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FAPESP and the Sustainable Development Goals

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SDG 15 Life on Land

News

SDG 15 Life on Land

Applications for São Paulo School of Advanced Science on Biodiversity are now being received by State University of Campinas
SDG 13, SDG 14, SDG 15
Applications for São Paulo School of Advanced Science on Biodiversity are now being received by State University of Campinas

The event, which is supported by FAPESP, is for young researchers and environmental technicians. Thirty applicants from Brazil and 30 from other countries will be selected.


United Kingdom, Switzerland and Germany join new call for proposals issued by Amazon+10 Initiative
SDG 11, SDG 13, SDG 14, SDG 15, SDG 17
United Kingdom, Switzerland and Germany join new call for proposals issued by Amazon+10 Initiative

With the new contributions from abroad, the Scientific Expeditions call, issued in partnership with the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, now has a fund totaling some BRL 94 million.


Novel methodology projects growth of native trees, enhancing return on investment in forest restoration
SDG 13, SDG 15
Novel methodology projects growth of native trees, enhancing return on investment in forest restoration

The study analyzed data for 13 Atlantic Rainforest restoration areas involving ten species of native trees that could be commercially useful to the timber industry. Publication of the findings comes during the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.


More than 80% of tree species endemic to the Atlantic Rainforest are threatened with extinction
SDG 13, SDG 15
More than 80% of tree species endemic to the Atlantic Rainforest are threatened with extinction

A study published in the journal Science shows for the first time the degree of threat to all tree species in the biome, classifying 65% as vulnerable or endangered to some extent. According to the authors, their findings are conservative – the actual situation could be even more alarming.


Diversity of bioluminescent beetles in Brazilian savanna has declined sharply in 30 years
SDG 15
Diversity of bioluminescent beetles in Brazilian savanna has declined sharply in 30 years

Surveys conducted in the Cerrado since the 1990s show falling biodiversity as the agricultural frontier advances in the vicinity of Emas National Park. Species with biotechnological potential are dwindling and even disappearing.


Subsistence poaching has little impact on biodiversity in the Amazon’s environmental protection areas
SDG 14, SDG 15
Subsistence poaching has little impact on biodiversity in the Amazon’s environmental protection areas

A study conducted in sustainable-use reserves shows that local game species become less abundant about 5 kilometers away from the nearest human community, but the negative effects of anthropic activity can be mitigated by appropriate management strategies.


Plants in the Cerrado combine at least two strategies to survive fire, study shows
SDG 13, SDG 15
Plants in the Cerrado combine at least two strategies to survive fire, study shows

Plant species native to the Brazilian savanna-like biome grow thick bark to protect their internal tissues and hide organs that assure resprouting below the ground, according to an article in Flora by researchers at São Paulo State University.


Study reveals areas of Brazilian Amazon where no ecological research has been done
SDG 13, SDG 14, SDG 15
Study reveals areas of Brazilian Amazon where no ecological research has been done

The findings evidenced high susceptibility to climate change by 2050 in 15%-18% of the areas with the most neglected biodiversity.


Cerrado requires strict protection and rehabilitation of areas to curb deforestation, scientists warn
SDG 13, SDG 15
Cerrado requires strict protection and rehabilitation of areas to curb deforestation, scientists warn

Record levels of destruction of native vegetation in the Brazilian savanna, the second-largest biome in South America, motivated the letter published in Nature Sustainability. The scientists who wrote it stress the need for specific measures to conserve the Cerrado’s rich biodiversity.


Amazon+10 Initiative and CNPq issue new call to support scientific expeditions in the region
SDG 10, SDG 11, SDG 13, SDG 14, SDG 15, SDG 17
Amazon+10 Initiative and CNPq issue new call to support scientific expeditions in the region

Subnational funding agencies and Brazil’s National Scientific Council will partner to allocate almost BRL 60 million to research projects that explore little-known areas of the world’s largest tropical forest.


Hydroelectric power plants in Brazil threaten turtles that depend on rapids, study warns
SDG 14, SDG 15
Hydroelectric power plants in Brazil threaten turtles that depend on rapids, study warns

The researchers correlated data on the animal’s ecological niche and connectivity among populations with existing and planned hydropower development sites in Brazil’s South region. They estimated that 30% of its habitat could be lost, heightening the risk of extinction.


A new system for predicting fire propagation in the Cerrado in quasi-real time
SDG 13, SDG 15
A new system for predicting fire propagation in the Cerrado in quasi-real time

Available free of charge on the internet, the platform simulates fire propagation in the savanna biome three times a day and is in use in nine conservation units.


Capuchin monkeys that spend more time on the ground use tools in more ways than one
SDG 15
Capuchin monkeys that spend more time on the ground use tools in more ways than one

Primates in a Brazilian national park spend 41% of their time on the ground. Territoriality influences stone tool use, the behavior of females while on heat, and care of disabled individuals.


Degradation caused by human activities affects 38% of Amazon, study shows
SDG 13, SDG 15
Degradation caused by human activities affects 38% of Amazon, study shows

An article in Science by 35 researchers affiliated with institutions in Brazil and elsewhere shows that carbon emissions resulting from forest degradation are equivalent to emissions from deforestation. The authors analyzed degradation due to fire, edge effects, illegal logging and extreme drought.


Mites in stingless bee colonies increase bee survival rates even in the presence of insecticide
SDG 15
Mites in stingless bee colonies increase bee survival rates even in the presence of insecticide

The study by Brazilian researchers showed that the microscopic arachnids rid stingless bee colonies of excessive fungi and serve as food for the larvae of these honey-making insects.


Trees in savanna areas of Cerrado produce three times more bark than species in forest areas
SDG 13, SDG 15
Trees in savanna areas of Cerrado produce three times more bark than species in forest areas

The mechanism has resulted from evolution over millions of years to protect the buds that enable plants to survive fire. A study conducted in an environmental protection unit in São Paulo state (Brazil) can contribute to strategies for mitigating the effects of climate change.


Research on reptiles is strongly influenced by access to specimens
SDG 14, SDG 15
Research on reptiles is strongly influenced by access to specimens

A review of the literature shows that 15% of articles published between 1960 and 2021 focused on only ten species, while no articles at all were published on almost 40% of all species. Research efforts tend to be biased toward large-bodied animals and species native to wealthier countries, among other factors that should be taken into consideration when planning future studies, according to the authors.


News coverage highlights some threats to deer conservation but may mislead or omit key information
SDG 15
News coverage highlights some threats to deer conservation but may mislead or omit key information

A survey of news items on Brazilian deer published between 2011 and 2021 shows that most referred to habitat loss and poaching, but diseases transmitted by cattle and low reproductive efficiency were ignored as factors that can lead to species extinction. Lack of the right information can hinder conservation efforts.


Despite peculiarities, conservation challenges are similar in Madagascar and Brazil
SDG 13, SDG 15
Despite peculiarities, conservation challenges are similar in Madagascar and Brazil

Two articles published in the journal Science by an international group of researchers that includes Brazilians present an up-to-date review of existing knowledge of the island’s rich biodiversity and how it is protected. Maintaining harmony between the species found on this tropical island off the coast of Africa and its human population is a daunting challenge.


Expanding protected Atlantic Rainforest by 2% would help conserve endangered deer species, study shows
SDG 15
Expanding protected Atlantic Rainforest by 2% would help conserve endangered deer species, study shows

According to a mapping exercise by a group of Brazilian researchers, 56.8% of the areas that should be priorities for conservation are not legally protected. They identified 21 large forests that could be converted into new conservation units.


Cultural heritage may influence choice of tools by capuchin monkeys, study suggests
SDG 15
Cultural heritage may influence choice of tools by capuchin monkeys, study suggests

Researchers documented the size and weight of the stones used as tools by three populations of these primates living in Central Brazil, as well as the hardness of the nuts and seeds the tools were used on. Even when more suitable tools were available, some animals preferred the heaviest stones, possibly as a result of cultural learning.


Loss of limbs in lizards and snakes took different evolutionary paths, study shows
SDG 15
Loss of limbs in lizards and snakes took different evolutionary paths, study shows

Genomic analyses performed by researchers in Brazil and Germany suggest that different groups of reptiles submitted to similar environmental conditions developed convergent adaptations independently.


Indiscriminate tree planting destroys grasslands and savannas instead of restoring them, scientists warn
SDG 13, SDG 15
Indiscriminate tree planting destroys grasslands and savannas instead of restoring them, scientists warn

In a special issue of the journal Science, some of the leading experts on the subject argue that rehabilitating degraded areas requires more complex solutions that take the biome’s specificities into account.


Brazil has two populations of American bullfrogs, an exotic species that transmits a deadly fungus
SDG 15
Brazil has two populations of American bullfrogs, an exotic species that transmits a deadly fungus

Genetic analysis of Aquarana catesbeiana, a species that originally came from North America and is now found in nine Brazilian states, shows that the lineage introduced in 1935 prevails in both captive and feral bullfrogs. Law enforcement to maintain sanitary standards is difficult. The invaders prey on native amphibians and transmit diseases to them.


Toll tag technology is repurposed for use in wildlife monitoring
SDG 9, SDG 15
Toll tag technology is repurposed for use in wildlife monitoring

The system is being developed by a Brazilian startup supported by FAPESP and can be used by biologists in scientific research, by NGOs to track endangered species, and by environmental consultants.


News about research projects funded by FAPESP and articulated with the SDGs: