with respect to chemicals. However, the country has specific legislation for pesticides and hazardous wastes.
With respect to pesticides, in order to register them, they have to undergo a process to assess the environmental risk potential, where their toxicological and ecotoxicological characteristics are considered. In this registration process, the potential effects on the various ecosystems are evaluated, bearing in mind the characteristics of the product and the specificities of each environment. Thus recommendations and/or restrictions are issued for each specific situation.
As to hazardous wastes, they are subject to several resolutions that rule their handling, which are in turn based on international agreements, in particularly the Basel Convention, that provides for the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes. Furthermore, when these are potentially or effectively polluting activities, they are subject to impact assessment and licensing.
2.9 Describe what steps have been taken to incorporate wetland economic valuation techniques into natural resource planning and assessment actions.
In 1998, the National Biological Diversity Program (PRONABIO) prepared a "Manual for Assigning Economic Value of Environmental Resources", putting forward a theoretical and methodological basis for assigning economic value to environmental resources. In its Part II, the Manual sets out an analysis of case studies in Brazil, including two examples of wetlands (Environmental Changes in the Pantanal and the Program to Cleanup the Guanabara Bay, in the State of Rio de Janeiro).
The Coastal Zone Management Program has a methodological proposal for a socioeconomic analysis. The context of this methodology has the following circumstances: (i) cost-benefit analysis of the lines of action proposed by the Program for management plans; (ii) cost-benefit analysis of the specific proposals for altering existing or projected economic activities; (iii) assessment of projected or existing economic activities of some coastal zone resources.
2.10 Is Environmental Impact Assessment for actions potentially impacting on wetlands required under legislation in your country? Yes/No
Yes. Law No. 6938/81, which establishes the National Environment Policy, has as instruments environmental impact assessment and the licensing of potentially or effectively polluting activities. It should be said that this law does not restrict itself exclusively to the areas with the wetlands characteristics as defined by the Ramsar Convention, but to all regions that are part of the Brazilian territory. National Environment Council (CONAMA) Resolution 1/86 institutes mandatory environmental impact assessments as a means to evaluate this impact for certain activities such as those with a more direct impact on wetlands, namely water works for exploitation of water resources, hydroelectric constructions above 10MW, sanitation or irrigation works, opening of canals for navigation, drainage and rectification of water courses. In the specific assessments that are carried out for each potentially impacting undertaking/work/activity, the characteristics and specificities of the ecosystem likely to undergo the impact are considered, and recommendations are made for protection measures. In this case, the special conditions of wetlands are taken into account.
2.11 Is wetland restoration and rehabilitation considered a priority in your country? Yes/No. If Yes, describe the actions that have been taken to identify wetlands in need of these actions and to mobilise resources for restoration or rehabilitation.
Yes. Although there is no continuous monitoring system that enables identification of wetlands subject to degradation and thus unleash recovery actions, there are some localized actions that are worthy of attention due to their line of action and promising results.
(i) Program to Cleanup the Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro
The cleanup program will benefit more than five million people. Its objectives are; (i) to sanitize to increase distribution, rationalization and regularization of water supply, with decreased losses in the collection and liquid discharge treatment systems; (ii) to dredge the rivers; (iii) to collect and effect the appropriate disposal of solid wastes; (iv) to control industrial contamination; and (v) to map the area for planning purposes and to increase tax income of the municipalities.
(ii) Preservation of the Biodiversity and Socioeconomic Value of the Mangrove Ecosystems of Tropical America
The object of the project is to generate several regional initiatives to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the mangrove ecosystems in tropical America of international importance. This is to be achieved through capacity building of decision makers in certain key countries with respect to mangrove management and incorporating these principles in sectoral planning, through specific case studies for several thematic areas. In Brazil this study is being carried out in the Baía de Todos os Santos to evaluate the distinct environmental/cultural impacts resulting from industrialization and urban expansion, and to propose strategies for the management, conservation and recovery of the mangrove swamps for their sustainable use.
(iii) Program for the Sustainable Development of the Pantanal
The object of the program is to promote the sustainable development of the Upper Paraguay Basin, through management and conservation of their natural resources, encouraging economic activities that are environmentally compatible with the ecosystem and promoting improved living conditions for the regions population.
(iv) Decentralized Execution Projects (PED)
These are one of the four investment components of the National Environment Program executed by the Ministry of Environment, with the objective of fostering the decentralized environmental management process in the country, in six large biomes, involving federal, state and local governments, and the legally constituted organizations which represent civil society. In all the large ecosystems which are targets of the project, actions aimed at recovering wetlands stood out, namely:
DECENTRALIZED EXECUTION PROJECTS
Development of the area of influence of the Tocantins basin and islands - PA
Reviverde - Project to conserve and recover water resources of Boa Vista - RR
Rio Branco river shore. Caracarí - RR
Optimization of microbasins for sustainability of the Caatinga. São João do Tigre - PB
Conservation and Management of Joanes River - BA
Integrated socio-environmental management of the Almada River basin - BA
Program to recover fishing capacity in Guaratuba Bay - PR
Recovery of the São João lagoon-riverine system - PR
Resettling of coastal lagoons. Laguna - SC
Sustainable development of useful mollusk production. Bombinhas - SC
Conservation and recovery of coastal zone ecosystems. Anchieta - ES
Sustainable development of Ilha Grande - RJ
Recovery of the microbasins of the rivers Quimbira and Marimbondo - RJ
Recovery of the ecosystem of the basin of the Rio das Pedras/Ecological-Tourism Municipal Park of Penedo - RJ
Program to develop fish farming in the Furnas lake - MG
Recovery of riparian environment and soil conservation with community participation in the Upper São Francisco River - MG
Integrated quality control of Lagoa Santa - MG
Ilha das Marias. Três Marias - MG
Environmental recovery of the Marimbondo Reservoir. Barretos - SP
Sustainable use of the estuarine-lagoon complex of Iguape, Cananéia and Ilha Comprida - SP
Pilot program for sustainable development in aquaculture. Jacupiranga - SP
Protection and preservation of water resources of the Upper Araguaia basin - GO
Environmental recovery and preservation of the Turvo river - GO
2.12 Describe what actions have been taken to "encourage active and informed participation of local communities, including indigenous people, and in particular women, in the conservation and wise use of wetlands." (refer to Actions 2.7.1-4 in the Strategic Plan).
With respect to the measures adopted to promote the active participation of communities in the conservation and rational use of wetlands, the following are worth mentioning:
the most comprehensive measure in this sense is the National Environment Policy itself (defined in Law 6,938), since it establishes as its mains strategy participatory decision-making.
in the Brazilian protected areas, such as Parks and Reserves, conflicts are dealt with by the Unit Management Committees, with the participation of government, academic community, NGOs and local population. The problems are being solved in terms of participatory management, through co-management and co-administration of the protected areas by local populations, IBAMA, State Environment Agencies and NGOs;
social movements such as the Movement of the Rubber Tappers and for the Preservation of Lakes are to be found in Amazonia, and aim to mobilize local populations to defend the resources essential to their survival. The strength of this mobilization is based on alliances established with several organizations involved in the protection of the Amazon Region. Implementation of several of these protected areas in Amazonia, like the Extractive Reserves, the Sustainable Development Reserve of Mamirauá, the National Park of Jaú and the National Forest of Tapajós, is based on such partnerships;
the Project "Ecological Belts in the Amazon and Atlantic Forest", part of the Pilot Program to Conserve the Brazilian Rain Forest (PPG-7), aims at the in situ conservation of the biodiversity of the Brazilian rain forests, integrating public and private protected areas in selected Ecological Belts. The project foresees the participation of civil society and the indigenous communities at different levels of its management system. It also aims to attain preservation and conservation through integrated actions with the maximum participation of stakeholders, such as: indigenous reserves, private reserves; state and local governments and organized civil society. Seven belts have been proposed, after extensive studies, five of which are in Amazonia and two in the Atlantic Forest (together they represent 25% of the Brazilian rain forests and can preserve 75% of the animal and plant species that exist there). In the first stage, two ecological belts are to be implemented: one in Central Amazonia (including the Ramsar Site "Sustainable Development Reserve of Mamirauá", the Ecological Station of Anavilhanas, the National Forest of Tefé, the National Park of Jaú, the Adolpho Ducke Forest Reserve, another nine protected areas and 14 indigenous areas) and the Central Belt of the Atlantic Forest (with areas of high diversity in the States of Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais and the southern coast of Bahia, which hold several species of plants and animals of the coastal plains). Both belts are essential for the conservation and rational use of wetlands.
The Sustainable Development Reserve of Mamirauá, state protected area, has encouraged the participation of several scientific institutions and the local population from the beginning of its implementation up to the drafting of the Management Plan. The coordination of the Mamirauá project was especially concerned with the participation of the community. It created a special activity program to create a representative and participatory structure with investments in extension work, and to build a solid scientific basis on the main economic resources of the area.
The Type A Demonstrative Projects (PD/A) of the PPG-7 work with traditional communities in Brazilian wetlands. In analyzing the submitted subprojects, participation of women at the different existing management levels is considered to be essential. It is specially assessed in the item "Gender Perspectives", which attributes proportional value to the participation of women in projects.
2.13 Describe what actions have been taken to "encourage involvement of the private sector in the conservation and wise use of wetlands" (refer to Actions 2.8.1-4 in the Strategic Plan). Has this included a review of fiscal measures (taxation arrangements, etc.) to identify and remove disincentives and introduce incentives for wetlands conservation and wise use? Yes/No If yes, please provide details.
Yes. With respect to promoting the participation of the private sector in the conservation and rational use of natural areas (including wetlands), Brazil has certain useful legal measures. As in the case of participation by local communities (item 2.12), representation of the private sector in the decision making process of environmental management is ensured by National Environment Policy, through CONAMA. Below are some instruments that aim to support action of the private sector in the conservation of the environment:
The Private Reserves of Natural Heritage (RPPN), defined as "areas of private domain to be especially protected, on initiative of the landowner, recognized by the government, because they are considered to be of relevant importance because of its biodiversity, or its landscape, or even its environmental characteristics that justify recovery actions". In the RPPNs, landowners are exempt from property tax, thus fostering conservation on a private level and increases the percentage of protected areas in the country. In the specific case of the Mato Grosso Pantanal Region the feasibility of creating and building a network of RPPNs around the National Park (a Ramsar Site) is promising.
Although the use of economic instruments in Brazil is still in incipient stages, recently some experiences have been employed especially for water pollution control and forest conservation, according to the table below:
Economic Instruments Applied in Brazil
Charge for water use in hydrographic water basins, by volume and polluting content (Law No. 7633/91)
Financing of hydrographic water basins and inducement to rational use of water resources
Industrial Sewage Rates based on polluting content (Federal Decree No. 76,389/75)
Cost recovery of sewage treatment stations
Tax on air and water pollution (Law No. 6938/81
Financing of state body
Financial compensation for exploitation of natural resources (Law No. 7,990/89, regulated by Law No. 8,001/90)
Compensation for municipalities and States where there is production and there are regulatory agencies
Fiscal compensation for preservation area (Law No. 9,146/95)
Compensation for municipalities for restrictions on land use in areas of sources and forest preservation
Tax on deforestation (Law 4,771/65 and Law No. 7,803/89)
Financing of public reforestation projects and forest service activities of the State
Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 3
To raise awareness of wetland values and functions throughout the world and at all levels
3.1 Is there a government-run national programme for Education and Public Awareness in your country which focuses on, or includes, wetlands? Yes/No? If yes, what are the priority actions under this programme and who are the target groups? (Refer also to question 9.4)
Yes, there is a program dedicated to environmental education with a far-reaching scope which can include wetlands issues. The National Environmental Education Program - PRONEA, was created to "strengthen the capacity of the formal, informal, supplementary and professional education system, at its various levels and modalities, with the purpose of raising awareness, adopting attitudes and disseminating theoretical and practical knowledge for the protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources". This program was formulated by the Ministry of Education and Sports, the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Environment, with the following lines of action: (i) environmental education through formal teaching; (ii) education in the environmental management process; (iii) specific environmental education campaigns for users of natural resources; (iv) cooperation with those involved in the arts and in the media; (v) coordination, promotion and integration of communities for environmental education; (vi) intra and interinstitutional coordination; and (vii) creation of a network of centers specialized in environmental education, integrating universities, professional schools, documentation centers in all states.
3.2 Describe the steps taken to have wetlands issues and Ramsars Wise Use principles included as part of the curricula of educational institutions. Has this been at all levels of education (primary, secondary, tertiary and adult)? Please give details.
No nationwide institutional measures have been adopted, but the following programs should be highlighted:
Citizens for Water Movement, created in March 1996, by the Water Resources Secretariat of the Ministry of Environment, to encourage citizens to value this finite resource, rationalize its use and protect water resources. The philosophy of the Movement foresees the participation of citizens in the social decisions of a community, among them the concern for the environment and water resources. Its execution is the responsibility of municipal and state Reference Centers. The centers act as driving forces, facilitators and coordinators of the process of multiplying the actions of citizens for water, promoting environmental education events whose central theme is water. There are currently 55 Reference Centers. Other actions developed by the Movement include: (i) Movimento das Águas: 30 second radio program transmitted by the stations of the Radiobrás network. Messages refer to water and how to avoid wastage; (ii) an Internet home page in Portuguese and in English; (iii) Bi-monthly information sheet reporting on the actions of entities, governments and people on the revitalization, conservation and preservation of water resources; (iv) Stamp: on April 1997, a commemorative stamp for the World Water Day was issued by the Brazilian Post Office to call attention to the problems related to water issues and encourage the practice of rational use; (v) the campaign "Our Daily Water": with the theme "Remove from the water only that which fish cannot eat". The Ministry of Environment launched a nationwide campaign with the book "Our Daily Water" for children from 7-12 years of age, a 15 second film and posters for schools and public places; and (vi) a series of promotional material such as videos, primers (both in Portuguese and English), the book "Social Mobilization", stickers, booklets with Law 9433/97, among others.
Maritime Mentality is an environmental education program for the southern coastal zone, developed in the National Park of Lagoa do Peixe in 1987 in the city of Rio Grande and coordinated by the Environmental Education and Monitoring Center, with the aim of developing a "maritime mentality", disseminating knowledge of the region and promoting participation of the communities. It is an interdisciplinary program that integrates scientific knowledge with artistic activities, contributing to a deeper understanding of the Man/Nature relationship. It is currently being implemented in the local public elementary schools of Balneário Cassino.
Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 4
To reinforce the capacity of institutions in each Contracting Party to achieve conservation and wise use of wetlands.
4.1 Describe the mechanisms in place, or being introduced, to increase cooperation between the various institutions responsible for actions which can have an impact on the conservation and wise use of wetlands. If one of the mechanisms is a National Ramsar/Wetlands Committee, please describe its composition, functions and modus operandi.
The Institutional Coordination Department of the Ministry of Environment, the Competent Authority of the Ramsar Convention in Brazil, has been promoting studies and discussions on the organization and creation of a National Wetlands Committee. These studies center on the goals, responsibilities and principles of the Committee and had the participation of representatives of NGOs and research institutions associated to the wetlands. Obviously the dimension and particularities of the country are being considered.
The creation of this Committee is very important for Brazil, as is the creation of regional wetlands committees, since these will be able to provide relevant technical and political input for the implementation of the Convention in the country, as well as following the transfrontier technical cooperation activities.
4.2 Of the following, indicate which have been undertaken:
a. a review to identify the training needs of institutions and individuals concerned with the conservation and wise use of wetlands Yes/No? If yes, please indicate the major findings of the review.
b. a review to identify training opportunities for these people both within your country and in other countries. Yes/No?
c. the development of training modules or a training programme specifically for wetland managers. If yes, please give details.
Yes. The Ramsar/Brazil Program for Training and Capacity Building in Wetlands, emphasizing conservation and rational use, is being developed in the Ministry of Environment. The first module of the program is Advanced Course on Scientific Basis on the Conservation and Rational Use of Wetlands. This proposal was put together with the Federal University of the State of Bahia, and intends to provide theoretical knowledge on different aspects of wetlands, with field work and specific discussions. The course should be 100hrs long, over a period of two weeks. Taking part will be biologists, geographers, government and non-government managers and post-graduate students, with a maximum of 20 participants. The course will provide a global vision of the ecological processes of the Brazilian wetlands and will train human resources in conservation and rational use. This proposal is being analyzed by the "Wetlands for the Future" initiative.
d. people from your country have gained wetland-related training either within or outside the country. Yes/No? If yes, please give details.
There are several technical capacity building courses in environmental conservation and management of protected areas, however, none are specifically geared to wetlands:
(i) capacity building for park keepers, by the Minas Gerais State Forest Institute, with financing from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and support from the Biodiversitas Foundation, for capacity building of professionals who have operational activities in parks, reserves or other protected areas;
(ii) post-graduate degree in Administration and Management of Protected Areas, also given by the Minas Gerais State Forest Institute and the Biodiversitas Foundation. The course aims to prepare technical personnel associated to planning of parks, reserves and other protected areas of Latin America;
(iii) the Train-Sea Coast Program (TSC), a global network created by the United Nations to provide training/specialization for those active in the coastal and oceanic regions. Currently ten countries are part of the network : Brazil, Costa Rica, United States, Philippines (2 centers), France, India, Fiji Islands, United Kingdom, Senegal and Thailand. In Brazil the program was begun in 1995 at the Rio Grande University Foundation. The Brazilian unit has the official support of the Federal Government, through the Interministerial Commission for Marine Resources. The program aims to develop individual capacities, or those of institutions that are responsible for coastal and oceanic management. The target-public consists of legislators, decision makers, environmental managers at federal, state and local levels, users, researchers, among others. The TSC Brazil Program offers two courses: (i) Exchanges and Inter-relationships among the Ecosystems of Drainage Basins, Coastal Lagoons and Adjacent Oceans; and (ii) Planning and Use of Estuarine and Marine Fisheries Resources.
Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 5
To ensure the conservation of all sites included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar List).
5.1 Of the Ramsar sites in your country, how many have formal management plans:
a. being prepared?
Two. National Park of Mato Grosso Pantanal and the Environmental Protection Area of Reentrâncias Maranhenses
b. fully prepared?
Sustainable Development Reserve of Mamirauá.
c. being implemented?
Three: National Park of Araguaia, National Park of Lagoa do Peixe and Sustainable Development Reserve of Mamirauá.
Please indicate in the attached table of Ramsar sites which sites these are and what category they fall into.
5.2 Of the management plans referred to above, which ones have included a monitoring scheme or programme to allow changes in ecological character to be detected? Please indicate this in the attached table of Ramsar sites also.
The Ramsar sites National Park of Araguaia, National Park of Lagoa dos Peixes and the Sustainable Development Reserve of Mamirauá have Management Plans and are being implemented, with a monitoring program to detect possible changes in the ecological characteristics of the area.
5.3 Has there been a change in the ecological character (either positive or negative) at any of your Ramsar sites or is this likely to occur in the near future? Yes/No. If Yes, please give details.
Yes. In the specific case of the Mato Grosso Pantanal, the controversial project Paraguay-Paraná Waterway, proposed as a multi-modal means of transport to facilitate the transport of iron and manganese ore and agricultural products (circa 5 million tons of grains and a comparable volume of minerals a year), may cause significant impacts due to changes in the maximum flow of water and the compartimentation of water flows. The risk of a possible environmental disaster that would affect local populations, as well as flora and fauna, along the Paraguay and Paraná rivers comes from the continuous transport of fuel, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, to meet demands of the regional market.
The National Park of Araguaia has large extensions of altered and illegally occupied areas for bovine herd raising, the main economic activity of the region. The constant fires that occur every year in the dry season produce changes in the vegetation. Around the Park, agriculture is practiced on a large scale, such as the Formoso River Agricultural Project, which comprises an area of a hundred thousand hectares, used for rice culture, with water reservoirs for regular irrigation and support infrastructure. Even so, there has been no assessment of the environmental impact of this project, with respect to the use of agrochemicals.
5.4 In the case of Montreux Record Ramsar sites where the Management Guidance Procedure has been applied, what is the status of the implementation of the MGP report recommendations? What is the expected time-frame for removing the site from the Montreux Record?
None of the Brazilian Ramsar Sites is included in the Montreux Record.
5.5 For those countries referred to in COP6 Recommendations 6.17.1-4, "Ramsar sites in the Territories of Specific Contracting Parties", please provide advice on the actions that have been taken in response to the issues raised at that time.
Not applicable to Brazil.
Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 6
To designate for the Ramsar List those wetlands which meet the Conventions criteria, especially wetland types still under-represented in the List and transfrontier wetlands.
6.1 Has a national inventory of wetlands been prepared for your country? Yes/No.
If no, are there plans for this to be done? Yes/No.
Where a national inventory exists please provide details of when it was finalised, where it is kept and what information it contains.
The Wetlands Inventory of the Neotropical Region by Derek A. Scott and Montserrat Carbonell, published in 1986, was used as a model for the Inventory of Brazilian Wetlands, produced in 1988 by the Research Center on Human Populations and Wetlands of the University of São Paulo. The inventory is considered an initial synthesis of the essential information to analyze the importance of these ecosystems and the main modifications in their ecological characteristics. Two types of wetlands were considered, the natural ones (continental/ river basins/ coastal zone) and the artificial ones (saltworks/ dams/hydroelectric dams). This inventory contains 51 natural wetlands, corresponding to an area of 1,082,466 sq. km. of coastal and continental regions and five major hydroelectric power stations. It assesses 17 items such as localization, reference points, surface area, altitude, biome/biogeographical province, type of wetlands, general description, flora, fauna, human population data, main ethno-cultural characteristics of the local populations, migratory flows, ownership of lands, land use, main economic activities, protection areas, impact of human activities, future development projects, trends and map of its localization. Currently the Ministry of Environment intends to develop the updating of this inventory through the creation of a Georeferenced Data Bank on Brazilian wetlands.
6.2 Does there exist a list or directory of "important" wetlands for your country or region? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details of when it was finalised, where it is kept, what criteria for "important" were used, and the types of information it contains.
Yes. The Wild Birds Monitoring Center (CEMAVE/IBAMA) published a list of wetlands of international importance which uses habitats of migratory water fowl as criteria for inclusion.
6.3 If it is known, please provide an estimate of the area of wetlands in your country at present and any information on rates of loss or conversion to other activities. If this information is available, please indicate what definition of "wetland" was used.
According to the 1988 inventory, 1,082,466 sq. km. were characterized as coastal and continental regions. No data on the rates of loss or conversion are available.
6.4 Have any actions been taken in response to the COP6 Resolutions and Recommendations that Contracting Parties should give priority to listing Wetlands of International Importance which:
Yes. At the First Brazilian Meeting on Ramsar sites, the paper "Procedures for designation of new sites to the Ramsar List" was presented with information on the criteria that determine the types of wetlands that may be considered of international importance. This information led to the development of several viability studies for inclusion of new sites in the Ramsar List, as shown below:
a. meet the criteria for fish habitat (Resolution VI.2),
South Pantanal and Bonito Wetlands (Mato Grosso do Sul)
b. meet the 1% criterion for waterbird populations using data provided by the International Waterfowl Census (Resolution VI.4),
Rio Grande do Sul Transboundary Wetlands (Taim Ecological Station, Area of Relevant Ecological Interest of Pontal dos Latinos and the Banhados do Sul).
c. are subterranean karst or cave wetland systems (Resolution VI.5),
State Park of Terra Ronca (State of Góias) and Bonito (State of Mato Grosso do Sul).
d. are peatland ecosystems (Recommendation 6.1)
National Park of Aparados da Serra (State of Rio Grande do Sul).
e. are coral reefs and associated systems (Recommendation 6.7)
Reef System of the Brazilian Northeast - National Park of Costa dos Corais (States of Alagoas and Pernambuco), the Coral Banks adjacent to the Marine State Park of Parcel de Manuel Luis (State of Maranhão) and the Coral Reefs of the Quadrilátero do Descobrimento (State of Bahia);
f. are under-represented wetland types (which apart from d. and e. above include mangroves and sea grass beds) (Strategic Plan Action 6.2.3)
National Park of the Restinga de Jurubatiba (State of Rio de Janeiro) and the Lagoon Complex of Iguape, Peruíbe and Guaraqueçaba (between the States of São Paulo and Paraná).
6.5 If your government indicated at COP6 that it would be proceeding to list further specific sites, please advise of the status of this action.
At COP6, Brazil did not indicate the creation of new Ramsar Sites, but it is very probable that new areas will be indicated in the near future. The Ministry of Environment is having ongoing technical and political discussions with States and NGOs to this end. For example, the inclusion of the Private Reserves around the National Park of the Mato Grosso Pantanal to the Ramsar Site, aggregating new types of vegetation, leading to a better representation of the Pantanal ecosystem.
6.6 Please advise which of the sites included in the Ramsar List from your country are transfrontier wetlands (Refer also to 7.1).
National Park of the Mato Grosso Pantanal
6.7 Describe any plans, or actions being taken for further transfrontier sites to be listed (Refer also to 7.1).
A proposal is under review to create a transfrontier site with the Ramsar Site Banhados dLeste in Uruguay, since it is part of the system of the Mirim and Mangueira Lagoons, which include the Taim Ecological Station and the Area of Relevant Ecological Interest of Pontal dos Latinos e dos Santiagos.
Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 7
To mobilise international cooperation and financial assistance for wetland conservation and wise use in collaboration with other conventions and agencies, both governmental and non-governmental.
7.1 Briefly describe any bilateral or multilateral activities that have been taken, are under way, or are planned for the management of transfrontier wetlands or their watersheds/catchments (Refer also to 6.6 and 6.7).
In the introduction the bilateral and regional agreements which Brazil is party to are listed, though not limited to those related to wetlands. Other multilateral activities for the integrated management of transfrontier wetlands/hydrographic water basins/catchments are described below:
(i) Program for the Integrated Management of the Upper Paraguay Basin and Strategy for the Conservation of the Biodiversity of its Water Ecosystems (Ministry of Environment/GEF/UNEP/OAS, in partnership with the States of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and the Committee for the Integration of the Upper Paraguay-Pantanal Basin). The Upper Paraguay Basin, one of the main components of the Plata Basin, extends into Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. The Pantanal is to be found in this area, one of the largest wetlands of the world, concentrating various flora and fauna species. The basin has been altered by non-sustainable economic activities with potential adverse affects on the hydrology and in turn on the physical and biological integrity of the system. The project seeks to develop an integrated management program for the basin to promote sustainable economic development, improve and restore the environmental functions of the system by strengthening institutions and capacity building of agnecies and organizations. The program is expected to have a duration of 2 years.
(ii) Brazil-Germany Scientific Cooperation Program - Studies on Human Impact of Forest and Foodplains in the Tropics - aids environmental projects in the Mato Grosso Pantanal. The institutions involved in the program are: the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Brazilian Institute for Environment and Natural Renewable Resources (IBAMA) and the Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Technologie. The Ecological Pantanal Project, coordinated by the Federal University of Mato Grosso and the Max-Planck-Institut für Liminologie, under this program, has carried out research since 1991 on the qualitative and quantitative description of the selected ecosystems with emphasis on limnology, botany, remote sensing and assessment of environmental impacts.
7.2 Do you have Ramsar sites that are "twinned" with others, either nationally or internationally? Yes/No. If yes, please give details.
7.3 Where your country is also a signatory of any of the following Conventions, describe what mechanism(s) exist to assist regular dialogue and cooperative actions between the personnel responsible for their implementation and the Ramsar Administrative Authority:
a. Convention on Biological Diversity yes
b. Framework Convention on Climate Change yes
c. Convention to Combat Desertification yes
d. Convention on Migratory Species no
e. World Heritage Convention yes
Conventions a, b, and c are coordinated by the Ministry of Environment, thus there are no communication problems and the mechanisms are the exchange of information among staff or even intra-ministry coordination.
The Convention on World Heritage is currently administered by the Institute for Historical, Cultural, Environmental and Natural Heritage (IPHAN), of the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry of Environment and IBAMA are having ongoing discussions with IPHAN to enable inclusion of sites with environmental/ecological criteria besides cultural ones. Work was recently carried out in the Ministry of Environment to identify 20 areas to be included in the World Heritage List (Brazilian Tentative List of Natural Properties to be nominated for inscription to the World Heritage List, Ministry of Environment, 1998).
7.4 Is your country cooperating as part of any bilateral or multilateral activities directed at the conservation of migratory wetland species? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.
Yes. Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, are developing a project for the conservation of waterfowl and their habitats. The Project Migratory Waterfowl as appropriate indicators for the management and conservation of wetlands in the Southern Cone is to be funded by GEF, a medium-sized project, and CEMAVE/IBAMA as partner. The proposal is a result of demands of the four countries and it is being developed under the Convention on Migratory Species. Its objectives are: (i) generate and update information on the basic biology (populational size, distribution and use patterns of habitats) of the migratory waterfowl of the region and use it as indicators of habitat quality; (ii) develop management plans, and national and international agreements to form the basis for an integrated conservation program; and (iii) develop and improve the institutional capacity of the involved countries with respect to the design and implementation of the sustainable use of the environmental resources of wetlands.
7.5 Are there multilateral and/or bilateral donors supporting projects which contribute to implementation of the Ramsar Convention in your country? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.
Yes. Brazil develops a large number of other bilateral and multilateral initiatives through implementation of various projects, basically through financial and technical cooperation. From a bilateral point of view, the most important actions in the context of wetlands are carried out with the collaboration of Germany, France, United Kingdom and Japan. These projects are carried out not only by the Federal Government, but also state and local governments.
The multilateral aspect of external cooperation is significant if we include large institutions such as the financing agencies World Bank, IDB and GEF. The IDB and the World Bank have a large loan portfolio with Brazil in the area of water resources and coastal zone. GEF has also collaborated in this area, but through small grants of up to US$ 25,000. OAS, IICA and UNDP also develop initiatives through grants.
Among the projects financed by IDB and the World Bank, in the area of water resources are: Cleanup of the Tietê River; Cleanup of the Guanabara Bay; Microdrainage Stage II; Modernization of Sanitation Companies; Water Quality Control; Basic Sanitation for Fortaleza; Sanitation of the Baía de Todos os Santos; and the Cleanup of Coastal Ecosystems in Espírito Santo.
Specifically for the coastal zone there are the Project for the Preservation of the Biodiversity and Socioeconomic Value of the Mangrove Ecosystems of Tropical America, and the Project for the Conservation of the Coral Reefs in the region of Tamandaré to Paripueira. The Project "Establishment of a Global System representative of Protected Marine Areas" financed by financial cooperation with GEF and with IBAMA as the responsible agency, intends to accelerate efforts to ensure conservation and sustainable use of global marine biological diversity and productivity through the effective establishment of protected marine areas.
As a rule, Brazil has had positive experiences in negotiating resources for bilateral and multilateral projects. Besides the initiatives for technical and financial cooperation, the Brazilian Government has been taking part in international initiatives, in particular for water resources. Among these are the Inter-American Water Resources Network, supported by the OAS; the International Basin Organisms Network, supported by the French Government; the Hydrological Operational Program and the HOMS Program, coordinated by the WMO; and the GEMS Program, coordinated by WHO. Brazil has also participated actively in international fora that deal with water resources issues in general, such as the Treaty of the River de la Plata and the Treaty for Amazonian Cooperation (see introduction).
7.6 Does your government make an annual budgetary allocation to support the conservation and wise use of wetlands within your country? Yes/No. If yes, is this a specific allocation to a wetlands programme or as part of a larger environment or natural resource management budget?
Yes. Budgetary resources allocated by the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Environment are forwarded for the administration and management of National Parks, including those in the Ramsar List, through IBAMA, and for the management of hydrographic water basins, through the Ministry of Environment.
The National Environment Program should also be mentioned, a loan agreement signed in 1991 by the Brazilian Government with the World Bank. The national executor of the program is the Ministry of Environment and it has three main objectives: (i) strengthening of institutions, and legal and regulatory framework in the environmental area; (ii) reinforce protection for the most important areas, from the point of view of the countrys environmental policies; and (iii) reinforce protection to ecosystems under imminent risk of degradation. Basically, the following activities were developed:
Institutional Strengthening: emphasis was given to consolidate environmental management, providing it with modern administrative instruments, capacity building of human resources and converging to a decentralized strategy.
Conservation of Biodiversity: promoted recovery and re-equipment of 47 protected areas in several Brazilian states, especially in the Pantanal, Atlantic Forest and Coastal Zone regions, thus ensuring the effective recovery of a landscape heritage of great importance.
Currently the National Environment Program is in its Phase II, being re-negotiated with the World Bank. Phase I was basically for instrumentalization, strengthening and structuring of the environmental area, while Phase II seeks concrete results in environmental quality. Emphasis will be given to the following issues: (i) Environmental Monitoring; (ii) Environmental Licensing; (iii) Execution of Demonstrative Projects in Management of Environmental Assets.
7.7 If your country has a development assistance programme, does it include funds earmarked for wetland conservation and wise use in other countries? Yes/No. If yes, please give details.
7.8 Is there a formal process in place for consultation between the Ramsar Administrative Authority and the development assistance programme in your country, where one exists? Yes/No. If yes, what is that process.
Ramsar Strategic Plan - General Objective 8
To provide the Convention with the required institutional mechanisms and resources.
8.1 Has your government made voluntary financial contributions, other than the invoiced contributions or to the Small Grants Fund, to further the work of the Convention globally? Yes/No. If yes, please provide details.
8.2 If your country is in arrears with the payment of its annual contributions to the Ramsar Convention, please indicate the reasons for this situation and the prospects for paying these arrears in the near future.
Optional section - Participation of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention
These are optional questions relating to cooperation with and involvement of non-government organizations in the implementation of the Convention.
At COP6 some 42 NGOs made the "Brisbane NGO pledge of support for the Ramsar Convention". The Standing Committee agreed that for COP7 there should be an effort made to gauge the level and type of cooperation which is occurring between government Administrative Authorities and the national and international NGOs with an interest in wetlands issues.
In this optional section of the National Report, you are asked to describe the nature of the cooperation and relationship with any other international, regional, national and provincial NGOs operating within your country.
9.1 Approximately how many NGOs have wetlands as part of their regular "business" in your country?
Please break this down between international, regional and national/provincial organizations.
9.2 Is there a regular forum or mechanism through which these NGOs express their views on wetland conservation and Ramsar implementation:
a. to each other? Yes/No
b. to the government? Yes/No
9.3 Does your government include one or more NGO representatives on its official delegation to Ramsar COPs? Yes/No
9.4 Do any of the NGOs run programmes aimed at Education and Public Awareness about wetlands in your country? Yes/No. If yes, please give details (Refer also to question 3.1).
9.5 Where they exist, do Ramsar site management advisory committees include NGO representatives? If yes, please give details
9.6 Describe the themes of the Convention (refer to General Objectives 1-8 of the Strategic Plan) where you perceive the national/provincial NGOs to be most active.
10.1 General comments on implementation of the Ramsar Strategic Plan.
10.2 Observations concerning the functioning of, relations with, and services provided by:
a. The Ramsar Standing Committee
b. The Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel
c. The Ramsar Bureau
d. The Ramsar NGO partners
10.3 Any other general observations and/or recommendations for the future.