CEPF
Protecting Nature's Hotspots for people and prosperity

Cerrado

Tab 1

Overview
Paepalanthus speciosus
Paepalanthus speciosus, Alto Paraiso, Brazil. © O. Langrand 

CEPF is active in the Cerrado Biodiversity Hotspot.

Consisting of over 2 million km2, the Cerrado Biodiversity Hotspot is the Western Hemisphere’s largest hotspot as well as one of the largest and biologically richest tropical savanna regions in the world. More than 99 percent of the hotspot’s area lies within the country of Brazil, with the remainder consisting of four Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in the neighboring countries of Bolivia and Paraguay. 

In addition to its high biodiversity, the Cerrado supports human populations, even outside of the hotspot’s boundaries. The Cerrado Hotspot accounts for 30 percent of Brazil’s GDP, but its economic importance is putting pressure on local indigenous populations through continued conversion of land to crops and for livestock. The deforestation levels in the Cerrado are currently higher than in the Amazon, as are the levels of greenhouse gas emission. 

The Cerrado is also one of the world’s largest producers of livestock and agricultural products. This ranching and agricultural activity has fragmented the natural vegetation. In 2010, 47 percent of the hotspot’s land had already been converted to man-made land usage. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the Cerrado has one of the lowest levels of land protection of any hotspot, with less than 8 percent of the hotspot’s land receiving protection.

Due to the extreme biological richness of the hotspot combined with the alarming rate of land conversion in the area, the Cerrado needs urgent conservation action to ensure environmental sustainability and the well-being of its people.
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Tab 2

Infographic


Tab 3

Strategy
​​Greater Rhea
Greater Rhea, Alto Paraiso, Brazil. © O. Langrand
Between October 2014 and October 2015, Conservation International Brazil and the Institute for Society, Population, and Nature coordinated the process of input, analysis, and recommendations from more than 170 local stakeholders. This information was collected and synthesized into an ecosystem profile for the Cerrado Hotspot, a document that sets out a conservation strategy for the region, as well as a specific strategy for the use of CEPF’s funding.

During the ecosystem profiling process, existing lists of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) within Brazil and IBAs within Bolivia and Paraguay were built upon and updated using the newest available data. The final result from this process was a map that included 761 KBAs in Brazil plus one IBA in Bolivia and three in Paraguay. These 765 sites account for around 60 percent of the Cerrado’s area. Based on examining clusters of KBAs with high relative biological importance, 13 conservation corridors, with different vegetation formations and areas of transition, different level of species endemism and specific socio-economic dynamics, were then identified. 

The identification of sites and corridors provides a long-term, overarching agenda for the conservation of Cerrado’s unique and valuable biodiversity. Realistically, only a fraction can be tackled by civil society organizations over the next five years. Therefore, CEPF has prioritized its investments based on the following criteria: (i) weighted average of relative priority rankings for KBAs in each corridor; (ii) conservation investment gaps; (iii) opportunities to work with civil society; (iv) potential for leverage to sustain or amplify CEPF investments; (v) urgency of conservation actions; and (vi) natural vegetation cover. CEPF investments will thus concentrate on pilot programs within four priority corridors which contain 62 KBAs with “Very High” relative importance for conservation: Veadeiros-Pouso Alto-Kalungas, Central de MATOPIBA, Sertão Veredas-Peruaçu, and Mirador-Mesas. The total area encompassed by the four priority corridors is about 32.2 million hectares, representing approximately 16 percent of the whole Cerrado Hotspot. 

Five strategic directions are at the heart of CEPF’s $8 million conservation strategy for the hotspot. Each project must link to one of these strategic directions in order to be approved for funding:

1. Promote the adoption of best practices in agriculture in the priority corridors. 

2. Support the creation/ expansion and effective management of protected areas in the priority corridors. 

3. Promote and strengthen supply chains associated with the sustainable use of natural resources and ecological restoration in the hotspot.

4. Support the protection of threatened species in the hotspot (focusing on the implementation of existing National Action Plan for seven terrestrial and freshwater priority species). 

5. Support the implementation of tools to integrate and to share data on monitoring to better inform decision-making processes in the hotspot.

6. Strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations to promote better management of territories and of natural resources and to support other investment priorities in the hotspot. 

7. Coordinate the implementation of the investment strategy of CEPF in the hotspot through a Regional Implementation Team.

Tab 4

Priorities
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CEPF STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS CEPF INVESTMENT PRIORITIES

1. Promote the adoption of best practices in agriculture in the priority corridors

1.1 Identify and disseminate sustainable technologies and production practices in the agriculture sector to ensure protection of biodiversity, maintenance of ecosystem services and food security

1.2 Promote the development and adoption of public policies and economic incentives for improved agricultural and livestock production practices, promoting sustainable agricultural landscapes

2. Support the creation/ expansion and effective management of protected areas in the priority corridors

2.1 Support studies and analyses necessary to justify the creation and expansion of public protected areas, while promoting conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and valuing local and traditional culture

2.2 Promote the inclusion of existing indigenous, quilombola and traditional populations, respecting and integrating their traditional knowledge, into conservation/restoration planning by government and civil society

2.3 Encourage the creation and implementation of private protected areas (RPPNs) to extend legal protection in priority KBAs

3. Promote and strengthen supply chains associated with the sustainable use of natural resources and ecological restoration in the hotspot

3.1 Support the development of markets and supply chains for sustainably harvested non-timber products, in particular for women and youth

3.2 Promote capacity-building initiatives in particular among seed collectors, seedlings producers and those who carry out restoration activities, to enhance technical and management skills and low-cost, ecologically appropriate technologies in the supply chain of ecological restoration

3.3 Promote the adoption of public policies and economic incentives to expand the scale and effectiveness of conservation and restoration of Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs) and Legal Reserves (LRs), through improved productive systems that enhance ecosystem services

4. Support the protection of threatened species in the hotspot

4.1 Support the implementation of National Action Plans (PANs) for priority species, with a focus on habitat management and protection

5. Support the implementation of tools to integrate and to share data on monitoring to better inform decision-making processes in the hotspot

5.1 Support the dissemination of data on native vegetation cover and dynamics of land uses, seeking reliability and shorter time intervals between analyses and informed evidence-based decision-making

5.2 Support the collection and dissemination of monitoring data on quantity and quality of water resources, to integrate and to share data on the main river basins in the hotspot

6. Strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations to promote better management of territories and of natural resources and to support other investment priorities in the hotspot

6.1 Strengthen capacities of civil society organizations to participate in collective bodies and processes related to the management of territories and natural resources

6.2 Develop and strengthen technical and management skills of civil society organizations, on environment, conservation strategy and planning, policy advocacy, fund raising, compliance with regulations and other topics relevant to investment priorities

6.3 Facilitate processes of dialogue and cooperation among public, private and civil society actors to identify synergies and to catalyze integrated actions and policies for the conservation and sustainable development of the Cerrado

6.4 Disseminate information about the biological, ecological, social and cultural functions of the Cerrado to different stakeholders, including civil society leaders, decision makers, and national and international audiences

7. Coordinate the implementation of the investment strategy of the CEPF in the hotspot through a Regional Implementation Team

7.1 Coordinate and implement the strategy of investments of CEPF in the Cerrado, through procedures to ensure the effective use of resources and achievement of expected results

7.2 Support and strategically guide the network of institutions responsible for the implementation of actions and projects funded by CEPF, promoting their coordination, integration, cooperation and exchange of experiences and lessons learned

Tab 6

Documents
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Fast Facts
​​STATUS: Active​

Initial investment: 

  • $8 million
  • 2016-2021​
Regional Implementation Team: 
Instituto Internacional de Educação do Brasil (IEB)

Contact:
Michael Becker, RIT Team Leader
Regional Resources
​​​​Ecosystem profile
English​ (PDF - 9.8 MB)
Portuguese​ (PDF - 10.3 MB)​

Ecosystem profile technical summary
English (PDF - 1.9 MB)
Portuguese (PDF - 1.7 MB)

Ecosystem profile summary brochure
English (PDF - 2.4 MB)
Portuguese​ (PDF - 2.4 MB)​