Originally published at abeta.tur.br
“A tropical country that’s beautiful by nature, and how beautiful!”, as a Brazilian song puts it! You must already know that Brazil is full of exuberant landscapes and rich in terms of the diversity of its fauna and flora. But do you really know Brazil’s natural environment, its ecotourism, its national parks and conservation units?
These places are the most precious and democratic ones that we have for really getting in touch with nature. And particularly in big cities, with all the rushing around and daily routine, this is becoming less and less frequent. Technology has taken over our lives to such an extent that we have forgotten to observe the green spaces, to smell the flowers, to touch the grass, to step on the ground and watch the birds and the mountains, for example.
However, this can and should change. And each of us has an important role in this story. At the conservation units and national parks we can spend precious time with the family, creating an even greater connection with nature and the great outdoors, which is essential for a better quality of life.
Importance of the Conservation Units
There are a total of 73 parks in Brazil, which are managed by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio). Undoubtedly, there is one close to you, full of green spaces and rich in biodiversity. And the importance of the conservation units, for tourism and for society as a whole, is enormous. In order to see the list of national parks and conservation units click on this link.
According to Adriano Melo, Conservation International’s project coordinator here in Brazil, we need nature to thrive, and conservation units are privileged, democratic natural common spaces. “The conservation units are spaces that encourage care, creativity and collaboration. If they are cherished, they can lift economies and small communities, distributing social, environmental and economic benefits, based on the development of the various tourism segments and the associated value chains”.
Another enthusiast in relation to public use of the parks and conservation units, the Instituto Semeia’s executive director, Fernando Pieroni, believes that they are a key factor to developing tourism and promoting contact with nature. In addition, according to him, tourism is extremely important for the preservation and maintenance of these places. The logic is that if someone is there enjoying life in the great outdoors, walking around, getting to know and exploring nature (always in a responsible way), they are automatically taking care of the place.
The Instituto Semeia’s belief is that natural and urban parks can be sources of wealth for the country, helping create opportunities for the population’s leisure, employment, income and well-being, in addition to acting in building partnerships to make this potential a reality.
In line with the Instituto Semeia’s vision, Adriano sees Brazil as the main country in the world in terms of natural resources: “This is recognized, but in terms of infrastructure and services to generate unforgettable and transformative experiences in nature, we are well below countries that have a lower GDP than ours. Advances have been observed in the drive to reverse this process, but we need to integrate the public and private agendas to a greater degree so as to move forward a lot more quickly, and in this way show society the importance of the conservation units on different fronts in order to gain allies in this struggle”.
How to enjoy the parks and conservation units in Brazil
Trails, hikes, diving in waterfalls, adventure activities and countless other leisure options. It is possible to have unforgettable experiences, whether alone, as a couple, with friends or family in parks around the country. They are in every corner waiting for you, to care for and live side by side with nature. There is always one nearby, or even a number of them, and in the areas around them there are communities and towns that are full of history, culture and receptiveness. Experiencing a park or a conservation unit is a sure-fire way to learn about and interact with the environment.
And, if you want to visit a park that is further away from your city, don’t forget to get in contact with companies that offer tour guide services, which assist and enrich your experience in the conservation units. If you opt to do this, don’t forget, there is always an ABETA member close to the main national parks, who will make your trip unforgettable. Click here and get in contact with one of them.
Just switch off your smart-phones and switch on to the natural environment of the parks whenever possible. It will transform your life and give you new stories to tell.
The opinions expressed in this text are the author’s opinion and do not necessarily reflect the position of WTM Latin America.