The Cerrado is the largest tropical savanna region in South America. It is the second largest biome in South America and Brazil, with about 2 million km². Our biome connects with four of the five Brazilian biomes: the Amazon, the Pantanal, the Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest. Despite its vast wealth and importance, the Cerrado is one of the most threatened biomes in the world, with practically half of its original area already deforested. In 2021, according to data from the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais-Inpe (Brazilian Espacial National Institute for Space Research), the Cerrado lost 8,500 km² of native vegetation, an increase of 7.9% more than the previous year.
The Jurema Cerrado Protection Program enables the creation of protected areas in private areas, through support for the creation of Private Natural Heritage Reserves (RPPN) and, in public areas, through partnerships with municipalities or states. Our objective is to increase the protection and effectiveness of protected areas in the biome.
That's why we lead the RPPN creation processes from beginning to end. So far, 18 RPPNs have been created with our support and of local partners. Private Natural Heritage Reserves (Reserva Particular de Patrimônio Natural- RPPN)
We are a reference in supporting conservation through support for the creation of RPPNs in the Cerrado biome. The RPPN creation strategy is fundamental for the Cerrado, as 80% of the land is private. Engaging these landowners to protect the remaining natural areas of cerrado is a condition for preserving ecosystem services, such as climate regulation, water availability and pollination, for future generations.
We understand that RPPNs are a strategic and fundamental instrument to expand the legal coverage of Cerrado areas, as they guarantee the perpetual protection of the area, without affecting the ownership of the property. That is, even if the property is sold, mortgaged or donated, the Natural Reserve area will be forever protected. This does not imply that the owner leaves the area idle, without economic activity, since by law some types of sustainable economic activities are allowed, such as ecotourism, scientific research and environmental education.
The creation of RPPNs is also an opportunity for dialogue and promotion for landowners to step up towards sustainability and environmental conservation.
According to Law No. 9,985/2000 and Decree No. 5,746/2006, RPPNs is one og the 11 categories of the Sistema Nacional de Unidades de Conservação -SNUC ( National System of Conservation Units). Since then, Brazil has become the first country in Latin America to include private reserves in its official system of protected areas. The RPPN is created by the rural owner and must have the documentation referring to the property up to date (Rural Environmental Registry - CAR, negative certificates, updated registration). Among the benefits for the owner are the exemption from Rural Land Tax (ITR) of the created area, priority in the analysis of agricultural credits and access to resources from the National Environment Fund.
We know that the process for creating a RPPN can be quite time-consuming and exhausting for the owner. Although we have a modern and unique legislation that regulates the creation of RPPNs, in practice, the creation process is still slow with bureaucratic steps and a complex model of deadlines, requests until the approval of the process. But this is no reason to be discouraged, as the Cerrados Institute leads this entire process until the final formalization and implementation on of the reserves.
The Program enables the creation of protected areas in private areas, through RPPNs, and in public areas, through partnerships with municipalities or states. We lead the RPPN creation processes from beginning to end. We follow all the necessary documental and administrative steps to convert a property into a Private Reserve. We offer assistance regarding the survey of land documents, support for the elaboration of maps of the Reserve and follow-up of the process with ICMBio.
So far, 18 RPPNs have been created with our support and of our local partners, and 7 more are in the process of being created by our local partners.