Cerrado Protected Areas: Chapada dos Veadeiros and Emas National Parks

Country
Brazil
Inscribed in
2001
Criteria
(ix)
(x)
The conservation outlook for this site has been assessed as "good with some concerns" in the latest assessment cycle. Explore the Conservation Outlook Assessment for the site below. You have the option to access the summary, or the detailed assessment.
The two sites included in the designation contain flora and fauna and key habitats that characterize the Cerrado – one of the world’s oldest and most diverse tropical ecosystems. For millennia, these sites have served as refuge for several species during periods of climate change and will be vital for maintaining the biodiversity of the Cerrado region during future climate fluctuations. © UNESCO
© IUCN/Elena Osipova

Summary

2020 Conservation Outlook

Finalised on
02 Dec 2020
Good with some concerns
Overall, the key habitats and species that characterize the Cerrado ecoregion and the key role in maintaining its biodiversity in the Cerrado Protected Areas Wolrd Heritage site have remained in an excellent conservation status since the site was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2001, despite the suspension of expansion of the boundaries of Chapada dos Veadeiros NP in 2003 and the large fires occurring in 2017. However, there is considerable concern regarding threats posed to the site, since mitigation of most of them, particularly potential threats generated outside, is beyond the capacity of the site management. Current threats inside the site, including fires and to a lower extent tourism, are being addressed through proper management responses. The re-expansion of the CdVNP in 20017 represents a very positive step and addressing the longstanding requests by the World Heritage Committee to reinstate appropriate legal protection regime over the entire World Heritage site. However, some issues remain to be addressed, including updating the management plan according to the new boundaries and finalization of the land regularization process.

Current state and trend of VALUES

Low Concern
Trend
Deteriorating
The Cerrado Protected Areas keep remaining in a good state of conservation, including species, habitats, and ecological processes of the savanna ecosystems of Cerrado´s biome (UNESCO, 2019). However, potential threats by climate change, cattle ranching and agriculture, biological isolation, increasing dam construction and invasive species could represent alterations of biodiversity distribution and biotical heterogeneity affecting balance of ecosystems (Hidasi-Netoa et al., 2019).

Overall THREATS

High Threat
While tourism activities represent minor pressure, the biological isolation represents a major potential threat mainly for Emas National Park. As a result of habitat loss by fire, fragmentation by agriculture and cattle ranching activities and variations of the hydrological regime caused by hydroelectric expansion in the region, combined with continuous effects of climate change, the Outstanding Universal Value of Cerrado Protected Areas and the savanna ecosystem in general, could be in risk, despite of its overall good current conservation state. Fires have been more severe in the last years, nonetheless, an integrated fire management would allow an approach to control fire as a natural factor required for ecosystem conservation of Cerrado´s ecosystems.

Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT

Some Concern
The management effectiveness situation is different for the two components of the Cerrado Protected Areas. While Emas National Park's management has been considered "effective" according to recent evaluations and its values ​​of Natural Heritage and ecosystem services "conserved", the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park has received a "moderately effective" evaluation and there is concern about conservation of some of its values, due mainly to recurring anthropic fires in different locations of the NP (ICMBio, 2020a). Although the re-expansion of the CdVNP established a milestone regarding protection regime, there are substantial challenges in relation to the update of the management plan according to the new boundaries, finalization of the land regularization process and assurance of the implementation of Fire Integrated Management program in the long term.

Full assessment

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Finalised on
02 Dec 2020

Description of values

Key habitats and species that characterize the Cerrado Ecoregion

Criterion
(x)
Cerrado Protected Areas (CPA) contains samples of all key habitats that characterize the Cerrado ecoregion – one of Earth’s oldest tropical ecosystems. Located in the Brazilian highland central plateau, both national parks are considered as the richest tropical savanna region in the world due to diversity of habitats and richness in species. It contains over 60% of all floral species described for the Cerrado, with between 350 and 400 species of vascular plants per hectare, including many endemic plants. It also contains almost 80% of all vertebrate species described for the Cerrado. With the exception of the Giant Otter, all of the Cerrado’s endangered large mammals occur in the site, such as the giant anteater, giant armadillo, maned wolf, jaguar and pampas deer, but also the rhea, the largest bird of South America. In addition, the site supports many rare small mammals and bird species that do not occur elsewhere in the Cerrado and a number of species new to science have been discovered in CPA (World Heritage Committee, 2015).

Key role in maintaining the biodiversity of the Cerrado Ecoregion

Criterion
(ix)
The area has played a key role in maintaining the biodiversity of the Cerrado Ecoregion. Due it its central location and altitudinal variation, it has acted as a relatively stable species refuge when climate change has caused the Cerrado to move north-south or east-west. This role as a species refuge is ongoing as Earth enters another period of climate change. The site is also extremely important in maintaining the hydrological regime as, due to its geological features and soils, it is proving to be a key area for aquifer recharge and the alimentation of several watercourses that supply power to the Amazon basin and the Pantanal, in the basin of La Plata (World Heritage Committee, 2015).
Adaptation to climate change
CPA is a key site for Cerrado species adapting to climate change. CPA is very important as a base from which key species of fauna can move out to re-populate surrounding areas and remaining “islands” of natural and semi-natural vegetation within the Cerrado ecoregion (IUCN, 2001).
 
Ecological connectivity
CPA is included in the Cerrado-Pantanal biological corridor, which aims to conserve local mammal populations in the long term between Cerrado and Pantanal.

Assessment information

High Threat
Although the last State of Conservation Report indicates there are not significant threats to the Cerrado Protected Areas and particularly to Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park (State Party of Brazil, 2019a), hints of significant pressure are acknowledged outside of the property, compromising the values related to biodiversity, habitat, water security and ecological connectivity. Current threats to the Cerrado Protected Areas values persist since the last assessment in 2017, as a result of agriculture, cattle ranching, fire and tourism. Each source has different scales, intensities and effects on the conservation values. Agriculture and cattle ranching are present all over the protected area´s surroundings, with its subsequent effects on biodiversity. Despite tourism showing localized impacts with low intensity, the increasing number of visitors without an improvement of management capacity could represent increasing impacts and risks to the area. Real estate and speculation interests is also a cause of conflict in CdVNP. Fires have been more severe in the last years, nonetheless, an integrated fire management would allow an approach to control fire as a natural factor required for ecosystem conservation of Cerrado´s ecosystems.
Fire/ Fire Suppression
(Fires from grasslands)
Very High Threat
Inside site
, Widespread(15-50%)
Outside site
Fires are a significant threat to both components of the Cerrado Protected Areas, i.e. Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park (CdVNP) and Emas National Park (ENP) during the dry season (July to September), especially by the increasing intensity and frequency of conflagrations originated by human activities. Just in 2017, a megafire burned 504 km2 of the CdVNP (Fidelis et al., 2018). Significant resources were mobilized through inter-agency cooperation to combat this threat and the Integrated Fire Management approach implemented in the property contributed to maintaining certain areas as refuges for fauna (State Party of Brazil, 2018; UNESCO, 2019). By September 30th 2019, a group of volunteers reported that over 6,000 hectares of land had been affected by a forest fire, which included 3,000 hectares in this National Park (GardaWorld, 2019). However, fire is necessary for flowering of herbaceous and subshrub species of savanna and grassland ecosystems, and a crucial factor to be maintained for conservation of these ecosystems and their biodiversity. Natural fires in the Cerrado are common, as grasslands and savannas have evolved under fire pressure (Fidelis et al., 2018; Alho et al., 2019). Natural fires usually occur in the wet season or in the seasonal transition months and with a frequency of three to eight years (Fidelis et al., 2018). The suppression of fire has transformed savanna vegetation into forests, causing biodiversity losses and drastic changes in ecological processes, and current policies restricting fire management to protected areas under complex regulations do not help in re‐establishing an adequate fire regime for maintaining this diverse mosaic of vegetation types (Durigan and Ratter, 2015).
Crops, Livestock Farming / Grazing
(Cattle grazing and crop cultivation )
High Threat
Inside site
, Localised(<5%)
Outside site
Ranching and agriculture are major threats to the Cerrado ecoregion and rapid land use changes have been observed in the last decades. About half of the tropical savanna of Cerrado has been converted to croplands, pastures, and planted forests for agribusiness, causing extreme fragmentation and habitat degradation and loss (Ferreguetti et al., 2019; Latrubesse et al., 2019; Colli, Vieira and Dianese, 2020).
Both Chapada dos Veadeiros (CdVNP) and Emas National Parks (ENP) are almost entirely surrounded by agricultural and livestock areas (Santos et al., 2018; Borges and Silva, 2019; Finnegan et al., 2019), having effects on key habitats, species and biodiversity of the aquatic, semi-aquatic, and terrestrial fauna, as well as water quality and availability (Santos et al., 2018; Colli, Vieira and Dianese, 2020). There is even livestock within the CdVNP, as permitted use, since it was an activity prior to the creation of the conservation unit (ICMBio, 2020a). Due to the rapid expansion of agriculture and livestock, as well as intensive local forest harvesting, ca. 137 animal species of the Cerrado are endangered (IUCN 2013 in Colli, Vieira and Dianese, 2020). It also negatively affects the availability of water in hydrological basins of extreme importance to Brazil, since irrigation needed for agricultural activities in the Cerrado put strong pressure on water resources. Also, chemical pollution from pesticides is a major concern (CEPF, 2017; Latrubesse et al., 2019). Finally, because of the ecosystem fragmentation, the conservation units may not be able to guarantee the maintenance or representativeness of some key species (Latrubesse et al., 2019).
Tourism/ Recreation Areas
(Increasing tourism visitation and recreational activities)
Very Low Threat
Inside site
, Scattered(5-15%)
Outside site
Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park (CdVNP) is one of the most visited conserved areas in Brazil with about 64,000 visitors by 2018 (Andrade, 2018). According to results of field observations in in the District of São Jorge and its surroundings in CdVNP, several impacts were recognized especially in places of greater influx of people, and in locations where there is no control over visitation. Some of the main impacts included: the occurrence of erosion on the road and on the streets, the accumulation of garbage in improper places, running over of wild animals, graffiti on natural monuments; some of them could be directly related to the tourism activities and others to local communities’ activities (Domiciano et al., 2012). Real estate interests in the area is a raising issue as about 80 or 90% of the expansion area for the park presents a conflict with real estate and speculation interests (Menegassi, 2017). Expansion of the São Jorge District towards the preservation area contiguous to the National Park is another indirect impact associated with tourism activity, which could increase pollution around the area (Domiciano et al., 2012). The collection and treatment of the solid wastes, which usually is buried or burned, sometimes near to the vegetation of riparian forests, was one of the impacts identified and caused by tourism lodges, according to some observations developed in order to assess impacts of land occupation in different natural areas in the Cerrado region, which included the Emas National Park in the study area (Alho et al., 2019). Concern about increased visitation is raised by some research, considering the biophysical conditions of CdVNP including landscape and endemic species, and recognizing that not all visitors have the environmental sensitivity necessary to enjoy these natural spaces without depredating them (França and Martins, 2020).
High Threat
Biological isolation remains as a major potential threat, mainly for the Emas National Park, which is too small to provide the full range of habitat needed to conserve wide ranging species, such as top predators and some bird species. As climate change increases frequency and severity of droughts and floods, some key habitats and species are becoming more vulnerable, and harsh droughts also increases fire severity and frequency. The region's hydroelectric development could accumulate impacts affecting the biome´s hydrological regimes. Invasive species introduced by agriculture, cattle ranching and forestry, could represent minor threats for the displacement and affectation over species of these ecosystems.
Other
(Biological isolation )
High Threat
Inside site
, Widespread(15-50%)
Outside site
A major threat to the Cerrado Protected Areas is biological isolation due to extensive agricultural activities in their surroundings. It refers particularly to Emas National Park (ENP) due to its small size and remoteness from other protected areas, causing large carnivore populations inside it to be at risk of becoming genetically isolated and demographically vulnerable (Finnegan et al., 2019). The Park is too small to provide the full range of habitat needed to conserve wide ranging species, such as top predators and some bird species (IUCN, 2001; UNEP-WCMC, 2011; ICMBio, 2009; Pukensis Tubelis, 2010). For instance, Finnegan et al. (2019) found that “closed reserves of the size of Emas National Park do not appear to be large enough to maintain long-term viable jaguar populations without any net immigration”.
Habitat Shifting/ Alteration, Droughts, Storms/Flooding
(Effects of climate change )
High Threat
Inside site
, Throughout(>50%)
Outside site
Potential impacts of climate change include greater frequency and severity of droughts and floods, resulting in a reduction of primary productivity and shifting of Cerrado biome to the south and east. In the next 40 years, key tree species are projected to decline in over 90% of the existing region of the biome (Martinez and Peterson, 2003). Also, geographical displacement of species niches for Cerrado is known as consequence of climate change, with projections showing that the geographical distribution of seven forest-dependent bird species could retract 41% to 80%; for nine savanna species the estimated distribution retraction could be in the range of 9% to 37%, while the range loss for ten grassland species could be between 2% and 71% by the end of the century, and under the A1B and the B1 IPCC Emission Scenarios (CEPF, 2017). Other research also indicates that species richness tends to decrease in most Cerrado areas under future climate scenarios with heterogenic pattern, where southern Brazilian Cerrado may become biotical homogenized by the extinction of native specialists and expansion of exotic generalists, and the rest of the biome may become very heterogeneous in taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional aspects. Further findings show that nine species categorized in different IUCN Red List Categories may become regionally extinct, while 138 species from other biomes can potentially immigrate to Cerrado in the coming years (Hidasi-Netoa et al., 2019). Finally, impacts of climate change have increased during the last 10 years and as a result, seasons have changed producing excessive rains and extreme droughts, in 2017 only in Goiás more than 15 rivers had total or partial absence of water in their channels (IANAS, 2019).
Renewable Energy
(Ongoing dam construction )
High Threat
Outside site
More than 291 hydropower plants >30MW are operating in the Cerrado, and 829 new ones are planned, with most heavily impacted areas in the Paraná and São Francisco basins, which concentrate 66% of the dams (planned and constructed). Habitat fragmentation and modified flood and sediment regimes could be caused by river damming (Latrubesse et al., 2019). Furthermore, increasing concerns over the projected construction of Small Hydroelectric Plants are being raised due to potential effects over Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, as well as the interruption of the main fauna corridor that connects the Park to the Tocantizinho River basin and local Natural Heritage Private Reserves (RPPN in Portuguese) (Governo do Estado De Goiás, 2017). Results of research on effects of hydroelectric dams within the Brazilian Legal Amazon, which involves the Tocantins/Araguaia basin in the Amazon forest, Cerrado, and Pantanal biomes, identified significant cumulative impacts over the frequency and duration of high and low pulses and the rate and frequency of water condition changes. Despite the small data set used, results indicate that multiple dams may magnify the hydrological impacts to critical aspects of the flood pulse, which is central to the ecological health of lowland tropical rivers (Timpe and Kaplan, 2017).
Invasive Non-Native/ Alien Species
(Invasive exotic species)
Data Deficient
Inside site
, Extent of threat not known
Outside site
The National Center for Biodiversity Assessment and Cerrado Research and Conservation (CBC) already has confirmed records of invasive alien species of animals and plants in more than half of the federal Conservation Units (UCs), especially in the southeast and mid-west regions of the Cerrado biome (ICMBio, 2020 b(f)). Extensive pine and eucalyptus plantations have been reported in the Cerrado region, including the Goiás State (CEPF, 2017). Some research developed in sample sites of the Cerrado Woodland in the Botanical Garden of Brasília showed evidence of reduction of density and abundance of native species as a result of invasive pine species (Cazetta and Zenni, 2019). Invasion by exotic trees could lead to a woody encroachment and affecting water availability (Honda and Durigan, 2016). Also, and according to surveys in different national parks, including the Emas NP, presence of dogs was registered. Dog's interactions with humans and wildlife can increase the risk of diseases for all of them and interferes with the spatial distribution of populations of wildlife species (Lessaa et al., 2016). Other regional studies in the Cerrado biome showed that naturalized graminoid species present invasion risks, additionally, factors like population density, proximity to urban centers and roads and agriculture areas, may increase the richness and population sizes of exotic invasive species (Guimarães et al., 2020).
While tourism activities represent minor pressure, the biological isolation represents a major potential threat mainly for Emas National Park. As a result of habitat loss by fire, fragmentation by agriculture and cattle ranching activities and variations of the hydrological regime caused by hydroelectric expansion in the region, combined with continuous effects of climate change, the Outstanding Universal Value of Cerrado Protected Areas and the savanna ecosystem in general, could be in risk, despite of its overall good current conservation state. Fires have been more severe in the last years, nonetheless, an integrated fire management would allow an approach to control fire as a natural factor required for ecosystem conservation of Cerrado´s ecosystems.
Management system
Some Concern
The management of Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park (CdVNP) and Emas National Park (ENP) is carried out through separate management plans and is the responsibility of Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio), a semi-autonomous agency under the federal Ministry of the Environment (MMA). It is based on the principle of Shared Governance, with mechanisms and institutional processes in which several players share authority and responsibility (State Party of Brazil, 2019b). The CdVNP and ENP are guided by the management plans approved in 2009 and 2005 respectively, that provide for programs with respect to research, monitoring, protection, tourism and recreation, infrastructure, environmental education and regional integration (UNEP-WCMC, 2011; ICMBio, 2009). However, there is no evidence of an integrated management mechanism including both protected areas. Aside from the Ordinance 639 of July 5, 2018, in which the management plan of the CdVNP is modified to make specific changes with the objective of improving implementation of Public Use, there have not been more updates that include adjustments related to the re-expansion of the park. The Pouso Alto Environmental Protection Area (IUCN category V), which overlaps with CdVNP, had a management plan approved in 2016, as a result of a broad and participatory process, and currently under implementation (State Party of Brazil, 2019b). This explicitly includes activities of environmental education, inspection and tourism in relation with CdVNP (Governo do Estado De Goiás, 2016).
Effectiveness of management system
Some Concern
Recent evaluations of management effectiveness of the two sectors of Cerrado Protected Areas were carried out using the SAMGe (Sistema de Análise e Monitoramento de Gestão) tool. The evaluation of ENP shows an improvement of the overall management effectiveness between 2018 and 2019 (from 60,7% to 66%) indicating an “effective” management. From the 2019 evaluation, it is possible to infer that conservation results, products and services are being achieved (86,6% and 87,5% respectively). The objectives and World Heritage Values related to biodiversity and ecosystem services are in “conservation”. Nonetheless, there are still significant challenges as regard to context (analysis of uses that are incompatible with what is expected from a given category and the resulting impacts), processes (governance, institutional alignment or effort in the management and consolidation of priority processes) and inputs (availability of financial, human, technical resources and equipment), which are evaluated as “moderate effective” (50%, 57,29% and 59,03% correspondingly) (ICMBio, 2020a). Regarding CdVNP, the outlook is not so encouraging, as overall management effectiveness decreased slightly between 2017 and 2019, going from "effective" to "moderate effective" (from 61,1% to 55,1%), with the “context” being the most worrying indicator with a score of 25% in 2019 compared to 50% in 2017. This relates to specific uses within the property such as livestock, hunting, mineral, vegetal and water extraction, and power transmission, which pose a substantial management challenge for the team. In addition, there is concern about the biodiversity value “preservation of natural ecosystems of great ecological relevance and scenic beauty”, which is in state of intervention, due mainly to recurring anthropic fires in different locations of the NP (ICMBio, 2020a). In general, the "context" variable is the one that needs the most attention regarding the management of the two National Parks, since it indicates that are uses that are incompatible with what is expected from the protection category and the resulting impacts. Furthermore, the Pouso Alto Environmental Protection Area (IUCN category V), which buffers the CdVNP, showed very low management effectiveness since it's management plan was approved in 2016 (IUCN Consultation, 2020).
Boundaries
Mostly Effective
Cerrado Protected Areas: Chapada Dos Veadeiros and Emas National Parks was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2001 with an area of 235,970 ha, which had been expanded by a Federal decree the same year. However, following a ruling that the Federal decree was void, the CdVNP boundaries changed after inscription and reduced the Park to 65,500 ha in 2003. This loss of protection status caused serious concern and the World Heritage Committee requested the State Party to reinstate the appropriate legal protection regime over the entire World Heritage property (IUCN, 2019). A Presidential decree (5th of June 2017) expanded the area to 240,611 ha, including a mosaic of conservation units (private reserves, Quilombola Kalunga territory). The State Party submitted a proposal for a minor boundary modification of the site, which was approved in 2019 except for the excision of the area at the centre of the Chapada dos Veadeiros component (World Heritage Committee, 2019).
The buffer zone remains the same: Pouso Alto Environmental Protection Area and 1,000 ha around the National Park (State Party of Brazil, 2019b). The State Party of Brazil (2019b) considers that with the expansion of the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, the creation of the Chapada de Nova Roma Ecological Station in 2017 and the existence of the Natural Heritage Private Reserves, with all their areas in good conservation status, the level of protection of the site recognized as a World Heritage Site has been re-established.
Integration into regional and national planning systems
Some Concern
The Cerrado Protected Areas belong to the ICMBio Regional Management 3 (Mid-west), which conducts assessments of infraction notices, issues opinions and authorizations for licensing, supports the socioenvironmental agenda of federal Conservation Units (UCs), promotes local and regional articulation and encourages mutual collaboration between teams (ICMBio, 2020b). The Chapada dos Veadeiros (CdVNP) and Emas National Parks (ENP) are not ecologically connected as part of a larger landscape, however, each of them is integrated into other initiatives and regional connectivity schemes.
The CdVNP is inserted into a mosaic of protected areas that include the state Environmental Protection Area of Pouso Alto and 22 Natural Heritage Private Reserves (RPPN), the newly created Chapada de Nova Roma Ecological Station, in addition to the Kalunga Quilombola Territory (Santos et al., 2018; State Party of Brazil, 2019a). These are all part of the Cerrado Biosphere reserve, which focuses on restoration of altered areas and building of ecological corridors. Additionally, in 2018, a proposal was presented in order to obtain the formal recognition of the Veadeiros-Paranã Mosaic, which objective is to promote the integrated management of 42 protected areas of the Cerrado; it will be the mosaic with the highest concentration of protected areas in Brazil. For this purpose, a geographic survey has been carried out to complete the National Register of Conservation Units (CNUC) of 14 of the 42 UCs, between municipal and private reserves. Without the completed CNUC, the Ministry of Environment cannot legally recognize the mosaic (ICMBio, 2018a; FUNBIO, 2018a).
The ENP on the other hand, is part of the biodiversity Corridor Emas-Taquari, which in turn is integrated into the Cerrado-Pantanal Biodiversity Corridor. It is located in the Cerrado region, comprises eight townships and its nuclei areas are both the Emas National Park and the Parque Estadual das Nascentes do Rio Taquari (Benites and Mamede, 2008). Conservation International Brazil along with more than a dozen partners, developed conservation and mobilization projects for local communities to implement the corridor (CI Brazil, 2007), however, there is no evidence of recent activity related with the corridor.
Relationships with local people
Mostly Effective
The re-expansion of the CdVNP formalized in June 2017 was not free of resistance. Initially, a strict return to the original national park boundaries at the time of inscription was no longer an option due to the resistance of a group of landowners and unclear land tenure situation. However, after a public consultation process and meetings with rightsholders, a new extension was implemented, including territory of the local community Quilombola Kalunga. Several Natural Heritage Private Reserves (RPPN) were created around the Park, thanks to a great mobilization of civil society and private sector, triggered by the suspension of the park expansion decree in 2003 (State Party of Brazil, 2019a). Currently, the main shared governance forum is its Management Board; it now comprises government representatives of the five municipalities that compose the Park’s territory, as well as representatives from Private Reserves, tourist guides, communities, farmers, environmentalist NGOs, universities, State Government and other segments of the Federal Government, summing up to a total of 14 governmental representations and 15 non-governmental ones (State Party of Brazil, 2019b). Relationships with surrounding communities are relatively positive. Many longstanding and more recent residents of the surrounding areas have invested in conservation friendly enterprises and activities, including: ecotourism, creation of private nature reserves, transportation and guide services, inns, restaurants, hotels, arts and crafts, and others, the target audience for which essentially coincides with the stream of visitors and tourists to the CdVNP. Regarding the Emas National Park, there is an Advisory Council in place, which was modified in 2015 through Ordinance 1 of June 22, and grants 3 quotas for public environmental bodies, 4 quotas for public power bodies in related areas, 1 quota for academic and research institutions, 3 for associations in the agricultural sector, 3 for representatives of the tourism sector, 1 for the protected areas sector and a quota for civil society organizations (ICMBio, 2015). Since 2016, ICMBio has a Volunteering Program, as an opportunity for everyone to exercise their citizenship and contribute to a more balanced environment and improvement of the local quality of life. The population can work together with the ICMBio teams, in various actions for nature conservation such as research, visitation, communication, environmental education and protection (ICMBio, 2020c). Both, CdVNP and ENP are actively engaged in the program (ICMBio, 2020d and 2020e).
Legal framework
Some Concern
As a consequence of a decision of the Supreme Court taken in 2003, the CdVNP area returned to its former size of 65,515 ha. The Government of Brazil has been trying to re-establish the legal framework for the protection of the area inscribed on the World Heritage List. This process was slow, among others because of a change in institutional setting (establishment of ICMBio in 2007). A presidential decree signed on 5th June 2017 set up the expansion of the boundaries of the CdVNP, re-establishing the national park status to most of the original area, except for land degraded by agricultural activities. New boundaries integrate part of the municipalities of Teresina de Goiás, Nova Roma and Sao Joao da Aliança. The final expansion covers 24,0611 ha, adding important habitats areas for mammal species, while excluding the most degraded areas in the north of the property (IUCN Consultation, 2016). The approach of restoring legal protection to the largest extent possible within the existing property, and through establishing a mosaic of different protected areas within and outside the property to restore its integrity is a valid strategy (IUCN, 2013, 2016; State Party of Brazil, 2013). In addition to this expansion, a process of land regularization of the protected area was started, with approximately 50 procedures for indemnification of properties located within the new limits of the National Park. This phase is financed with environmental compensation resources, a mechanism established by the Law of the National System of Conservation Units. Also, in May 2018, the Brazilian legislation changed the ICMBio procurement regime for the recruitment of firefighters, which would benefit the CdVNP and various other federal protected areas. The duration of contracts with fire brigades changed from six months to three years. With this change, the brigades now operate for a longer period of time, improving prevention measures for large fires and long-term firefighting strategies (State Party of Brazil, 2019a).
Law enforcement
Some Concern
According to the management effectiveness evaluation of last year for CdVNP, key management actions such us inspections and visitor monitoring has been partially realized and its feasibility is moderate (ICMBio, 2020a), indicating an important challenge to law enforcement. In early 2017, the Brazilian government cut R$ 518 million from the budget of the Ministry of the Environment (MMA) and its related agencies. Officials from the National Institute of the Environment (Ibama) and the Chico Mendes Institute (ICMBio) affirmed that the budget cut hinders travel for inspection operations, checkups in the area of ​​licenses, protection of preservation units and surveillance of public goods. For example, due to a lack of cleaning and maintenance employees, the Emas National Park was closed to visitors in early 2017 (Modzeleski, 2017). Despite this, the same year, the Ibama announced the strengthening of the activities of control and surveillance in the Chapada dos Veadeiros region, taking into account the increase in environmental crimes related to illegal occupations in the surroundings of the National Park. The situation puts pressure on federal inspection agencies, which were no longer able to carry out all work on the area prior to the expansion decree, given the increasing budget cuts (Estadão Conteúdo, 2017).
Implementation of Committee decisions and recommendations
Mostly Effective
The property has been the subject of several state of conservation reports (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019), mainly because of loss of the protection status generated by the significant reduction of Chapada dos Veadeiros national park boundaries. While efforts have continued to effectively protect the OUV of the areas that were excised from the CdVNP after its World Heritage designation, it has been possible to re-establish its protection regime on an area extended to 24,0611 ha, at the end of a very long process (World Heritage Committee, 2012; UNESCO, 2012, 2017; State Party of Brazil, 2017). The 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee in June 2019, through decisions 43 COM 7B.22 and 43 COM 8B.42, made several requests to the State Party of Brazil. They included: a) to ensure that the management of the conservation units (expansion of the CdVNP, the Chapada de Nova Roma Ecological Station and new private reserves within the property) is harmonized and focused on the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property through development of an overarching Management Plan or other appropriate mechanisms; b) to continue the process of land regularization as a matter of priority and to submit a timeframe for its finalization, c) to ensure that the capacity to respond to fires is maintained in the long-term, particularly through the continued implementation of the Integrated Fire Management approach. The World Heritage Committee also recommend that the next report on the property include consideration of the effectiveness of the implementation of the protection and management requirements of the property in relation to its revised boundary (UNESCO, 2019). Since the report is due on 2 December 2020, there is not yet any official information concerning these requirements; however, there are indications of progress in relation to land regularization and Integrated Fire Management (State Party of Brazil, 2019a).
Sustainable use
Data Deficient
Ecotourism is an activity allowed in both, ENP and CdVNP, in the case of CdVNP livestock is also permitted for communities living there before the park creation (ICMBio, 2020a). A great variety in crop production has been characterized for areas of the Cerrado, including communities of the Kalunga in the Chapada dos Veadeiros region. Studies have documented crops such as cassava, corn, rice, beans, watermelon, pumpkin, bur cucumber, okra and sweet potato (Silva et al., 2019; Guéneau et al., 2019); use of native fruits such as mangaba, cagaita, cajuí, buriti or cajá to make liquors (baru, pequi), jams (araticum, cagaita, mangaba), sweets (buriti), dried and processed as chips (buriti, pequi), in the recipe of special cachaça spirits made from fermented sugarcane juice or to produce oil or flours used to make pastries (Guéneau et al., 2019); extractive food practices related to fishing and to a lesser extent, game meat derived from animals such as the paca (Cuniculus paca), tatu (armadillo, Dasypodidae family), agouti (Dasyprocta sp.), and wild pig (Tayassu pecari) (Silva et al., 2019).
Sustainable finance
Some Concern
Of the 1,979 conservation units established in Brazil, 1,189 are the responsibility of the public sector and its financing depends on the national budget and international assistance (BID, 2018). Recent policy developments in Brazil are carrying out several reductions of financial resources for conservation management and making the environmental control more flexible. The freezing for 20 years of the Ministry of the Environment's (MMA) budget by the Constitutional Amendment Proposal PEC 241 and the approval of the Decree No. 9471 of March 2019, which cut 46.36 million USD from this Ministry, are rules that can reduce the capacity of monitoring and control of impacts in the protected areas (de Area et al., 2019). Environmental compensation is a mechanism established by the national legislation on protected areas (SNUC6 Law), and currently used in the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park intended for land regularization, and totaling approximately 337 thousand reals, with an additionally 14.5 million dollars predefined to be destined for the same purpose (UNESCO, 2019). According to the last management effectiveness evaluations, financial resources are required for the operation support and the management of tourism visitation in the case of CdVNP, while Emas NP indicates a lower demand of financial resources, and especially needed for habitat conservation management (ICMBio, 2020a). Despite Chapada dos Veadeiros being one of the most visited conserved areas in Brazil, there is a low evidence of tourism contribution to municipal finances (Salgado et al., 2014). On the other hand, further financial resources have been invested in order to support the Integrated Fire Management of CdvNP. In 2018, the Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA) supported this program through the resources granted (USD 20.8 millions) to 97 initiatives of conservation, included the Cerrado biome (FUNBIO, 2018b).
Staff capacity, training, and development
Some Concern
Chapada dos Vadeiros and Emas NP include a complete infrastructure with communication resources (internet, telephone, cellphone service, computers and radio system); residence for staff, vehicles, and a visitor center. For CdVNP, the total staff is 12 professionals (5 effective and 7 outsourced), for Emas NP there does not exist any information on registered staff (Ministério do Meio Ambiente, n.d(a); Ministério do Meio Ambiente, n.d(b)). Also, complementary staff which comprehends the firefighters brigade of CdVNP, involving 36 people by 2017, and the voluntary groups for fire prevention and combat, including more than 30 participants, mostly local farmers, and 120 volunteers working on tourism, monitoring, ecological restoration and communication (State Party of Brazil, 2017). As per the last management effectiveness evaluations, the technical capacity is a requirement for CdVNP, especially for creating and changing limits and category, land regularization, communications and articulation, and tourism. This NP also recognizes the necessity of human resources, especially for the item of management plan, which is critically assessed. The Emas NP assessment identifies requirements of human resources for environmental education and infrastructure (ICMBio, 2020a). The duration of contracts with fire brigades changed from six months to three years allowing the brigades strengthen prevention measures for large fires and developing firefighting activities for a longer period, as a result of change in Brazilian legislation in May 2018 (State Party of Brazil, 2019a).
Education and interpretation programs
Some Concern
While there is no evidence of systematic education and interpretation programs in the Cerrado Protected Areas, several independent actions have been carried out by different partners in the influence area of the National Parks. Between 2018 and 2020, the Amada Terra Institute carried out a project for preventing the extinction of the Brazilian Merganser in the Veadeiros-Pouso Alto-Kalungas Corridor, Chapada dos Veadeiros, including education and communication actions about the species in schools, tourism actors and local communities (CEPF Cerrado/IEB, n.d). In 2016, the Partnership for the Conservation of Biodiversity in the Amazon (USAID´s program), in collaboration with the Colorado State University (USA), developed a training on trails for staff of the CdVNP and community members surrounding this protected area; this contributed to the plan for implementing a long-distance trail crossing Chapada dos Veadeiros, which the park is developing (USAID, 2016). In order to strengthening fire prevention in CdVNP, hired firefighting teams trained and equipped voluntary brigades (UNESCO, 2019).
Tourism and visitation management
Mostly Effective
Chapada dos Veadeiros is one of the main federal conservation units (UCs) visited in Brazil and have presented a fast increase of visitors from 2010 (20,617) to 2018 (64,025). Presently, CdVNP includes five attractions open to visitors, with just one offering an overnight stay, and a trail system, with some of them with charge capacity: the Saltos e Corredeiras (250 people per day), the “Canions e Cariocas” (200 people per day), and the “Seriema trail” (30 people per day). According to the inventory of potential activities, 27 attractions were identified, with an offer of 61 existing activities and another 55 potential activities to be implanted (Andrade, 2018). The tourist activity in the region of Chapada dos Veadeiros provides employment to younger people, especially as tourist guides and in local commerce, and promotes the production of handicrafts in the city of Alto Paraíso de Goiás and in the village São Jorge, where the main gate to the National Park is located (França and Martins, 2020). At the moment, CdVNP is managed under concession by Sociparque consortium; the concession agreement will be for 20 years and provides for investments of R$ 2.5 million to improve the tourist infrastructure, including the renovation of the Visitors Center, the renovation of a road that gives access to the trails and attractions of the place, improvement of the infrastructure in the area reserved for camping, provision of internal transport and installation of a space for catering (Socicam, 2019). Services, fees, attractions and other information can be found in the CdVNP tourism web page (Sociparques, 2020).
The Emas National Park offers characteristic landscapes, the observation of animals typical of the Cerrado, (giant anteater, wild dog, rhea, tapir, deer and others). It includes 354 km of trails; some could be self-guided and others require the presence of accredited guides. With the support of third parties, some tours are offered: boat including diving activities; cross buoy, navigating the stretch of the Formoso river rapids; cycling and the safari car ride, with a maximum capacity of 20 people for driving within the park. Since November 2017, the ENP started a volunteer program, to contribute to the Park's activities such as mapping of natural fire areas, research on the fauna management of the jawed populations, planting of seedlings and reforestation, elaboration of a new signage project and park signs to be implemented are carried out (ICMBio, 2020e).
Monitoring
Highly Effective
Monitoring in federal conservation units is coordinated by the ICMBio through the “Monitora Program -National Biodiversity Monitoring Program” and one of its objectives is to generate qualified information for the ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of federal conservation units (UCs) and the National System of Conservation Units in meeting their biodiversity conservation objectives. The Monitora Program was formalized in 2017, and both CdVNP and ENP have ongoing monitoring (ICMBio, 2018b). Regionally, the National Center for Biodiversity Assessment and Cerrado Research and Conservation (CBC) works towards the production of technical and scientific knowledge to support conservation and sustainable use actions in the Cerrado biome, including in situ monitoring of biodiversity in savanna environments and the restoration and recovery of degraded environments, with the data systematized in the ICMBio Dynamic Information Panel (ICMBio, 2020f). This panel is a national platform for the information on federal protected areas provided by the 14 ICMBio research centers and offering information about the management of UCs, endangered species, public use and tourism, people management, protection and inspection of UCs, fauna and flora, socio-environmental actions and other (ICMBio, 2020f). About fire monitoring, the portal Queimadas is continuously monitoring outbreaks of wildfires and forest fires detected by satellites, calculating and predicting vegetation fire risk, and registering updated information per biome and state, even with the chance to focus on protected areas (INPE, 2020). Monitoring of the natural regeneration in sensitive environments after fire was carried out in CdVNP with a team of researchers from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), University of Brasília (UnB) and the University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), (UNESCO, 2019). Specific efforts are also recognized, such as some platforms of community monitoring registered data for species, as is the case of EcoRregistros, observations in the ENP related to the Venado de las Pampas (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) has been recorded (EcoRegistros, 2020).
Research
Highly Effective
In 2017, ICMBio created the National Center for Biodiversity Assessment and Research and Conservation of the Cerrado (CBC) for the coordination of the assessment of the risk of extinction of biodiversity (especially fauna) at the national level, as well as to produce scientific knowledge to support biodiversity conservation actions in the Cerrado biome. The CBC is based in the National Park of Brasilia, with rooms available for researchers, scholars, interns and consultants and a laboratory used to prepare zoological samples. The CBC also issues guidelines for the prevention, control and eradication of invasive alien species in federal conservation units UCs. This center´s actions and research results are coordinated together with the management team of the UCs, while activities are also directly associated with the National Strategy for Invasive Alien Species-CONABIO Resolution 07/20178 (ICMBio, 2020b). Also, research in Cerrado Protected Areas is carried out by different universities, researches and other institutions. Between 2008 and 2017, 367 scientific research projects involving more than 200 institutions were approved in the CdVNP according to the data from the ICMBio (UNESCO, 2019).
The management effectiveness situation is different for the two components of the Cerrado Protected Areas. While Emas National Park's management has been considered "effective" according to recent evaluations and its values ​​of Natural Heritage and ecosystem services "conserved", the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park has received a "moderately effective" evaluation and there is concern about conservation of some of its values, due mainly to recurring anthropic fires in different locations of the NP (ICMBio, 2020a). Although the re-expansion of the CdVNP established a milestone regarding protection regime, there are substantial challenges in relation to the update of the management plan according to the new boundaries, finalization of the land regularization process and assurance of the implementation of Fire Integrated Management program in the long term.
Assessment of the effectiveness of protection and management in addressing threats outside the site
Some Concern
While the current and potential threats affecting the Cerrado Protected Areas originate mostly outside the site (cattle ranching and agriculture, biological isolation, increasing dam construction, invasive species and climate change), its mitigation and control is essentially beyond the mandate and capacity of the ICMBio. Nonetheless, it is more likely for the Chapada dos Veadeiros NP, being part of the Pouso Alto Environmental Protection Area and having several private reserves in the surroundings, to face these growing threats as a conservation block. To achieve this, it is necessary to “ensure that the management of these different conservation units is harmonized and focused on the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, through the development of an overarching Management Plan or other appropriate mechanisms”, as recommended by the World Heritage Committee in 2019 (UNESCO, 2019). This is unfortunately not possible for the Emas NP, unless connectivity processes with other conservation areas are strengthened.
World Heritage values

Key habitats and species that characterize the Cerrado Ecoregion

Low Concern
Trend
Deteriorating
Continuous intensive agriculture and cattle ranching around the Cerrado Protected Areas keep driving pressure on key habitats and species conservation. Because of the ecosystem fragmentation, the conservation units may not be able to guarantee the maintenance or representativeness of some key species (Latrubesse et al., 2019). In addition, the reduced size due to fragmentation of NPs, is not enough for the conservation of different species, for example, closed reserves of the size of Emas National Park do not appear to be large enough to maintain long-term viable jaguar populations without any net immigration (Finnegan et al., 2019). Fire frequency and severity, especially generated by human activity, keep influencing the current composition of the landscape and biodiversity, but without a drastically reducing of the unique value of the biodiversity (IUCN, 2013). This is supported by observations of natural regeneration of the vegetation in affected areas after the 2017 fires (UNESCO, 2019).

Key role in maintaining the biodiversity of the Cerrado Ecoregion

Low Concern
Trend
Deteriorating
Considering that in 2017 the National Park was expanded from 65,514 to 24,0611 ha, the creation of the Chapada de Nova Roma Ecological Station with an area of 6,811 ha and the existence of the Natural Heritage Private Reserves, the level of protection of the site recognized as a World Heritage Site has been re-established (State of Party, 2019a). Regarding CdVNP, management effectiveness raises concern about the biodiversity value “preservation of natural ecosystems of great ecological relevance and scenic beauty”, which is in state of intervention, due mainly to recurring anthropic fires in different locations of the NP (ICMBio, 2020a). Minor threats from invasive exotic species are recognized, which affect native species of Cerrado´s biome (Lessaa et al., 2016; CEPF, 2017; Cazetta and Zenni, 2019).
Assessment of the current state and trend of World Heritage values
Low Concern
Trend
Deteriorating
The Cerrado Protected Areas keep remaining in a good state of conservation, including species, habitats, and ecological processes of the savanna ecosystems of Cerrado´s biome (UNESCO, 2019). However, potential threats by climate change, cattle ranching and agriculture, biological isolation, increasing dam construction and invasive species could represent alterations of biodiversity distribution and biotical heterogeneity affecting balance of ecosystems (Hidasi-Netoa et al., 2019).
Assessment of the current state and trend of other important biodiversity values
High Concern
Trend
Deteriorating
With the expansion of CdVNP and strengthening of Heritage Private Reserves, connectivity of CdVNPR with surrounding areas improved, however, fragmentation and biological isolation remains as a major potential threat for the Emas National Park, which is too small to provide the full range of habitats needed to conserve a wide ranging species, such as top predators and some bird species. There is an increasing concern regarding water supply and the potential cumulative impacts of hydroelectric development in the region (Timpe and Kaplan, 2017). Woody encroachment (Honda and Durigan, 2016) combined with effects of climate change expressed in excessive rains and extreme droughts (IANAS, 2019), could have a potentially drastic effect on the balance of the hydrological regime of the region.

Additional information

Water provision (importance for water quantity and quality)
The region of the Brazilian Central Plateau, where the Cerrado Biome is located, is an important place for water production and distribution throughout Brazil. Eight of the twelve Brazilian hydrographic regions receive water from this Biome contributing to more than 90% of the discharge of the São Francisco River, 50% of the Paraná River, and 70% of the Tocantins River. Cerrado is as a result one of the main contributors to the hydropower sector and responsible for more than 50% of the Brazilian hydroelectricity production and has an outstanding relevance in the national agricultural scenery (Lima et al., 2011).
Factors negatively affecting provision of this benefit
Climate change
Trend - Increasing
Pollution
Trend - Increasing
Overexploitation
Trend - Increasing
Habitat change
Trend - Increasing
Outdoor recreation and tourism,
Natural beauty and scenery
Geological landscapes and waterfalls with rivers and the quartz crystals stand out as tourism attractions of the Cerrado Protected Areas. Involving activities for spiritual tourism and nature tourism, both NPs offer opportunities for tourists to get to know unique and extraordinary ecosystems, especially within CdVNP, which is one of the main NP visited in the country.
 
Factors negatively affecting provision of this benefit
Pollution
Impact level - Low
Trend - Increasing
Tourism-related income
The tourist activity in the region of Chapada dos Veadeiros provides employment to younger people, especially as tourist guides and in local commerce, and promotes the production of handicrafts in the city of Alto Paraíso de Goiás and in the village São Jorge, where the main gate to the National Park is located (França and Martins, 2020)
Factors negatively affecting provision of this benefit
Pollution
Trend - Increasing
Importance for research
Chapada de Nova Roma Ecological Station was created in 2017, covers an area of 6,811 ha and is surrounded by the expanded CdVNP. It is an integral protection conservation unit, with objective of preserving ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as carrying out scientific research. It has its own approved Management Plan and advisory council (UNESCO, 2019; Governo do Estado De Goiás, 2020)
It is hard to separate the benefits of the Cerrado Protected Areas from that of the larger Cerrado Ecoregion. Water production is the main environmental service provided as eight of the twelve Brazilian hydrographic regions receive water from this biome. Due to its unique scenic beauty, with geological landscapes, waterfalls with rivers and the quartz crystals the property is an important tourist attraction in the region, providing not only benefits as to health and recreation, but also contributing to the local economy of the area´s population.
It is difficult to establish the level of impact of factors negatively affecting the provision of benefits, even knowing that they are present within and in the surroundings of the property (i.e. and use change, pollution, over exploitation, climate change and invasive species). Nonetheless, it is likely that these factors continue to increase over time, due to economic and global trends in which the region is placed.
Organization Brief description of Active Projects Website
1 Oca Brazil Institute - CEPF Creation and Integrated Implementation of Federal Private Reserves in the Chapada dos Veadeiros Region Protected Areas: Pouso Alto Environmental Protection Area (APAPA); Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park (PNCV); World Heritage Site (UNESCO); Goyaz Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO) and 24 RPPNs. General objective: Encourage the creation of new RPPNs and support the implementation of existing RPPNs in the Veadeiros Corridor - Pouso Alto - Kalunga.
http://cepfcerrado.iieb.org.br/en/projetos/criacao-e-implementacao-integrada-de-reservas-privadas-federais-na-regiao-da-chapada-dos-veadeiros/
2 Federal University of Goiás Goiás may host the second United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) Global Geopark in Brazil and the eighth of its kind in Latin America. A project for the creation of the Chapada dos Veadeiros Geopark was presented on January 2020 to local authorities (1/21/20). It comprises the micro region of Chapada dos Veadeiros, in Goiás, which comprises eight municipalities: Cavalcante, Alto Paraíso de Goiás, Colinas do Sul, Teresina de Goiás, Nova Roma, São João D'Aliança, Campos Belos and Monte Alegre de Goiás. The territory goes a little beyond the environmental protection area (APA) of Pouso Alto, created by Decree No. 5,419, of May 7, 2001.
https://jornal.ufg.br/n/123416-ufg-desenvolve-projeto-de-geoparque-para-chapada-dos-veadeiros &nbsp;
3 United Nations Environment Program -UNEP- / Ministry of Environment Brazil GEF Private areas - Realising the biodiversity conservation potential of private lands in Brazil. Objective: to scale up sustainable landscape management and contribute to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services provision in private areas in Brazil. The first component is implementing pilot areas located in the biogeographical regions of Atlantic Forest and Cerrado, where the activities that will be developed are related to reducing degree of fragmentation in production landscapes, increasing habitat availability for endangered species, and developing incentives schemes for conservation. The Pouso Alto Environmental Protection Area is one of the pilot areas.
https://www.thegef.org/sites/default/files/project_documents/01-26-18_Project_Document_PAD_clean_0.pdf
4 Research Support Foundation of the Federal University of Goiás and Image Processing and Geoprocessing Laboratory of the Federal University of Goiás - LAPIG/UFG / CEPF Cerrado Knowledge Platform General objective: Sharing data, information and knowledge among the various biome stakeholders, directly and indirectly related to the CEPF Cerrado project and empowering civil society through reliable information and tools for monitoring Cerrado ecosystems.
http://cepfcerrado.iieb.org.br/en/projetos/plataforma-de-conhecimento-do-cerrado/
5 Associação de Amigos do Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Veadeiros -AVE- The association implements several projects related to conservation and management of the geological heritage and associated natural processes, water and environmental geo-physics, public use and nature tourism, and conservation biology and mammalian conservation.
https://www.ave.org.br/projetos &nbsp;

References

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39
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