1. Introduction

In 2005, the city of Extrema started the “Projeto Conservador das Águas” (Water Conservation Project) in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the State Institute of Forests of Minas Gerais (IEF / MG). It was inspired by the Water Producer Program of the National Water Agency (ANA), the first in Brazil to use the economic instrument of payment for environmental services to promote forest conservation and restoration in the adequacy of rural properties, with expressive results in the production of environmental services, especially water.

This project brings together various entities of government, private initiative, river basin committees, conservation units, non-governmental organizations – environmental NGOs, scientific research centers and universities. Winner of the most important awards in Brazil and also recognized by UN / Habitat and Dubai City Hall as one of the best practices for improving living conditions in the world. It is a frequent highlight in the largest communication vehicles in Brazil.

During the past 12 years, we have received representatives from more than 600 Brazilian cities interested in knowing and replicating the project. Not many of them have been able to move forward with the proposal so far. We relate the inexpressive replicability in the cities to the absence of three determining factors:

a) Attitudes and Experience.
b) Political Ability.
c) Management and Knowledge.


O objeto principal do PLANO CONSERVADOR DA MANTIQUEIRA – PCM é promover a restauração florestal de espécies nativas, em cerca de 1.200.000 hectares na área de influência da Serra da Mantiqueira nos mais de 280 municípios dos Estados de Minas Gerais, São Paulo e Rio de Janeiro, utilizando a expertise do município de Extrema na execução do Projeto Conservador das Águas, primeira experiência brasileira de projeto de restauração florestal utilizando o mecanismo de PSA, bem como o apoio para a implantação do Plano Municipal da Mata Atlântica – PMMA. Os objetivos específicos deste plano consistem em:

a) Formação de corredor ecológico na área de abrangência e influência da Serra da Mantiqueira.

b) Melhorar a capacidade de produção dos serviços ambientais, como a água, a conservação de solo, a biodiversidade, o sequestro de carbono, a manutenção da paisagem.

c) Promover um plano municipal e regional da mata atlântica com a participação de diversos atores e apoio da Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica.

d) Melhorar a capacidade de resiliência dos municípios para enfrentar os danos causados pelas mudanças climáticas.

e) Fortalecer a governança ambiental nos municípios

3. Serra da Mantiqueira

The Serra da Mantiqueira is a mountainous chain full of small towns located at altitudes up to 2,700 meters. It extends along the borders of the States of Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and also to the Serra do Mar.

We consider as area of coverage of the Serra da Mantiqueira the territories of the cities located in the river basins of the following rivers: Grande, Paraíba do Sul, Tietê, Piracicaba and Mogi-Pardo.

4. Period of execution

The proposal is to carry out the actions in a 26-month period starting in October 2016. We´ll start by planning the nuclei formations, identifying state organs leaderships, river basin committees, teaching and research, and NGOs. After the municipal election in October, we´ll include municipal managers in the planning and start the training until December 2018.

5. Action strategy

In order to achieve the proposed objectives, the following actions will be carried out:

a) To meet with city representatives of the State and the Union, Hydrographic Basins Committees, Universities and NGOs;

b) To identify the main leaders capable to replicate knowledge and methodology;

c) To divide the territory of Mantiqueira into nuclei using the most committed institutions as training centers (Committees, Conservation Units, Administrative Centers, Universities);

d) To carry out lectures, training, and exchanges with the leaders of the nuclei to prepare professionals which will be able to replicate forest restoration projects in the cities, using payment mechanisms for environmental services and establishing actions for the implementation of PMMA.

6. Strategy by nucleus

For each nucleus there will be a program and a pilot project which will serve as model for the other municipalities. In the pilot project the following actions will be carried out:

a) Environmental diagnosis of the municipality;

b) Meeting with local leaders;

c) To hold lectures, trainings and exchanges with the leaders of the municipalities;

d) Draft Law and Regulation of the Methodology;

e) To establish actions for the PMMA implementation;


Photo gallery