Location and Values: Brazil’s Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves protect eight separate areas representing some of the last remaining fragments of South America’s Atlantic rainforests. This is thought to be the world’s richest area biologically, supporting 20% of the world’s flora, as well as 261 species of mammals, 620 birds, 280 amphibians and 200 reptile species. Many of these are extremely rare, endemic to small areas and highly endangered.
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 ‘while the establishment of the various protected areas was a highly needed step to save the last remnants of one of the most fragmented and degraded forest regions on the planet and the serial approach is appropriate, the protected areas require more coherent and encompassing management. Underlying conflicts with impoverished local communities need to be addressed. At a time when better connectivity is urgently needed and recognition of a need to restore parts of the Atlantic Forest is emerging, the trends in the landscape surrounding the components (of the world heritage site) keep deteriorating. Unless land use dynamics can be influenced to promote more environmentally friendly activities, further deterioration seems inevitable due to biological isolation. This is not even taking into account the expected impacts of climate change.’
Official UNESCO Site Details
IUCN Conservation Outlook
UNEP-WCMC Site Description