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Potential areas for the establishment of world surfing reserves on the coast of São Paulo state, Brazil

Grant number: 19/11334-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2019
Effective date (End): July 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Denis Moledo de Souza Abessa
Grantee:Gabriela Cabrera
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB-CLP). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus Experimental do Litoral Paulista. São Vicente , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The growth of population on coastal regions has intensified the threats to coastal and marine environments. However, there is a urgent need to preserve such environments and their natural resources. The strategy to conciliate the conservation goals and the economic uses involves the articulation of policies at local level, in order to organize the demands of the different actors involved, in the search of a democratic and participative management. Surfing has been growing as an economic industry and recreational activity, involving several economic sectors, and its importance regarding the coastal governance has been widely recognized around the world. The Save the Waves Coalition (SWC) created the World Surfing Reserves (WSR) program, which aims to identify, propose and preserve Surf Areas, by the implementation of participative ways of local governance. The WSR has been considered an effective tool to develop new policies of coastal management and environmental and cultural protection. This research aims to identify, assess and propose potential areas to the creation of World Surfing Reserves on the coast of Sao Paulo State, according to the criteria established by the SWC: 1) Wave Quality, 2) Level of Environmental Conservation, 3) Surf Culture, and 4) Governance. Four sites were predefined, after discussions with NGOs involved in the theme: Itamambuca, Maresias, Praia Branca and Guarau. Each of the 4 items proposed by the SWC will be evaluated for different aspects that favor (or not) the establishment of a WSR. By means of action research, field data and review of literature, local diagnostics will be conducted, and a qualitative-quantitative analysis will be prepared to each site, considering the fulfillment of the official criteria. In the end of this investigation, we intend to determinate the potential for the establishment of a WSR in each area analyzed.