As part of the Semana Mata Atlântica 2023, the National Council of the Mata Atlântica Biosphere Reserve (CN-RBMA) organised a seminar that provided a platform for various voices and perspectives to discuss the challenges and opportunities related to the Mata Atlântica biome. The event was hosted by the São Paulo State Secretary of Environment, Infrastructure, and Logistics and it brought together a diverse group of experts, including representatives from government bodies, universities, NGOs, indigenous communities, traditional communities, and environmental collectives.
Regions4 was invited to provide the Keynote Lecture (Palestra Magna) of the Seminar. Jordan Harris, Regions4 Executive Director, and Gabriela Carrera, Biodiversity Programme Officer, delivered an insightful lecture about the key points from the new IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report, highlighting the interlinkages between climate change and biodiversity, the role of regional governments and the need for integrated and collaborative efforts.
Jordan Harris argued that subnational governments are uniquely positioned to implement innovative and localised solutions, tailored to the specific challenges faced by their regions. He also emphasised the need for subnational governments to lead by example, implementing ambitious policies that integrate climate action, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable development.
Gabriela Carrera focused on the Mata Atlântica and its unique biodiversity. She emphasised the urgent need for coordinated action to protect and restore this important ecosystem. Gabriela highlighted the significance of sustainable land use practices, ecosystem restoration, and the active involvement of regional governments, local communities and indigenous peoples in biodiversity conservation efforts.
In the Keynote Lecture, Regions4 also showcased ongoing opportunities by Regions4 like the Case Study Database, and good practices from its members, including the project “Conexão Mata Atlântica”, the “High Ambition Coalition Subnational Taskforce on 30×30”, the new Technical Chamber on Biodiversity from ABEMA.
As the host of the Seminário Nacional RBMA, the state of São Paulo played a pivotal role in the event. The highest governing body of the RBMA system, the CN-RBMA, is headquartered in São Paulo since 1993. The state's Secretariat of Environment, Infrastructure, and Logistics (SEMIL) supported the event as hosts.
Natalia Resende, the Secretary of Environment, Infrastructure, and Logistics of the Government of São Paulo, spoke in and co-moderated the opening session of the seminar. Additionally, she presented, together with Mary Soriage, President of the CN-RBMA, the Muriqui Award Ceremony and the Closing Ceremony. Secretary Resende shared the state's experiences and initiatives related to the Mata Atlântica, highlighting São Paulo's comprehensive approach to biodiversity conservation, emphasising the importance of integrating scientific knowledge, traditional practices, and local engagement. She showcased São Paulo's successful initiatives in sustainable land management, restoration projects, and the empowerment of local communities and indigenous peoples.
The Seminar also included an Award Ceremony, in which the Prêmio Muriqui was presented to deserving winners in the categories of Pessoa Jurídica (Legal Entity) and Pessoa Física (Individual). The awarded individuals and institutions demonstrated outstanding contributions to the preservation, knowledge, and sustainable development of the Mata Atlântica biome. This celebration of achievements further exemplified the commitment to the conservation of this unique ecosystem.
Moreover, apart from São Paulo, the seminar counted with the in-person participation of representatives from other Brazilian regional governments like Ceará, Espírito Santo and Rio Grande do Norte, which also took the opportunity to stress their commitments and efforts toward conserving and restoring the Mata Atlântica biome.
Find the recorded streaming of the event here.
Keynote lecture by Regions4 from 2:08:30 to 3:15:45.
Photos from RBMA Archive