From a limestone province to pristine mangroves
State: São Paulo
This program was designed to provide a fascinating experience beginning at the exuberant rain forest that covers the PETAR State Park and its more than 200 limestone caves and ending at the mangroves and sandy beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, on the Cardoso Island State Park.
Upper Ribeira State Park – PETAR
Cut by the crystalline Betary River that flows through the Paranapiacaba Mountain Range in the southeastern portion of the state of São Paulo, this important conservation unit presents a unique combination of limestone, karstic caves and the Atlantic Forest. An ideal site for geology, speleology and biodiversity study programs. Very close to the park area, along the Ribeira River, many “Quilombos” (rural communities originally formed by fugitive African slaves of the 19th century) thrive on sustainable agriculture along the forest edge and fight against the construction of hydroelectric dams that would force these centenary settlements to move to higher areas. A critical social/environmental issue similar to others lived by communities throughout the planet. Students will have the possibility of visiting these communities and debate crucial social aspects that are vital to the survival of the people and their environment.
The town of Cananéia and the Cardoso Island State Park
Situated at 260 km (160 mi) from the city of São Paulo, the small town of Cananéia is the gateway to Brazil´s best preserved Atlantic Forest and mangrove areas. This region, encompassing around 200 km (125 mi) of virtually untouched sandy beaches and rocky shores is considered by the international community as the Southern Atlantic Nursery for marine species and was declared by UNESCO a Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site. Here, students will have the opportunity to participate in activities that will help them understand how development and natural resources exploitation can be conciliated with conservation and sustainability. Also, students will be presented to the peculiar “Caiçara” culture, as the original people that live in and from this coastal region are known. The group will trek on the forest and deserted beaches in the Cardoso Island State Park, interact with fisherman communities and also will be presented to important conservation projects that deal with sustainable extraction of marine resources.
Possible areas for studies:
• Geology and Anthropology
• Sustainable Organic Agriculture
• Traditional Communities: Culture, Native Knowledge and Sustainable Extraction
• Biodiversity in the tropical rainforest (transects/quadrants for species counting)
• Mangrove studies: water salinity, adaptations of living organisms to different salinity levels, species identification (plants, vertebrate, invertebrate)
• Beach Dynamics and Zonation
• River Studies and Profiles
• Academic exchange with conservation and research projects