Strategy - What are the issues, and who are they for?

     The State of Espírito Santo and the Espírito Santo Biodiversity and Watershed Conservation and Restoration Project area are located in the Atlantic Forest biome, which, due to its exceptional level of species diversity and its vulnerability to continuing threats, is one of the five ―hottest biodiversity hotspots among the world‘s top priority conservation areas. The FpV project focuses on two critical, high-biodiversity watersheds in south-central Espírito Santo: the watersheds of the Jucú and the Santa Maria da Vitória Rivers, comprising 401,000 ha, or 9 percent of the State‘s territory. The selected watersheds are of critical importance to the State because they provide approximately 95 percent of the GVMA water supply while also generating hydroelectricity, and the GVMA is of great importance to the State‘s economy because it houses close to half the State‘s population of 3.1 million and generates 62 percent of state GDP.

     But there are serious environmental problems in the region. Upstream of the GVMA, land use patterns have resulted in severe erosion, substantially increasing silt loads and reducing the quality and timing of water supplies. While the Rio Santa Maria da Vitoria provides roughly one-third of the freshwater supply to the capital city, Vitoria, sediment concentrations reach such high levels during heavy rainfall that water sanitation facilities become inoperable. When water is most abundant, local citizens have little to no access to clean freshwater because of the effect of enhanced sediment levels on water sanitation facilities.

     Hence there is a strong need for the government of Espírito Santo to understand how the dynamics of water movement, landuse, and sediment fluxes can inform improved freshwater resource and sanitation management practices. The project Portal Capaixaba de Gestao das Aguas e da Paisagem  (PCGAP) was established as part of FpV to develop such capabilities.

     The strategy for addressing the management issues in the context of PCGAP is developed in this section.Tthe principal participants and stakeholders are identified in Partners. The specific problems and approach iare given in  Issues and Targets. The strategy behind PCGAP is summarized in the Dynamic Information Framework. The background of the models used is summarized in The Models.