While some conservation strategies for threatened plant species have recently been proposed by the Southern Espinhaço National Action Plan (Pougy et al., 2015), a broader approach to protect biodiversity beyond plants is still lacking (Monteiro et al., 2018). The following proposals are in consonance with and have been marked out for international sustainability agreements including the CBD, and The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its associated targets. While many different models or initiatives exist addressing the SDGs, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) represents a global initiative focused on “making nature's values visible” that fits our goals for the Campo Rupestre. TEEB follows a structured approach to valuation that helps decision-makers recognize the wide range of benefits provided by ecosystems and biodiversity, demonstrate their values in economic terms and, where appropriate, capture those values in decision-making (Sukhdev, 2008). This initiative's principal objective is to mainstream the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services into decision-making at all levels. In the APCR, we offer a list of activities to develop public policies that are rooted in academia, local communities, industry, and government (see Fig. 4B for some examples). All social actors (including the private sector) share responsibilities and are represented in working groups that make collective decisions and recommendations. The integrative approach of the APCR is based on three strategies, (1) in situ and ex situ conservation, (2) sustainable use, monitoring, and management, and (3) ecological restoration. One of the central tenets of the APCR is the development of precise quantitative indicators and unequivocal definitions for long-term monitoring, supporting conservation strategies and restoration success. Systematic monitoring during all stages is key for effective policy development and the implementation of all the actions and measures (see Kollmann et al., 2016). Each conservation strategy has its value and purpose, but in situ conservation is the preferred choice. Ex situ conservation is also relevant and should be used whenever possible to aid the achievement of the conservation goals. Ecological restoration of the Campo Rupestre is crucial for securing ecosystem services and biodiversity. While recent studies have shown good progress for the Campo Rupestre (reviewed in Fernandes et al., 2016, see also Gomes et al., 2015), there are still numerous challenges to be overcome for tropical grasslands in general, as shown by Buisson et al. (2019). Although the APCR proposed here still needs to be debated into its concrete actions, given governance and practical contingencies, we argue that it is mandatory that all steps and decisions of the APCR should be guided by scientific evidence. A shift towards the effective application of science is necessary to support an adaptive flow of processes. The successful implementation of the APCR is expected to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services, which in turn, would provide positive, long-lasting benefits to our society (see Fig. 4C for some examples of the expected outcomes). Public policies Current rates of land-use changes in the Campo Rupestre remain largely unknown, due to poor legal reqrequirements for monitoring. Yet, drastic impacts have been documented since the discovery of gold and diamonds in the early 18th century and the increase of iron ore mining from World War II onwards (Neves et al., 2016). Unlawful occupation of rural areas for leisure and farming, unregulated expansions of quartzite quarrying mining in Diamantina plateau, but also the plantation of eucalyptus, coffee and mango on shallow soils and peatlands, the irregular occupation of areas around springs are just a few examples of poorly documented by land use changes that put the long-term conservation of the Campo Rupestre at risk. Public policies concerning the Campo Rupestre should address the following: i. A TEEB-kind of analysis and economic valuation of the Campo Rupestre biodiversity and ecosystem services to support the decision-making process stakeholders’ claims of the wide range of benefits provided by ecosystems and biodiversity; ii.Tightening and enforcing current regulation coupled with the development of new and specific legislation that takes into account the features of non-forest vegetation and includes the most endangered species within the Campo Rupestre. This can be achieved through each regional State Council for Environmental Policy, which are collegiate groups of people of a consultative normative and deliberative nature. Thus, within the scope of their competence, they can put out normative proposals on the sustainable management and quantitative indicators for long-term monitoring, conservation, and restoration strategies (e.g. art. 214, §7 and art. 57 of State Law MG 20.922/2013). Such Councils must discuss specific legislation with technical-academic support to review the criteria for licensing and financial compensation (Miola et al., 2019, see also Fernandes et al., 2020); iii. Despite the widely acknowledged key role of science in supporting evidence-based decision makings, resources available for research funding in Brazil are still scant (Fernandes et al., 2017). We argue that a fairly reasonable alternative is that private investments could provide additional funding for conservation research projects. We propose the development of legal instruments that make it possible to support long-term scientific studies by reverting part of the financial resources obtained from compensations, royalties from the mining sector, and conservation fees charged upon the sustainable tourism exploration of protected areas. A potential financial source is the Compensation for Mineral Resources Exploitation (Compensação Financeira pela Exploração de Recursos Minerais – CFEM in Portuguese), which comprises funds paid by the mining companies to the Federal Government that are partially returned to the municipalities that host the mining activities (Brazilian federal laws 7990/1990 and 8001/1990 and Decree 01/1991). Unfortunately, the current overly centralized approach by the Federal Government states that between ca. 35% of the CFEM funds remain at the federal and state level. iv. The creation of legal instruments for payment for ecosystem services (PES) prioritizing water and food security, biodiversity conservation and carbon storage. The PES can follow examples such as the water farmers in the municipality of Extrema, Minas Gerais, Brazil (Programa Produtores de Água) or PES programs related to the dam disaster in Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil; v. The establishment of policies and development of protocols to monitor and minimize the impact of infrastructure-related threats including biological invasions and soil erosion (Barbosa et al., 2010); vi. The establishment of an open-data network of biodiversity inventories of the Campo Rupestre biota to support environmental assessment studies. This platform should also integrate and strengthen scientific collections from different institutions and provide online, georeferenced information of all records; vii. More sustainable mining to mitigate the trade-offs between mining, environmental and socio-economic aspects (Neves et al., 2016, Collins and Kumral, 2019). To achieve this, a set of actions should be fostered. For example, the revision of legislation to better compensate municipalities from which minerals were extracted is desirable as long as legal measures are set to guide the allocation of these resources. These financial resources could be used by local governments to stimulate sustainable development in their municipalities, including actions to conserve or increase the provision of key ecosystem services to the region, mitigate the social impacts from mining activities, as well as create positive synergies among mining and other sectors such as social assistance and education (Barbieri et al., 2014, Neves et al., 2016). Considering that the mining taxes are not enough to compensate for the loss of ecosystem services (Domingues et al., 2012), social and environmental costs of mining should be included in the accounting of the municipalities with mining activities (e.g. by using the Genuine Progress Indicator: Berik, 2020). Incorporating the socio-economic dimension in the decision-making process is a paramount step towards more sustainable mining. In addition, all societal sectors should be encouraged to establish new protected areas aiming to improve in situ conservation of the Campos Rupestre and complement the protected areas network managed by the government. Conservation, management and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services
Restricted geographical distribution, small populations, and habitat specificity, together with increasing human-caused disturbances, result in a high level of threatened species (Pougy et al., 2015). For the long-term conservation of the Campo Rupestre biodiversity and its associated ecosystem services, activities should include:
Development and maintenance of existing long-term monitoring programs to secure the conservation of endangered species involving both in situ and ex situ conservation strategies;
Stimulation and nurturing of programs for the research, registration and protection of cultural heritage, especially those linked with the traditional knowledge of ecosystem management by communities that allow current biodiversity conservation (Gavin et al., 2015);
The mapping and establishment of biodiversity baselines programs to monitor the effect of global change drivers of biodiversity, and the provision of ecosystem services (Fernandes et al., 2018, Callisto et al., 2019, Chase et al., 2020);
Identification of (bio)indicators to monitor landscape integrity;
The assessment of the ecological integrity of the Campo Rupestre's current protected areas and its effectiveness for the current and future safeguarding of its biodiversity and ecosystem services;
The allocation of priority areas for the further expansion of current protected areas to achieve a more effective landscape planning supporting the sustainable development and international protection of the Campo Rupestre, taking into account, through a multi-stakeholder committee, the various conservation attributes, as well as the demands of indigenous and local communities and of industry representatives;
The development and implementation of integrated fire management protocols to maintain biodiversity in heterogeneous landscape mosaics, where fire-prone plant communities often coexist with fire-sensitive communities (Figueira et al., 2016, Batista et al., 2018, Rodrigues et al., 2019).
The development of strategies for integrating local communities in long-term programs of environmental education including citizen science programs, schools, land-owners, tourism companies, and religious communities, stimulating the participation and employment of local people as agents of education (França et al., 2019).
Regional socio-economic development and territorial planning
Many of the Campo Rupestre sites occur in areas with low potential for large-scale agriculture, due to adverse environmental circumstances and poor soil conditions (Almada et al., 2016). As a consequence, human populations have derived their livelihood mainly from family agriculture and cattle ranching, hunting, extraction of minerals and harvesting of ornamental plants, including endangered species (Giulietti et al., 1988b, Almada et al., 2016). However, cattle grazing associated with anthropogenic fires (Batista et al., 2018), Eucalyptus plantations (Ribas et al., 2016), and agriculture have expanded into the Campo Rupestre sites. Silviculture and agriculture rely on fertilizers, liming, and pesticides, dramatically affecting the nutrient-poor Campo Rupestre soils, facilitating biological invasions and changing the natural fire regimes (Barbosa et al., 2010).
Targeted use of the Campo Rupestre biological resources can help to reconcile conservation and economic goals in the long-term if well planned under a solid scientific basis. In this regard, the implementation of an economic system supported by the use of renewable resources in a sustainable matter such as the bioeconomy may represent a potential strategy for achieving sustainability in this ecosystem (Aguilar et al., 2019, Ladu et al., 2020). From the perspective of socio-economic development of the Campo Rupestre and the maintenance of its natural capital, it is necessary to:
i.Develop bioeconomy models consistent with the conservation and sustainable use of ecosystem resources according to the livelihoods of local communities (Aguilar et al., 2019);ii.Promote the unification of urban and regional master plans of all municipalities that encompass the Campo Rupestre vegetation for the better planning of urban development, and increase landscape connectivity;iii.Evaluate the current status of Cadastro Ambiental Rural - (Rural Environmental Registry, in English) and take legal measures to develop strategies towards normalizing and implementing Permanent Preservation Areas and Legal Reserves in private areas of municipalities covered by the Campo Rupestre to some extent.iv.Modelling multiple off-setting scenarios aiming at reaching a target of no-net biodiversity loss for impacting activities (Sonter et al., 2014) to guide decision making.v.Identify social, cultural and economic characteristics of traditional communities including quilombolas (i.e. communities of people who resisted the Brazilian slave regime; maroons in English) and work in tandem with their ethnoecological knowledge to reduce overharvesting.Towards sustainable ecotourism
Although mountains are desired destinations for tourism, demanded by visitors seeking scenic beauty and adventure, unplanned tourism expansion has been a source of high environmental impact to the Campo Rupestre (Fernandes, 2016c). While an essential attribute for tourists who visit the Campo Rupestre is related to recreation (Resende et al., 2017), overexploitation of the visited areas leads to landscape degradation in its trails, waterfalls, washes, rivers, and roadsides. For this reason, a positive agenda for the development of sustainable ecotourism requires:
i.Development of quantitative indicators for monitoring and regulating tourism impacts;ii.Determination of carrying capacity of touristic sites in protected areas;iii.Development of local environmental education initiatives, including participatory monitoring (citizen science) with local school students and teachers;iv.Development of scientific training of tourist guides and locals, sharing benefits and knowledge;v.Promotion of science outreach activities to tourists and local communities (e.g. bird watching and wildlife tourism that combine income generation and conservation).Towards engaged scientific and local communities
Increasing the engagement of the scientific community in the decision-making process is vital to ensure evidence-based, long-lasting, sustainable solutions. Increasing the engagement of local communities is important as well to ensure on the one hand that their needs are being properly addressed and on the other hand to incorporate their traditional and valuable knowledge in the decision-making process. Unbalanced political and administrative representativeness is likely to fail in reconciling the interests of various stakeholders. To improve the outcomes, we need to:
1.Broaden academic representation in watershed committees, advisory councils of protected areas and councils in environmental and regulatory agencies;2.Encourage the articulation of academia with environmental agencies, decision-makers, and legislators through courses, technical training, unified events, and technical-scientific cooperation agreements.3.Create mechanisms to assure the representation and empowerment of local communities.Emerging scientific issues and technical knowledge
Although the number of studies on the Campo Rupestre has increased significantly in the last three decades (reviews in Fernandes et al., 2018, Morellato and Silveira, 2018), severe knowledge gaps persist. A number of emerging priority questions can be identified that are fundamental for informed-decisions that will benefit both nature and people associated with the Campo Rupestre.
Relevant actions to fill knowledge gaps include the formulation of calls for funding long-term multi- and interdisciplinary scientific research by private and government funding agencies. Pressing issues include: (1) a solid inventory and quantification of ecosystem services provided by the Campo Rupestre, (2) climate change monitoring showing the impacts, vulnerability, and necessary adaptations, (3) fire monitoring and management, (4) assessments of land-use conversion, (5) determination of ecosystem resilience, (6) the development of scientific knowledge in ecological restoration, (7) inventorying biodiversity on poorly sampled areas, (8) implementation of ex situ conservation protocols for threatened taxa, (9) integration of traditional and scientific ecological knowledge for community-based management, 10) promotion of environmental justice and public participation through bioeconomy models.Synthesis and the way forward
The APCR may provide the spark to trigger a large-scale and innovative program on bioeconomy in Brazil, in light of the increasing anthropogenic threat and current erosion of the natural and cultural heritage of the Campo Rupestre. The measures and synergic actions of the APCR can contribute to change the current Brazilian conservation paradigm and protect one of its most threatened ecosystems. Such actions have the potential to increase socioeconomic benefits through income generation and the creation of employment of ecologically and economically viable alternative activities. The APCR proposes a series of concrete measures that, if implemented and integrated, can lead to a positive change in land and water use models, thus allowing the sustainable use/development of the Campo Rupestre and its associated people.
The APCR suggests specific mechanisms to advance and synergize the engagement among stakeholders to enact specific legislation leading to the conservation and sustainable use of the Campo Rupestre. While we acknowledge that the proposed actions do not cover all relevant needs, we believe the APCR can be an effective science-based platform to develop and implement further adaptive changes needed. We posit that this integrative alliance can be a cornerstone for the conservation and sustainable use of the Campo Rupestre that will ultimately benefit both nature and people.Conflict of interest none declared.
Acknowledgments The authors thank two anonymous reviewers, and Renato R. Silva, and G. Overbeck for comments on earlier versions of the manuscript. This work was supported by Conselho Nacional de Pesquisas (CNPq/MCTI), and the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) for funding the Long-Term Ecological Research (PELD-CRSC-17), and Coordenadoria de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES-PRINT). We also thank the support provided by the Company Cedro Têxtil, Reserva Vellozia, ICMBio, and Parque Nacional da Serra do Cipó, GSG, Pousada Elefante, Pousada Serra Morena, Anglo American, and CRBio. LPCM thanks the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) for grants #2013/50155-0 #2010/51307-0. RSO was supported by FAPESP-NERC (2019/07773-1). GWF, RSO, LPCM, MC, FSN, RS, and FAOS received a research productivity fellowship from CNPq, NCS received a Ph.D. scholarship from CAPES. RD was supported by Stanford's School of Humanities and Sciences through the Biology Department and the Center for Latin American Studies. References See at original page: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2530064420300638 * Outros autores: Lucas Arantes-Garcia, Milton Barbosa, Newton P.U. Barbosa, Eugênia K.L. Batista, Wallace Beiroz, Fernando M. Resende, Anna Abrahão, Emmanuel D. Almada, Elaine Alves, Natacha J. Alves, Patrícia Angrisano, Montserrat Arista, Juan Arroyo, André Jardim Arruda, Thaise de Oliveira Bahia, Laura Braga, Lílian Brito, Marcos Callisto, Dario Caminha-Paiva, Marília Carvalho, Abel Augusto Conceição, Leda N. Costa, Antonio Cruz, Jessica Cunha-Blum, John Dagevos, Braulio F.S. Dias, Victor D. Pinto, Rodolfo Dirzo, Daniel Quedes Domingos, Lívia Echternacht, Stephannie Fernandes, Jose Eugenio C. Figueira, Cecilia F. Fiorini, Ana Maria Giulietti, Augusto Gomes, Vanessa M. Gomes, Bernardo Gontijo, Fernando Goulart, Tadeu J. Guerra, Patrícia A. Junqueira, Débora Lima-Santos, Julia Marques, Joao Meira-Neto, Deise T.B. Miola, Leonor Patrícia C. Morellato, Daniel Negreiros, Elizabeth Neire, Ana Carolina Neves, Frederico S. Neves, Samuel Novais, Yumi Oki, Elizabeth Oliveira, Rafael S. Oliveira, Marco O. Pivari, Euripedes Pontes Junior, Bernardo D. Ranieri, Rodrigo Pinheiro Ribas, Aldicir Scariot, Carlos E. Schaefer, Letícia Sena, Pedro G. da Silva, Paulo R. Siqueira, Natalia C. Soares, Britaldo Soares-Filho, Ricardo Solar, Marcelo Tabarelli, Rogério Vasconcellos, Evaldo Vilela, Fernando A.O. Silveira, Biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Campo Rupestre: A road map for the sustainability of the hottest Brazilian biodiversity hotspot, Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation, 2020, ISSN 2530-0644, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecon.2020.10.004