The Atlantic Forest has historically been one of the most exploited forests in the world, making it an endangered site today. It is considered one of the most important areas for biodiversity conservation, and policies that emphasize its protection should be prioritized. In the State of São Paulo, the Atlantic Forest finds itself in critical vulnerability; the original forest cover was reduced to about 7%, of which 5.98% is located on coastal environments (Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica, 1998; WWF, 2006)

 

The state government of São Paulo, through the Environmental Secretariat, carried out actions that perpetuated the forest’s salvation from irreversible damage in one of the biome’s biologically richest continuous areas in the most economically developed region of the country: the Serra do Mar State Park (PESM), the largest Atlantic Forest Park in Brazil. One of the most critical scenarios, however, occurs in the coastal areas, where the forest remnants continue to suffer great strains. The Serra do Mar State Park MP (São Paulo, 2006) highlights the great extension of the continuous sandbank areas of the Bertioga and São Sebastião regions as the areas of greater importance for conservation, adjacent to the PESM. Boracéia and Barra do Una are categorized according to their importance in terms of biodiversity conservation, considered of high relevance due to their respective colossal diversity of amphibians within the Atlantic Forest, as well as a high number of threatened bird species, where the successful conservation of vegetation forms an ecological corridor up to the plateau. The elevated frequency of large private properties with controlled access helped maintain a high density of palm hearts and a higher number of synergetic bird species (São Paulo, 2006).

 

With the goal of protecting these important Atlantic Forest remnants, WWF-Brasil, in partnership with Instituto Florestal and the Fundação Florestal do Estado de São Paulo (Forestry Foundation of the State of São Paulo), supported by the Ministry of the Environment and with executive coordination by Ekos Brasil in the scope of the “Creation and Expansion of Protected Areas in the State of São Paulo based on the Principle of Representativeness” project, proposed the elaboration of a socio-environmental assessment for a PA creation in the Polygon named Bartioga.