Advocacy work conducted by SAVE Brasil in partnership with government bodies and non-governmental organizations resulted in the creation of the Boa Nova IBA National Park and Wildlife Refuge (totalling 27,000 hectares, pictured) and the Serra das Lontras IBA National Park (11.336 hectares). Boa Nova and Serra das Lontras are both considered priority IBAs by SAVE Brasil and BirdLife International. A National Park was also created at the Alto Cariri IBA, and the Pau Brasil National Park, also an IBA, was expanded. Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed the creation of the protected areas, all located in the state of Bahia, in a ceremony promoted in the city of Salvador, on 10 June.
In Boa Nova, one of the major challenges to the creation of the protected areas was related to the region’s potential for the exploration of minerals. Rio Tinto Brasil was one of the main companies with business interests in the area and an engagement effort was made by SAVE Brasil with the invaluable support of the Rio Tinto-BirdLife International Programme, both at the national and international levels, involving Rio Tinto Brazil and Rio Tinto Corporation. This resulted in the official support of Rio Tinto Brazil to the creation of the protected areas in Boa Nova, this support was decisive in the process to create the Protected Area.
SAVE Brasil has also continued advocacy work for the creation of the Costa do Sol State Park, located in the Restinga de Maçambaba priority IBA, the area in which the Critically Endangered Restinga Antwren occurs.
In advocating for the creation of these Protected Areas, SAVE has increasingly engaged local communities, local authorities, piloted conservation schemes by establishing small private reserves and continued to collect data for feeding to the government for both sites. Over the last year, SAVE has been able to make an even stronger case for the importance and the need for protection of these sites. These are very significant areas for a region like the Atlantic coast of Brazil where over 80% of the original forests have been already lost to sugar cane and cattle ranches. Most importantly this new regime of protection offers hope for an amazing number of threatened and endemic species of birds and other biodiversity, some in a critical status and which would have been almost certainly driven to extinction without the protection of their last vital habitat. For more information, see