Long live the Mata da Pipa!
The Brazilian natural heritage is popularly known as the most significant on the planet.
This natural richness is expressed by continental and marine extension, by the diversity and endemism of biological species and their genetic heritage, as well as by the variety of biomes, ecoregions and bioregions.
Coastal and coastal ecosystems have great interaction with the marine and oceanic region. In this region we find coral reefs, river mouths, mangrove swamps, restinga vegetation and the famous Atlantic forest.
The Atlantic Forest is one of the biodiversity richest ecosystems in the world and one of the most endangered due to occupation and population advancement over forest areas. Comprised of 11 ecoregions, the Atlantic Forest plays a fundamental role for the conservation of the biodiversity of fauna and flora, as well as being an important producer and reservoir of fresh water. In this region, which goes from Rio Grande do Norte to Rio Grande do Sul, most of the Brazilian population is concentrated in the capitals and in the largest cities. Since the arrival of the Portuguese in Brazil in 1500, the Atlantic forest has been devastated, leaving about 7% of the original vegetation.
In September 2006, the Mata da Pipa State Park (PEMP) was created, based on Decree 19.341, which established that part of the APF Bonfim-Guaraira, formed of Atlantic forest, be transformed into an integral protection area to ensure the protection of the forest remaining in the area of Pipa, endowed with great ecological relevance and unique beauty.
After some initial difficulties and obstacles, finally the activities of the Pipa Mata Park Management Committee were reactivated in 2012. The initiative should enable the preservation of this Atlantic Forest ecosystem, in addition to ensuring the sustainable development of the region. The creation of the Mata de Pipa Park, with 290 hectares of extension, also aims to carry out research and the promotion of environmental education and interpretation activities with the aim of forming an ecological awareness among the local population and visitors. Parque da Mata will offer to the community alternatives to ecologically oriented recreation space and encourage ecological tourism, providing visitors with the rational enjoyment of one of the facets of the natural beauty of Rio Grande do Norte.
By Jack d'Emilia, an Italian rooted in Brazil for more than twenty years, agitator and cultural producer, is a founding partner and current vice president of the Ecological Center of Pipa.
Text originally published in Bora Magazine - issue 02 - Oct / Nov 2013