ceará BIODIVERSITY and climate change plan
Since 2019, CEPB has been in dialogue with organizations and entities of the Caatinga and Atlantic Forest biomes — some of the most heavily anthropogenically-degraded biomes in the world — in Ceará, Brazil.
The Caatinga and Atlantic Forest are biomes crucial to the health of the Ceará landscape and integrity of its ecosystems and biodiversity. Unfortunately, they are also biomes that are currently being heavily impacted and altered by climate change. In Ceará, about 80% of the Atlantic Forest has already been lost due to deforestation.
Thankfully, deforestation has been on the decrease recently due to the intervention of the Ceará state government. The state government has implemented policy changes and protected areas which greatly helped in halting deforestation in the state.
The work to protect the Caatinga and Atlantic Forest, however, is far from over. Both biomes continue today to suffer from climate change and other human-induced impacts.
To address the urgent issue of the rapid degradation of these biomes, CEPB is participating in the Ceará Biodiversity and Climate Change Plan Working Group with the objective of developing policies and taking action to conserve the Caatinga and Atlantic Forest biomes.
CEPB Partnership with the Ceará State Secretariat for the Environment
After joining the working group, CEPB began engaging in dialogue with the Ceará State Secretariat for the Environment. The Secretariat seeks to join forces with other organizations, institutions, and knowledgeable entities to create a plan for the environment in Ceará that both institutionalizes protective measures for the use of the Caatinga and Atlantic Forest biomes and recognizes and responds to the issue of climate change.
Since joining the Committee, many conversations and meetings have taken place together with the participation of a diverse set of committees, associations, municipalities, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations.
As a result of many meetings and conversations, collaborating members decided to create a Biodiversity and Climate Change Plan for the state of Ceará that would take into account both the Caatinga and the Atlantic Forest biomes.
Currently, CEPB is in the process of signing a cooperation agreement with the Secretariat for the Environment and the National Association of Municipalities and Environment (ANAMMA) to develop and work together with other government agencies and local entities to coordinate the plan.
Together, we seek to:
- collect information on the biomes and state of desertification, biodiversity, and SDG indicators in Ceará;
- conduct data analysis on various key areas of interest;
- collaborate on reports;
- implement projects based on the diagnosis of key environmental concerns;
- and help the most vulnerable communities of Ceará.
Photo by Honório Barbosa
We hope, as an outcome of the plan, to better understand the impact of climate change on local biodiversity and also propose new and effective mitigation and adaptation climate change measures for Ceará, especially in regards to desertification — a wide, far-reaching, severe, and quickly-worsening issue in Ceará.
According to the work plan already prepared with the active participation of CEPB, ANAMMA and numerous coordinations within the Secretariat for the Environment; tasks have been assigned to various component bodies to, in particular, conduct research and catalogue progress on key indicators and areas of interest in the state.
These measures are taken with the aim of collecting and synthesizing the rich scientific material already available under local bodies as well as mitigation and adaptation actions already underway in the state. The key goal is to progress, not repeat, advancements already made in Ceará on climate change and biodiversity. One key body in providing information on drought, desertification, and hydrology in Ceará, for example, is the Cearense Foundation of Meteorology and Water Resources (FUNCEME). FUNCEME is the main body responsible for climate data in Ceará.
The Ceará Biodiversity and Climate Change Plan will not only initiate much-needed projects to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change in Ceará but also foster collaboration for the urgent implementation of solutions meant to sustain vulnerable communities in Ceará under climate change and environmental degradation. Tentative solutions currently proposed center around:
- sustainable agriculture;
- sustainable fishing;
- land management;
- environmental education;
- reforestation measures;
- sustainable tourism; as well as
- other solutions that will surface during plan implementation.
The role of CEPB
The Center for Environmental Peacebuilding is working on creating a data analysis framework to improve effective communication of crucial information between scientific bodies and governmental bodies and organizations. Such data analysis and communication methods are needed to aid governmental bodies and organizations to make better policy decisions for addressing and reducing the impacts of climate change on the regions most affected. In the case of Ceará, CEPB is working with the Ceará State Government to provide objective climate change outlooks to help predict the climatic risk of Ceará and inform the Ceará Biodiversity and Climate Change Plan.