Top five in biodiversity
According to UNESCO, Brazil’s Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlantica) is one of the world’s five most important biodiversity hotspots. This forest, once 130 million hectares along Brazil’s coast, is now just 50 ha of isolated fragments. The region is now home to 60 percent of Brazil’s population, 70 percent of the country’s economic activity, and a significant amount of its agricultural production.
Payments for restoration
Because of the extent of land degradation and fragmentation, and the crucial services the forest provides, Brazil is attempting to restore and revitalize this unique landscape. The Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact (PACT) is part of that attempt. Established in 2009, PACT is the culmination of two decades of growing interest in restoring the forest. Through PACT, NGOs, research institutions, local governments, and private businesses are working together to restore 20 million ha of degraded and low productivity forest by 2050. The goal is a big one, but PACT is growing quickly to meet the challenge, with more than 170 initiatives registered so far in eight states.