Ivan Henriques & Silvia Leal
A research group led by an ecologist called Cinthia Brasileiro, from UNIFESP (Universidade Federal de São Paulo) has developed a new theory about genetics explaining the origins of Mata Atlântica and its biodiversity. Groups of animals of this ecosystem are diverse because of this “refuge” which is located throughout the southeastern coast of Brazil. It is a unique natural shelter that has developed over the past 12 millions years.
The secret of this refuge, as described in Brasileiro’s thesis, is that this is an ecosystem which has never suffered from drought, cold seasons nor oscillations of sea level. Its diversity of life in such rich circumstances has always tended to increase, and could easily be compared to as an ‘Ever Green Land’ as Sergio Buarque de Hollanda’s writes in his book ‘Vision of Paradise’.
Mata Atlântica protects and regulates water sources which supplies the main metropolis of the country and hundred of cities. It controls the local climate, and guarantees fertile soil and its extraordinary beautiful landscape.
The Mata Atlântica today is under an accelerated process of destruction, which spans over the past 50 years. It is a process that favors the expansion of farming, agriculture, property development and industry.
INPE / SOS Mata Atlântica