Protection and integrated management of marine and coastal biodiversity – TerraMar

Project description

Title: Protection and integrated management of marine and coastal biodiversity – TerraMar
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Country: Brazil
Lead executing agency: Ministério do Meio Ambiente (MMA - Brazilian Ministry of Environment) 
Overall term: 2015 to 2020


Brazil’s coast has a unique biodiversity and a great variety of ecosystems. Extending for more than 8,500 kilometres, Brazil’s coast is one of the longest in the world. The marine and coastal zone covers 3.5 million square kilometres, or more than 40 per cent of the Brazilian territory. It is home to the world’s largest contiguous mangrove area and unique ecosystems such as dunes, lagoons, sandbanks and estuaries. The marine zone also shelters the only coral reefs in the South Atlantic and a multitude of endemic species. Despite its biodiversity, the coast is one of the country’s most at-risk regions.

Some 51 million people, or roughly 27 per cent of the population, live in the coastal region. The region contains 16 of the country’s 28 metropolitan areas and accounts for more than half of Brazil’s gross domestic product (GDP). Intensive use by large-scale industrial plants and ports, activities such as oil and natural gas extraction, conflicts over water and land use, difficulties in environmental spatial planning and the impacts of climate change are threatening environmental quality and biodiversity conservation in the Brazilian coastal zone.


The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in marine and coastal zones in the regions of Costa dos Corais and Abrolhos regions have improved as a result of integrated environmental spatial planning.


The project supports the environmental and spatial planning for the marine and coastal zone in the regions Costa dos Corais and Abrolhos regions. It also promotes measures for the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and strengthens strategies for monitoring the quality of the environment. Institutional support for relevant local stakeholders, training on specific themes and a participatory approach are helping to develop capacities and strengthen networks in the region. Experience gained from the project is being Project experiences are disseminated at national and international level, thereby helping to strengthen the relevant federal and state policies.

TerraMar is implementing the project activities in the project regions in collaboration with the governments of the states of Alagoas, Pernambuco, Bahia and Espírito Santo as well as with municipalities, civil society organisations, the private sector and other stakeholders operating in the marine and coastal zones. TerraMar is also cooperating closely with GEF-Mar, a project from the Global Environment Facility’s project on the expansion of marine protected areas.


The project has achieved the following results to date:

  • More than 300 specialists of the environmental agency ICMBio, the Ministry of Environment, states and local governments have received training on environmental management in marine and coastal regions (including on implementing national action plans (Planos de Ação Nacional – PAN) for protecting endangered species, with a focus on coastal and marine biodiversity, sustainable fishery management, systematic planning for biodiversity conservation as well as municipal environmental management)
  • Training, networking and coordination processes have been organised to restructure and strengthen federal and state policies on sustainable fishery management and on the protection of endangered species
  • Regional development processes focusing on the revitalisation of river basins with impact on coastal and marine biodiversity have been supported
  • The Ministry of Environment’s environmental education campaign on the protection of beaches and coral reefs has been restructured
  • Implementation of the policy on priority areas for biodiversity conservation in marine and coastal zones has been supported

The project is supporting Brazil in meeting the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, particularly target 6 (sustainable fishery), target 10 (minimising pressures on coral reefs) and target 11 (expanding and safeguarding systems of protected areas to conserve the marine and coastal zone).