Today is National Cerrado Day.
And why does this biome deserve our attention?
- Cerrado is the most biodiverse savanna on the planet;
- It is one of the 35 global biodiversity hotspots;
- Cradle of the main Brazilian rivers, which supply water for most part of the population, including hydroelectric reservoirs;
- It is the biome with the highest deforestation rates in Brazil, and in several years it was the biome with the highest greenhouse gas emissions, surpassing the Amazon;
- It is known as the “upside down forest”, where the biomass below ground is equivalent to that which is above ground.
In this period of drought, we are always faced with countless news about fires in different biomes in Brazil. Most of these fires are found in the Cerrado. One of the characteristics of the biome are the natural fires, where fire arises spontaneously. However, experts indicate that at the current amount, fires are likely caused by human interference.
Natural fire does exist, but it is almost 100% caused by lightning followed by rain, meaning that these are punctual and sporadic events. The anthropic action greatly altered this natural dynamic, setting fire to the biome in times when it would not occur naturally, in addition to greatly increasing the frequency of recurrence. This reduces resilience and compromises most species, while favoring a small group of species known as fire opportunists, such as exotic grasses.
The result is a drastic reduction in the biome’s carbon stocks and biodiversity, also impacting the river flow.
The Cerrado in 2021:
- Already registers 43.9% of the burned area.
- Has the highest number of fire spots for this period since 2012.
- 35846 fire spots have already been registered.
- The number of fire spots is 13.7% higher than the same period in 2020.
- In August there was a 48% increase in fire spots compared to the same month in 2020.
Data source: INPE.
Why should we care?
- It is a fundamental biome for the country’s water supply, responsible for the irrigation of 40% of the national territory through important hydrographic basins.
- Known as the “cradle of waters”, the biome covers 8 of the 12 main hydrographic basins in the country.
- It concentrates approximately 5% of the planet’s biodiversity. (WWF)
- It has a high rate of endemism, around 40%. (WWF)
And what has BRCarbon been doing?
In the Carbon Project Management Program (PGPC), BRCarbon, in partnership with ORÉADES Núcleo de Geoprocessamento, manages the Carbon Project in the Emas-Taquari Biodiversity Corridor. Located in Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul, it covers areas that play an important role in the conservation of biodiversity in the region.
Started in 2010, this project is a pioneer as a carbon restoration project in the Cerrado (1st ARR VCS/CCB in Brazil, 1st in the world in Savana).
The reforested area covers 520 hectares, which are in the process of being restored to connect the remaining fragments of the Cerrado. This area corresponds to 10% of the entire restored Cerrado area. In addition to the restoration of native flora, the project has permanent monitoring of the local fauna. In 2021, 157 species of birds and 27 medium and large mammals were registered in the areas.
Project management also involves fighting forest fires and monitoring to prevent new fire spots in the areas, in addition to training local communities in sustainable management and environmental education.
Cerrado is water, culture, food, people and strength. Cerrado is life!
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