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Neotrópica Foundation successfully advances in the conservation and sustainable use of the Cerrado

Partner of CEPF and IEB, NGO work strengthened the role of social actors through the Municipal Councils for the Environment in Mato Grosso do Sul


by Luana Luizy, Communication Officer, International Education Institute of Brazil


One of our partners is the Neotropic Foundation, an organization from Mato Grosso do Sul, which works with actions aimed at nature conservation, especially in the Cerrado and Pantanal biomes. With support from Partnership Fund for Critical Ecosystems (CEPF, acronym in English) and the International Institute of Education of Brazil (IEB), the foundation has been developing a successful project with Municipal Environment Councils (COMDEMAs) in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. The project: Union of pro-Cerrado COMDEMAs, which aims to strengthen these councils, in order to subsidize decisions that contribute to the conservation of the Cerrado and the achievement of global biodiversity conservation goals.

Planning meeting of the COMDEMA Action Plan in the city of Bodoquena-MS. Source: Neotrópica Foundation

The project initially covered the municipalities: Anastácio, Bodoquena, Bonito, Dois Irmãos do Buriti, Guia Lopes da Laguna, Jardim, Miranda, Nioaque, Porto Murtinho, Rochedo and Terenos. According to Rodolfo Portela & #8211; executive superintendent of the Neotrópica Foundation & #8211; the success of the project was due “The union of COMDEMAs, which was not restricted to the predicted municipalities, but also in regions located outside the main biodiversity corridors of the state, which showed interest in being included in the project”, a fact that demonstrated the project's potential and wide reach.

Of the municipalities that participated in the project, most have their Active Environmental Councils, which demonstrates that there are spaces for debates on public policies and issues of conservation and management of the Cerrado in these locations. The project also verified, in these municipalities, the interest for the actors involved in advancing the creation of new Conservation units.

It is important to point out that the project promoted the training of about 205 social actors, 114 men and 91 women, which guaranteed the qualification of the directors in order to support decentralization and democratization of environmental management in search of gender parity. The creation of COMDEMAs Network it provided the interaction between the leaders, facilitating the exchange of information and experiences regarding good practices for councils and for the conservation of the Cerrado. Through COMDEMAs, work groups, technical chambers and environmental collectives emerged with the purpose of researching, studying and discussing important issues for the development of environmental actions in the municipalities.

Fieldwork. Photo: Collection Neotrópica do Brasil

Another highlight was the success in promoting the conservation and sustainable use of the Cerrado with the creation of three Private Natural Heritage Reserves (RPPNs), in the municipalities of Bonito, Guia Lopes da Laguna and Chapadão do Sul, conserving approximately 2,200 hectares of the biome in Mato Grosso do Sul; and also assistance in improving the management of the Marechal Cândido Mariano Rondon Biological Reserve, Miranda / MS, in order to implement good practices for the management of the UC.


The Neótropica Foundation highlights the importance of conflict mediation as the main lesson learned, in order to reduce the turmoil and confusion frequently registered in meetings that discuss municipal environmental policies. Great challenges were faced by the team in the debates on proposals for structuring and updating municipal environmental laws and legislation relevant to COMDEMAs, in view of the uproar caused by the agribusiness sectors, causing moments of confusion and doubts in the councilors.

About the Neotropic Foundation

The Neotrópica do Brasil Foundation is an NGO created in 1993 aimed at conserving nature and improving people's quality of life. The organization works with projects aimed at creating and supporting the management of Conservation Units (public and private); recovery of degraded areas and adaptation of rural properties in the Cerrado, Atlantic Forest and Pantanal; scientific research on biodiversity and conservation, mobilization and sensitization of society to environmental issues; encouraging the development of public environmental policies; discussion and promotion of tourism as a promoter of environmental conservation.

For more information about the actions of the Neotrópica do Brasil Foundation, access the site.

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.


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