85% of Brazil's mangroves are protected, and the Brazilian Blue Initiative is poised protect even more.
The Brazilian Blue Initiative, announced in March 2018, aims to promote the conservation of the country’s coastal ecosystems under climate change and human pressure through effectively managing and expanding marine protected areas, according to The Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio). For Brazil’s vast mangrove ecosystems, this means enhanced safeguards within the context of larger mosaics of protected areas.
The proposed extractive reserves in the Northern states of Maranhão and Pará.
Brazil boasts the second largest national mangrove cover, and 85% of these mangroves are currently protected. The Brazilian Blue Initiative will expand these protections to additional key mangrove areas in the Northern states of Maranhão and Pará. Combined, the new extractive reserves of Arapiranga-Tromai, Rio Itapetininga, and Baía do Tubarão encompass over 400,000 ha of coastal and nearshore habitat, including extensive mangrove cover in a recognized Ramsar wetland site. The Brazilian government is considering additional extractive reserves in the region, which could bring vital defense to an additional 300,000 ha of coastal habitat.
These newly protected areas will be under co-management with local communities as part of the Initiative’s ambition to enhance the sustainable livelihoods and promote the well-being of local communities, which includes over 13,000 traditional fishing families. The strategy also includes the restoration of mangroves in abandoned shrimp aquaculture ponds.