WWF field series: Lessons learnt from 16 years of restoration in the Atlantic Forest | WWF
WWF field series: Lessons learnt from 16 years of restoration in the Atlantic Forest

Posted on 05 October 2020

The Atlantic Forest is home to unique species such as the black lion tamarin or the giant otter, and it's also important for agriculture and hydroelectricity.
Straddling Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest (UPAF) ecoregion is one of the 15 priority ecoregions within the broader Atlantic Forest Complex and represents about a quarter of the remaining Atlantic Forest. It is not only home to numerous unique species such as the black lion tamarin or the giant otter, but it is also important for agriculture and hydroelectricity.
   
Forest cover once extended over 39 million hectares across the three countries but only about 5.6 million hectares, or 14%, of the forest remain today. Remaining tracts are highly fragmented and the majority (70%) of remaining fragments are under 100 hectares in size.

Main threats to the forest are conversion to agriculture and pasture land. Ranching, infrastructure, illegal hunting and unsustainable exploitation are also contributing to the degradation and loss of the forest.  

Between 1998 and 2003, WWF and Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina brought together more than 70 institutions and experts to define an ‘ecoregion vision’ for the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest, producing a solid document that was to serve as the foundation for future interventions. Four implementation phases followed, with restoration at the core of the interventions.

This report reviews the lessons learnt from 16 years of work on forest landscape restoration in the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest. 
Iguaçu National Park - Iguaçu falls, Atlantic rainforest, Paraná, Brazil.
Iguaçu National Park - Iguaçu falls, Atlantic rainforest, Paraná, Brazil.
© WWF / Michel GUNTHER