The community of Nazaré Paulista has participated in IPE biodiversity conservation activities since 1997. During these years, the Environmental Education team has imparted knowledge to the rural population on the Atlantic Forest and its ecological systems, biodiversity, its fragility and its potential for sustainable practices. We seek to promote changes in values that incorporate the ecosystem with local culture and enable different segments of the community to adopt practices that increase family income and improve quality of life.
Nazaré Paulista is located in the Atibainha River watershed, which supplies water to more than 12 million persons, including metropolitan Sao Paulo and Campinas. This is also the source of the water used by the main industrial centers of Brazil, another incentive for the rational use and protection of this resource. In light of the region's importance, educational activities with students and teachers, decision makers and the general public often emphasize the conservation of water and of forest remnants surrounding the reservoir.
These activities include training courses in schools, thematic lectures, teaching workshops, ecological exhibits and tree plantings. All activities integrate diverse segments of the local community into discussions of environmental issues. This educational work has sensitized the population to the importance of natural resources, emphasizing the protection of water, and encouraged participants to adopt sustainable practices that guarantee extra income for families and positive environmental impacts.
In addition to water conservation, environmental education activities are directed towards the conservation of Atlantic Forest primates, such as the white-eared-marmoset and the titi monkey, both threatened with extinction. Ecological studies with these species have been conducted by researchers at the IPE since 2002.