Location and Values: Brazil’s Atlantic Forest South East Reserves protect some of the last remaining fragments of South America’s Atlantic rainforests in 25 separate reserves. This is an area of exceptional biological value with very high numbers of plant and animal species as well as many found nowhere else on Earth. It is also an area of outstanding natural beauty with mountains covered in dense forests, caves, wetlands, coastal islands, mangroves and extensive dunes.
Conservation Status and Prospects. According to IUCN’s recent Conservation Outlook Assessment there is significant concern over the conservation status of this site. The IUCN report notes that ‘this serial property is a most encouraging response to the fate of the biome and recognition of its global importance. The establishment of protected areas within the remaining Atlantic Forest was an important step to prevent the irreversible loss of a unique and exceptionally diverse forest ecosystem altogether. However, many of the conservation units that make up the property are very small and vulnerable to outside influences and no broad-scale information about the spatial distribution of Atlantic Forest remnants exist that could guide conservation actions, especially when systematic biodiversity data are not available. However, there are important continuous blocks including Serra do Mar, Carlos Botelho and Intervales which urgently require increased protection to ensure long-term conservation of the area and remaining connectivity. Much of the implementation, in particular as regards coordination of efforts between actors and stakeholders, remains to be consolidated. Urgent action is needed to improve integrity and mitigate the existing threats, including ongoing illegal resource extraction and land use. Additional concerns refer specifically to human disturbance in the sensitive coastal areas. In the buffer zone agriculture, ranching, plantation forestry, infrastructure development and mining add up to put increasing pressure on the property. If predicated climate change is added to the factors, considerable erosion of important conservation values seems highly likely in the absence of major responses.’
Official UNESCO Site Details
IUCN Conservation Outlook
UNEP-WCMC Site Description