Brazil

Some of the most diverse regions in the world are found in Brazil, including the Atlantic Forest, Pantanal and Amazon. The Amazon River is one of the longest rivers in the world and the rainforest covering the Amazon Basin represents almost half of the world’s rainforests. One in every 10 existing species of plants and animals is found within the Amazon and other parts of the country.

Deforestation in Brazil, mainly a result of ongoing agricultural expansion, is threatening rare and vulnerable habitats such as the Amazon and the Atlantic Forest.

Other environmental problems facing the country include air and water pollution in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and other large cities as well as land and wetland degradation, and illegal wildlife trade.
 / ©: WWF-Canon / Juan PRATGINESTOS
Water and Forest Pantanal Flooded Savannas, Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil.
© WWF-Canon / Juan PRATGINESTOS

Country Eco-tips

Energy and Water
  • Brazil is the leader in sugar-based ethanol. You can find ethanol pumps at every filling station in the country.
     
  • When travelling to remote regions and small towns, it is better to carry your own drinking water. Bottled water is sold cheaply in shops and supermarkets around the country, even in smaller villages.
  • Many households, restaurants and businesses have water filters, making most drinking water in urban centres safe.
     
  • In Brazil, a red flag on a beach could mean dangerous waters or that the water quality is poor for swimming.
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Recycling
  • In Brazil, most recycling occurs informally at landfills, uncontrolled dumps and on streets - scavengers often collect materials for reuse or sale without any organization, supervision or regulation.
     
  • There are public recycling bins in Rio, Sao Paulo, Recife and other cities for paper (papel), glass (vidro), plastic (plastico) and metal. Most of the major supermarket chains offer special bins for recycling.
  • The Brazilian Business Commitment for Recycling (Cempre), an organization comprised of companies, promotes recycling schemes throughout Brazil’s municipalities: http://www.cempre.org.br/ingles/index.php
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Transport
  • As there is a limited rail system, one of the best ways to get around Brazil is by bus, especially in the southern regions where road conditions are better compared with those in the northeast.
     
  • In the Amazon region as well as on the coast west of Sao Luis, boat travel is often the only way to get around. Ferries serve most coastal ports.
  • Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo both have metros and local rail lines, and there are trolleybuses in Sao Paulo and a number of other cities.
     
  • Cycling is a bit dangerous in the big cities, but there are some bike tracks along the beaches in Rio de Janeiro and Recife.
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Food
  • With many traditional dishes prepared with meat, including the national dish of feijoada completa - a mixture of black beans, pork and manioc meal - vegetarianism is not so common in Brazil. But most restaurants offer varied fresh salad and vegetable buffets.
     
  • There are some vegetarian restaurants and health food stores in Sao Paolo, Rio de Janerio and most large cities: http://www.happycow.net/south_america/brazil/index.html
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Souvenirs
  • Tourist souvenirs made from illegally harvested tortoise shells, feathers, fur, bones or skins of endangered species are marketed openly in Brazil.
     
  • Many wildlife products require permits to transport internationally or may be illegal to purchase and transport at all.
  • Avoid buying all sea turtle products, including the shells and products made from the skins; all spotted cat skin products; certain leather products made from crocodiles, lizards and snakes; most live birds, including many parrots, macaws, cockatoos and finches; some wild bird feathers, mounted birds and coral products.
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Green Spots
  • Iguaçu National Park: Located in the far southwest of Paraná State along the border with Argentina, the park is famous for the Iguaçu Falls, one of the world’s largest waterfalls. The surrounding park is home to several endangered species including jaguars, tapirs, ocelots and anteaters as well as colourful toucans, parrots and butterflies.
  • Pantanal National Park: Located in the southwest of the country along the border of Paraguay and Bolivia, the Pantanal is considered the largest wetland in the world and has one of the highest concentrations of animal species in the Americas. Millions of waterfowl breed along its rivers and lagoons. Populations of jaguars, capybara, marsh deer, giant anteaters, tapirs, hyacinth macaws and others thrive in its forests and grasslands.
     
  • Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park: Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the park occupies an area of 655km2 and is located close to Brasília, the federal capital. The park offers waterfalls, natural pools, canyons and walking trails through the Cerrado, the Brazilian savanna.
     
  • Tijuca National Park: In the heart of Rio de Janeiro, this is the largest urban forest in the world and one of the last remnants of Atlantic rainforest on Brazil’s southern coast. The park is great for hiking, splashing in a waterfall or visiting the famous Christ the Redeemer statue high above the city.
     
  • Anavilhanas Archipelago: Located on the Rio Negro in the Brazilian Amazon, Anavilhanas is the world’s largest fresh water archipelago, consisting of some 400 river islands. When the river is high, between November and April, the islands are almost all flooded, with only around 180 of them emerging from the water. During this period they are populated by sloths and squirrel monkeys as well as by a variety of birds, including parrots, toucans, woodpeckers and herons.
     
  • Fernando de Noronha: This archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, about 350km off the northeast coast of Brazil, is a popular diving site where one can see turtles, dolphins, albatrosses and other marine life.
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Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the above information. However, WWF makes no warranties, expressed or implied, regarding errors or omissions and assumes no legal liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from its use.
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