Economic Environmental Management Tools in the Serra Do Espinhaço Biosphere Reserve

Sérgio Augusto Domingues, Cláudia Santiago Karez, Isabella Virgínia Freire Biondini, Miguel Ângelo Andrade, Geraldo Wilson Fernandes


UNESCO-MAB biosphere reserves are composed of 580 sites distributed in 112 countries. The ecosystems comprising these sites are of global importance because of their biodiversity and endemism levels as well as because of their ecosystem goods and services provided. Biosphere reserves are learning sites for sustainable development. However many of them are threatened because of climate change, land use changes and environmental pollution which cause the degradation of natural resources. In order to mitigate those threats we argue that private and public policies as well as the perception of the value of natural resources by the population should be improved. The objective of the present article is to analyse the application and impacts of economic tools as the payment of ecosystem services in the management of the Serra do Espinhaço Biosphere Reserve. This area was declared biosphere reserve in June 2005, it has 3 076 457.8 ha, which includes 53 municipalities in the state of Minas Gerais (Brazil) with a total population of 3 442 906 inhabitants. Economic tools have been used to revert or compensate the impacts of a large mining exploitation area located in the transition zone of this site. The ecological ICMS (Merchandise and Service Circulation Tax) that provides the municipalities with access to funding resources according to environmental criteria is analysed. Mining is the most important economic activity in the area which is a major user of land and water resources in the region. They compensate the municipalities financially for the extraction of natural resources. Both economic tools, the ecological ICMS and mining royalties, are here proposed as elements to be used to improve the social dialogue process. The decisions related to the financial resources should be considered based on the social dialogue as well as on the scientific and monitoring data.  In addition, reinforce the positive effects of the participation of stakeholders.

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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online) Email:

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