Paraty and Ilha Grande (RJ) receive UNESCO World Heritage titles

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Paraty and Ilha Grande (RJ) receive UNESCO World Heritage titles
Mon July 08, 2019

Site is the first mixed site in Brazil, recognized by culture and nature


Brazil has just received another World Heritage title. Paraty and Ilha Grande (RJ) were recognized this Friday, July 5, by the United Nations Committee for Education, Science and Culture (Unesco), during a meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan. Now, there are 22 Brazilian goods in the list of sites of exceptional universal value.

The place is the first Brazilian good registered in the category of mixed site, that is, cultural and natural. It covers a territory of almost 149 thousand hectares, in which the historic center is about four areas of environmental conservation. There are the Serra da Bocaina National Park; the Ilha Grande State Park; the Praia do Sul State Biological Reserve; and the Cairuçu Environmental Protection Area. Its surrounding area, with more than 407 thousand hectares, has 187 islands, largely covered with primary vegetation, where rich marine diversity jumps in the eyes.

"We proudly returned home with that title in the luggage. In Paraty and Ilha Grande, an area with diverse ecological reserves, we see in an exceptional and unique way a conjunction of natural beauty, unique biodiversity, cultural manifestations, a preserved historical complex, and important archaeological testimonies for understanding the evolution of humanity on planet Earth ", Celebrates the president of the Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage (Iphan), Kátia Bogéa, from Baku.

For the Minister of Citizenship Osmar Terra, the conquest is a great honor. "I am very happy with the choice of Paraty and Ilha Grande as a World Heritage Site. It is a recognition of our history and the ecological park that surrounds the city and which has enormous value for Brazil. whole world must come to know, which is great for tourism in the region. " The special secretary of the Culture Henrique Pires, on a mission in Azerbaijan, highlights what recognition represents. "This title gives Paraty and Ilha Grande a huge responsibility. It will be necessary to fulfill a series of requirements for the tipping to remain and this is very good for the preservation of the place, which by the way is the first mixed site in Brazil, Cultural Heritage How Natural ".

The application of Paraty and Ilha Grande is a partnership between the Ministry of Environment, Iphan, Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), Municipalities of Paraty, Angra dos Reis and State Environmental Institute (Inea). Together with the State Institute of Cultural Heritage (Inepac), the Historical and Artistic Institute of Paraty (IHAP), the Forum of Traditional Communities and the Observatory of Healthy and Sustainable Territories of Bocaina, the responsible bodies are jointly building a shared management plan of the site.

Cultural and Natural Heritage
[Ponta da Canjaúba] Paraty and Ilha Grande are places marked by the coexistence between a living and ancestral culture in an exuberant natural environment. There, cultural testimonies include the historic center and fortification that gave rise to the still well preserved urban nucleus of Paraty, a variety of archaeological sites, a portion of the ancient Golden Way, and living communities that maintain their ancestral relationship with the landscape, all forming a cultural system with a close relation to the environment. For the evaluators of Icomos, Unesco's advisory body, the site "has the capacity to demonstrate an exceptional example of land and sea use and human interaction with the environment."

The place is the first mixed place of Latin America where a living culture is found. All other mainland sites, such as Machu Picchu, in Peru, are archaeological sites in a natural landscape. The conservation area encompasses parts of the territory of six municipalities in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, with the largest portion of the territorial nucleus being in Paraty and Angra dos Reis. The preserved region also includes Ubatuba, Cunha, São José do Barreiro and Areais (SP).

With about 85% of the well-conserved native vegetation cover, the mixed site area forms the second largest forest remnant of the Atlantic Forest biome. Besides its extension, the different vegetal physiognomies allow the occurrence of an incomparable fauna and flora, with several rare and endemic species.

Exceptional universal value
According to the Unesco 1972 World Heritage Convention, the exceptional universal value is expressed in two main criteria. One is to be a prime example of human interaction with the environment. Its archaeological sites date more than four thousand years. Traces of human occupation over time are observed in paths such as sambaquis, caves, underground or submerged structures.

The territory is home to two indigenous lands, two quilombola territories and 28 caiçaras communities, which live off the relationship with nature, artisanal fishing and sustainable management of biodiversity species. These traditional communities maintain the ways of life of their ancestors, preserving most of their cultural relations such as rites, festivities and religions, whose tangible and intangible elements contribute to the characterization of the cultural system and the relation of their way of life to the natural environment.

Another criterion is to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for the conservation of biological diversity. The site has a high degree of endemic species of fauna and flora, as well as rare species of the Atlantic Forest biome. Thirty-six plant species are considered rare, of which 29 are endemic. The area covers about 45% of the birds of the Atlantic Forest and 34% of the frogs and frogs of the biome. There are records of rare mammals and predators, such as the jaguar and the muriqui, the largest primate in the Americas.

The Unesco title creates an international commitment to preserve the place. The shared management planning of the site, involving several local representatives, defines the matrix of responsibilities of all the partners. The plan maps risks and points actions to minimize possible threats to the exceptional universal value of Paraty and Ilha Grande.


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