Ekos Brasil is collaborating with Forest Fundation to build a MP of the Jurupará State Park (PEJU), located near the municipalities of Ibiúna and Piedade.
The park’s conservation is important as it belongs to one of the biggest corridors of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, integrated since 1991 to the Mata Atlântica Biosphere Reserve. Moreover, the area is an important container for water sources as it is part of the Ribera de Iguape hydrographic basin, a sub-basin of the Alto Rio Juquiá. Throughout the elaboration of the PEJU MP, 68 species of endangered fauna and flora were identified, in addition to 182 endemic species. There were over 300 records of new species occurrence in the area.
Nevertheless, this vast biodiversity heritage is threatened by predatory activities such as hunting and fishing, extraction of non-timber products (palm hearts, etc.), and other activities that directly exploit the area’s natural resources. Human occupation in the PEJU areas conflict with sustainability goals and may be considered a threat to biodiversity while restricting the scope of possible solutions to solve the Park’s land title issues.
The occupations took place when the land was used as a resting area by cattlemen travelling from the south of the country to Sorocaba during the 17th and 18th centuries. These small villages developed to the point of becoming small cities. The local population is currently characterized by two distinct groups of nativos (traditional population) and sitiantes (migrants).
The creation of the Protected Area was a result from the forest’s increasing need for protection from the hazards describes above, as well as to preserve the area’s water resource abundance and the conservation of the Atlantic Forest fragment that exists within the park’s area. Furthermore, the project strives to contribute to the growth of the regional “mosaic” of the biome’s PA. PEJU’s water resources have the potential to, in the near future, guarantee quality water supplies to the state capital and its adjacent cities, as the demand for this resource continues to exponentially grow.