Consolidation of the Brazilian system of conservation units (SNUC) – LifeWeb

Project description

Title: Consolidation of the Brazilian system of conservation units (SNUC) – LifeWeb
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Country: Brazil
Lead executing agency: Ministry of the Environment (MMA)
Overall term: 2013 to 2018

Brasilien. Atlantischer Küstenwald. © GIZ


Brazil is home to around 20 per cent of global biodiversity, which represents the highest level of biodiversity in the world. To preserve biodiversity, Brazil founded the SNUC (Sistema Nacional de Unidades de Conservação da Natureza), its national system of conservation units, in 2000 and is continually expanding it. Today, it comprises 1,984 state and private conservation units, making it one of the world's largest systems of conservation units.

Designating conservation units alone, however, is not enough to achieve the relevant conservation objectives. First and foremost, the units must be managed efficiently and effectively. Currently, there is a lack of the well-qualified personnel, management plans, basic infrastructure and efficient administrative structures required to do so. In addition, conservation units need to achieve greater acceptance and support within society.

With a view to attracting the required financial resources for the consolidation of the SNUC, the Brazilian Government expressed its interest in the Convention on Biological Diversity's LifeWeb initiative in 2010. LifeWeb is a platform that brings together nature conservation projects and international donors.


The Brazilian system of conservation units and the conservation units belonging to it are being managed in a participatory, efficient and sustainable way with a view to conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Brazil. National park Aparados da Serra (Photo: Wigold Schaeffer) © GIZ


The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) is supporting the project as part of its International Climate Initiative. GIZ provides advisory services with support from the consulting firm GOPA. Financing services are provided by KfW Development Bank.

The Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), environmental authorities of the states and municipalities, national non-governmental organisations, research institutions and private companies are involved in the implementation of the measures. The following priority areas have been specifically defined together with the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment (MMA):

Developing organisations and optimising processes. Administrative agencies for conservation units, especially at federal level and those of state environmental authorities, are made more efficient through training measures and management that is oriented towards objectives and results.

Drawing up management plans and creating basic infrastructure. Management plans are a prerequisite for sustainable development in conservation units. They address issues such as granting forest concessions and opening areas to visitors. In the administrative agencies, however, significantly fewer management plans have been created and approved and considerably less infrastructure has been provided over the last few years than the amount that is urgently required. It is intended that a programme for training and accrediting consulting and construction firms will speed up this process.

Optimising tools for the determination of costs and establishing fundraising activities. To increase the financial sustainability with which conservation units are managed, improvements continue to be made to an existing system for determining costs for conservation units. Fundraising is to be used to find new donors and attract financial resources.

Implementing campaigns to inform the public and raise awareness. To increase social acceptance of conservation units, long-term information and awareness-raising campaigns are being implemented nationwide and sponsors are being attracted.

Outsourcing technical and financial administration. To ensure that the federally supported consolidation measures pertaining to the SNUC are implemented more efficiently, it is envisaged that the financial administration will be handled to the largest possible extent by a central body in close consultation with the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment.

Brazil. Jalapão national park  (Photo: Palê Zuppani) © GIZ

With these efforts, Germany is supporting Brazil in achieving the biodiversity objectives of the National Plan of Protected Areas (PNAP) and meeting the Aichi targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Brazil and Germany have been working in partnership for over 20 years on designating and consolidating conservation units in Brazil. The LifeWeb project will continue to draw on the results of this work, the successful approaches and the examples of good practice with a view to further optimising and applying these on a broad basis.