Municipal Plan of the Atlantic Forest, “for more humane and sustainable cities’Thursday March 8th, 2018
The water crisis is far from over, but at least a lesson she has been able to give us: the perception of how much we depend on environmental services provided by forests. To have water in quantity and quality, we need to protect native vegetation with rivers, streams and springs that supply reservoirs. And to protect these areas must first recognize how the Atlantic Rainforest is critical to ensure the quality of life and well-being of all.
In 3429 municipalities inserted in the Atlantic Forest, this relationship is evident. They are living in them nearly 72% of the population. We are talking about 145 million people who depend directly on resources of this forest for basic needs such as access to water, air quality and climate regulation. Despite this importance, 91.5% of the forest has already been destroyed.
This is where the Municipal Plans of Atlantic Forest are presented as an environmental management tool and participatory planning. They allow citizens to make the mapping of green areas and natural areas and indicate how they should be administered – for example, will become a park or protected area.
In the week that Sao Paulo has completed 461 years, we had the opportunity to celebrate the creation of the Municipal Plan of the Atlantic Forest of São Paulo. The announcement took place on January 21, when the SOS Atlantic Forest Foundation signed a technical cooperation agreement with the Municipality for participatory construction, through the Municipal Environmental Council, this important management tool of the territory, forest remnants , the green and strategic planning areas of the city.
The city of São Paulo is fully inserted in the Atlantic Forest. Despite the enormous pressure of urbanization, we have about 40% of the territory with significant vegetation cover, but poorly distributed. From the mapping of those remaining, the Municipal Plan of the Atlantic Forest appoint priority actions and areas for conservation and recovery. Among the results are the creation of protected municipal areas (such as parks) and protection of water sources, important to ensure the water supply.
The agreement signed with the Municipal Green and Environment provides for the exchange of knowledge, information and experience from the implementation of a development program that the SOS Atlantic Forest develops throughout the national territory. Currently, 57 other cities with plans are in preparation and another 24 have completed the process.
We need to effectively recognize how much we depend on our forests and assume that these areas need to be protected to provide the population with the various environmental services they provide, especially water. We expect the company to engage in the challenge of making our nice, balanced, fair and sustainable cities.
* Mario Mantovani is director of Public Policy at the SOS Atlantic Forest Foundation. (Originally published on the website Brazil Post )