Environmental protection area (Brazil)

An environmental protection area (Portuguese: Área de proteção ambiental: APA) is a type of protected area in Brazil that has some degree of human occupation, but where the primary intent is environmental protection. Human occupation is monitored and controlled. An environmental protection area often contains other types of conservation units, which may be more strictly protected.


Environmental protection areas (APAs) are defined as part of the National System of Conservation Units regulated by Law 9985 of 18 July 2000. They are one of the types of sustainable use units, which try to reconcile conservation of nature with sustainable use of some natural resources.. Other types of sustainable use unit are significant ecological interest area, national forest, extractive reserve, fauna reserve, sustainable development reserve, and natural heritage particular reserve.[1]

As of 1993 APAs were defined as areas where wildlife, genetic diversity and other natural resources were to be conserved through adequate and sustainable use for the benefit of the local population, following a management plan to harmonise the various human activities. The APA was the closest concept to the Biosphere Reserve in Brazilian law, the main difference being that a strictly protected core zone was not required. However the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) was drawing up new definitions that would include the requirement for core zones in APAs.[2]

An APA may be public or private. Its main goal is to protect areas that are important to the well being and quality of life of humans through protecting biodiversity. Often they cover huge areas, with no buffer zone between the APA and unprotected areas. They fall under IUCN protected area category V: protected landscape/seascape.[3] As of 2015 APAs accounted for 30% of protected areas.[4] APA coverage in Brazil was:[3]

Environmental protection areas have a certain amount of human occupation, and may have environmental aspects that are important for aesthetic or cultural reasons to human populations. An APA does not require that land be expropriated, but does impose specific requirements on land use. An APA may contain other types of protected area, and must have a wildlife conservation area. Federal APAs are administered by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) .

The APA concept is derived from the Portuguese concept of Parques Naturais, which in turn is derived from the French concept of Parcs Naturels Régionaux. This has resulted in some inconsistencies with Brazilian law, which has caused some criticism.[5]

Selected list

Environmentally protected areas include:[6]

Name Level State Area Created Biome
Algodoal-Maiandeua State Pará 2,378 1990
Anhatomirim Federal Santa Catarina 4,437 1992 Atlantic Forest
Baía de Camamu State Bahia 118,000 2002 Atlantic Forest
Bacia dos Frades State Rio de Janeiro 7,500 1990 Atlantic Forest
Bacia do Rio Macacu State Rio de Janeiro 19,508 2002 Atlantic Forest
Baixada Maranhense State Maranhão 1,775,040 1991 Amazon
Baixo Rio Branco State Roraima 1,207,650 2006
Baleia Franca Federal Santa Catarina 156,100 2000
Barra do Rio Mamanguape Federal Paraíba 14,640 1993 Coastal marine
Cabeceiras do Rio Cuiabá State Mato Grosso 473,411 1999
Cairuçu Federal Rio de Janeiro 32,610 1983 Atlantic Forest
Cajati State São Paulo 2,976 2008 Atlantic Forest
Caminhos Ecológicos de Boa Esperança State Bahia 230,296 2003 Atlantic Forest
Campos do Jordão State São Paulo 28,800 1984 Atlantic Forest
Campos de Manicoré Federal Amazonas 151,993 2016 Amazon
Cananéia-Iguape-Peruíbe Federal São Paulo 202,307 1984 Atlantic Forest
Carste de Lagoa Federal Minas Gerais 39,957 1990 Cerrado
Caverna do Maroaga State Amazonas 374,700 1990 Amazon
Cavernas do Peruaçu Federal Minas Gerais 143,354 1989 Cerrado
Chapada do Araripe Federal Piauí
1,063,000 1997
Chapada dos Guimarães State Mato Grosso 251,848 1995
Costa das Algas Federal Espírito Santo 112,545 2010 Atlantic Forest
Costa dos Corais Federal Pernambuco
413,563 1997
Curiaú State Amapá 23,000 1998
Delta do Parnaíba Federal Maranhão
313,800 1996
Descoberto River Basin Federal Federal District 41,064 1983 Cerrado
Fazendinha State Amapá 137 2004
Fernando de Noronha Federal Pernambuco 93,000 1986 Coastal marine
Fernão Dias State Minas Gerais 180,073 1997 Atlantic Forest
Floresta do Jacarandá State Rio de Janeiro 2,700 1985 Atlantic Forest
Foz do Rio Santa Teresa State Tocantins 50,784 1997
Guajuma State Amazonas 28,370 1989 Amazon
Guapi-Guapiaçu Municipal Rio de Janeiro 15,538 2004 Atlantic Forest
Guapimirim Federal Rio de Janeiro 13,926 1984 Coastal marine
Guaraqueçaba Federal Paraná 282,444 1985 Atlantic Forest
Guaratuba State Paraná 200,000 1992 Atlantic Forest
Ibirapuitã Federal Rio Grande do Sul 316,790 1992 Pampas
Igarapé Gelado Federal Pará 23,285 1989 Amazon
Igarapé São Francisco State Acre 30,000 2005
Ilha do Bananal / Cantão State Tocantins 1,678,000 1997 Amazon / Cerrado
Ilha do Combu State Pará 1,500 1997
Ilha Comprida State São Paulo 17,572 1987 Atlantic Forest
Ilhas e Várzeas do Rio Paraná Federal São Paulo
Mato Grosso do Sul
1,003,060 1997
Itapiracó State Maranhão 322 1997
Jalapão State Tocantins 461,730 2000
Lago de Palmas State Tocantins 50,370 1999
Lago de Peixe Angical State Tocantins 78,874 2002
Lago de Santa Isabel State Tocantins 18,608 2002
Lago de São Salvador etc. State Tocantins 14,525 2002
Lago de Tucuruí State Pará 568,667 2002
Lago do Amapá State Acre 5,224 2005
Lagoa Encantada e Rio Almada State Bahia 157,745 1993 Atlantic Forest
Lagoa da Jansen State Maranhão 196 1988
Leandro State Tocantins 1,678,000 1997
Macaé de Cima State Rio de Janeiro 35,037 Atlantic Forest
Mananciais do Rio Paraíba do Sul Federal São Paulo 292,000 1982 Atlantic Forest
Marajó Archipelago State Pará 5,998,570 1989 Coastal marine
Maravilha Municipal Rio de Janeiro 1,700 2006 Atlantic Forest
Meandros do Rio Araguaia Federal Tocantins
Mato Grosso
357,126 1998
Metropolitana de Belém State Pará 7,500 1993
Morro da Pedreira Federal Minas Gerais 131,769 1990 Cerrado
Nascentes de Araguaína State Tocantins 15,822 1999
Nascentes do Rio Paraguai State Mato Grosso 77,743 2006
Nascentes do Rio Vermelho Federal Goiás 176,159 2001
Nhamundá State Amazonas 195,900 1990
Paraty Bay Municipal Rio de Janeiro 5,642 1984 Coastal Marine
Paytuna State Pará 58,251 2001
Pé da Serra Azul State Mato Grosso 7,980 1994
Petrópolis Federal Rio de Janeiro 68,224 1982 Atlantic Forest
Piaçabuçu Federal Alagoas 9,106 1983 Coastal marine
Planalto Central Federal Goiás
Federal District
504,608 2002
Planalto do Turvo State São Paulo 2,722 2008 Atlantic Forest
Quilombos do Médio Ribeira State São Paulo 64,625 2008 Atlantic Forest
Reentrâncias Maranhenses State Maranhão 2,680,910 1991
Região de Maracanã State Maranhão 1,831 1991
Rio da Casca State Mato Grosso 39,250 1994
Rio Curiaú State Amapá 21,676 1992 Amazon
Rio Madeira State Rondônia 5,554 1991 Amazon
Rio Negro Left Bank State Amazonas 611,008 1995 Amazon
Rio Negro Right Bank State Amazonas 461,741 1995 Amazon
Rio Pardinho e Rio Vermelho State São Paulo 3,235 2008 Atlantic Forest
Rio Pardo State Rondônia 144,417 2010
Rio Paraíba do Sul Federal São Paulo 1982
Rio São Pedro de Jaceruba Municipal Rio de Janeiro 2,474 Atlantic Forest
Salto Magessi State Mato Grosso 7,846 2002
Santa Rosa State Mato Grosso 313,467 2013
São Bartolomeu River Basin Federal Federal District 82,680 1983 Cerrado
São Francisco Xavier State São Paulo 11,559 2002 Atlantic Forest
São Geraldo do Araguaia State Pará 29,655 1996
São João/Mico-Leão-Dourado River Basin Federal Rio de Janeiro 150,700 2002
Sapucaí Mirim State São Paulo 39,800 1998 Atlantic Forest
Serra Branca / Raso da Catarina State Bahia 67,234 2001 Caatinga
Serra da Ibiapaba Federal Piauí
1,592,550 1996
Serra da Mantiqueira Federal Minas Gerais
Rio de Janeiro
São Paulo
421,804 1982 Atlantic Forest
Serra da Meruoca Federal Ceará 608 2008
Serra de Tabatinga Federal Tocantins 35,185 1990 Cerrado
Serra do Lajeado State Tocantins 121,416 1997
Serrinha do Alambari Municipal Rio de Janeiro 5,760 1991 Atlantic Forest
Suruí Municipal Rio de Janeiro 14,146 2007 Atlantic Forest
Tapajós Federal Pará 2,039,581 2006
Triunfo do Xingu State Pará 1,679,281 2006
Upaon-Açu/Miritiba/Alto Preguiças State Maranhão 1,535,310 1992

See also



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