UFSC and partner institutions launch Pan American Network for Environmental Epidemiology on Monday, 29

30/11/2021 19:20

The Laboratory of Applied Virology of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology of the School of Biological Sciences (MIP/CCB) at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC), together with other governmental and academic institutions from 14 Latin American countries, launched on Monday, 29 November, the Pan American Network for Environmental Epidemiology (Panacea). The Panacea network is capable of obtaining real-time data to detect microbiological and chemical risks in the region. In addition, it seeks to develop and implement new molecular tools for application in environmental epidemiology, as well as to train professionals capable of producing, analyzing, and interpreting data.

The initiative has collaboration with the University of Newcastle, the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, the Karolinska Institute, and MGI Tech. Panacea is also supported by the Northumbrian Water Group and the Suez Group, and aims to expand the current analytical capabilities of Latin American and Caribbean countries to implement Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) programs.


The network co-creation project, led by the University of Newcastle, has begun sequencing historical and contemporary samples across Latin America to determine the variants of SARS-CoV-2 circulating in the region. The research assesses the real-time prevalence and genomic variants of the virus in major cities across the continent. The team is also preparing to expand the network’s work in monitoring antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and other infectious agents.

Research on Environmental Epidemiology in Brazil

Through this project, the Laboratory of Applied Virology at UFSC becomes one of the focal points of the network in Brazil, together with the Environmental Company of the State of São Paulo (Cetesb). “LVA has been working with environmental surveillance in sewage in Santa Catarina since 1993, as an alert system for epidemiological surveillance of environmental viruses and fecal-oral excretion,” says the coordinator of the Virology Laboratory, Professor Gislaine Fongaro. LVA’s environmental surveillance work was also applied during the pandemic, together with the UFSC Task Force against Covid-19, consisting of the Applied Virology Laboratories, Protozoology Laboratory, Bioinformatics Laboratory and the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Serology (LBMMS).

“In early May 2020, the Laboratory of Applied Virology expanded its studies by also focusing on SARS-CoV-2 in sewage in Florianopolis, as well as evaluating retrospective sewage from the capital of Santa Catarina. Soon after, it followed up during the 2020-2021 summer season the viral circulation in Florianópolis-SC, inviting LACEN (Environment) for collaboration. Then, in August 2021, we started to seek support from city halls, knocking on doors, as well as from municipal health supervisors, consortiums and concessionaires that manage sanitation for the purpose of expanding the project to several cities in Santa Catarina and not only to the capital”, says Gislaine. This broad study includes Campos Novos, Capinzal, Chapecó, Concórdia, Curitibanos, Florianópolis, Herval d’ Oeste, Itajaí, Joaçaba, Joinville, São Miguel do Oeste, and Videira, and is part of an Outreach action, part of the Integrative Environmental Epidemiological Surveillance (VigEAI) project.

“The Panacea network provides the integration of studies and strengthening of epidemiology based on sewage monitoring, as a sentinel tool in Latin America, and our studies may help in this reinforcement,” concludes virologist, professor and researcher at UFSC, Gislaine Fongaro.

Translated by SINTER/UFSC

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Animation produced by Special Student from UFSC is selected to participate on the Science Film Festival

25/11/2021 20:13

An animation produced by a special student from the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) was featured in the selection of the Science Film Festival, the largest scientific film festival in the world. The animated series Sonhos da Isah (Dreams of Isah) was conceived and produced by João Ricardo Costa, a publicist who, through classes in Film studies and Performing Arts at UFSC, acquired the necessary basis to transpose to the screen his desire to produce an animation. The production that competes in the category Educational entertainment for the family is the third episode of the series, produced in 2019. The festival began on15 October in Brazil, and runs until 20  December. 37 productions will be shown remotely and free of charge throughout the country, which can be followed through the project’s website.

Health and mental well-being are the themes addressed in this year’s edition of the Science Film Festival, in view of the effects of the health and economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. João Ricardo’s animation addresses the healthy relationship between children and divorced parents, showing, through a journey through time, the evolution of equity in raising children in shared custody. The theme was inspired by the stage of life in which the director was, affected by divorce and the break from daily contact with his young daughter.

The episode is available for free access on Isah’s Dreams YouTube channel.


João has a degree in advertising and took a specialization course in cinema in the distance learning modality during his graduation. It was from his conclusion work for this specialization that the animated series was born. “I was finishing the advertising course, but I didn’t have any in-person basis in audiovisual production. That’s when a friend who studied philosophy at UFSC gave me the idea of taking single courses in Film studies”. Taking single courses at UFSC as a special student was essential for theoretical enrichment and learning, providing the basis for starting the project and improving it.

“The courses gave me different perspectives on the project that was being born, they helped me a lot in the creative process, opening up a range of possibilities of styles and techniques to execute the production”, says the director. In 2015, the pilot episode of the series Sonhos da Isah was completed, dealing with parental alienation and the new joint custody law, enacted the year before publication. The animation was selected for approximately 40 festivals, helping to raise funds and finance the second and third episodes of the series, published respectively in 2017 and 2019.

The production process moves at a slow but determined pace. João aims to complete five episodes with excellent quality to enter streaming services and open TV, seeking greater repercussion of his project. To accomplish that, he intends to continue improving his techniques, showing the desire to return to UFSC as a special student. “I was getting ready to take some courses, maybe script or specific animation production. That would add a lot.”


Translated by SINTER/UFSC

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RESEARCH – LABIME researcher is the author of an article in Nature Protocols

22/11/2021 13:07

The November 2021 issue of the scientific journal Nature Protocols features the article “Label-free cell assays to determine compound uptake or drug action using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry” by Martina Blank, a researcher who works as a biologist at the Laboratory of Structural Molecular Biology of the Department of Biochemistry (LABIME/CCB/UFSC). The topic of the co-authored article is the result of activities performed during Martina’s post-doctoral internship at the Hochschule Mannheim, in Germany. The research describes a protocol for optimization of mass spectrometry analysis in cellular assays for drug evaluation developed at the Center for Mass Spectrometry and Optical Spectroscopy .  The full paper is available here. More information: martina.blank@ufsc.br.

Translated by SINTER/UFSC

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COP26: UFSC researchers co-author a report that assesses the situation in the Amazon

17/11/2021 19:48

The Scientific Panel for the Amazon (SPA), a group that brings together more than 200 scientists, released this Friday, 12 November, the first Amazon Assessment Report. Presented in Glasgow, Scotland, at a parallel event to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, Cop26, the document warns that the Amazon is approaching a potential and catastrophic point of no return, due to deforestation, degradation, forest fires and climate change, and calls on global governments, public and private sector leaders, policy makers and the general public to act now to prevent further devastation in the region.

According to the SPA, this is the most detailed, comprehensive and holistic material of its kind on the Amazon Basin. In its 34 chapters, it provides a systematic overview of the state of ecosystems and peoples in the Amazon and offers policy makers recommendations for the conservation of this ecosystem and paths for the sustainable development of the region. It also highlights the importance of science, technology, innovation, indigenous peoples and local knowledge to guide decision-making and policy-making.

“What this report does, its role, is like an IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] for the Amazon. So, this is the first time that a review of things happening in the Amazon, about the condition of the Amazon today, has been done like this, in this way, with several researchers”, comments the professor at the Department of Physics at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) Marina Hirota, one of the authors of the document.

The study’s structure is divided into three parts. The first presents the factors that determined the evolution of the Amazon to what we know today, including geological, climatic and human aspects. The second section discusses how human actions are affecting the biome. Issues such as deforestation, fire and climate change, land use and rainfall patterns, as well as their impacts on biodiversity, ecological processes, ecosystem services and human well-being, are addressed. The work ends with an indication of sustainable solutions and paths for the future.

On the brink of collapse

The Amazon Basin encompasses the largest tropical forest in the world and immense natural and cultural wealth and diversity. In addition to playing a decisive role in global water cycles and regulating climate variability, the Amazon is also home to approximately 47 million people, including some 2.2 million indigenous people, distributed in more than 400 groups that speak more than 300 languages.

The region, however, faces unprecedented changes. There are already parts of the Amazon that behave in a new configuration, that act as a carbon source rather than a sinkhole, or that have become a type of impoverished savannah. Amazonian peoples, their cultures and knowledge are also under threat due to multiple pressures and the weakening of the protection of their rights.

Approximately 17% of the original Amazon area has already been deforested and 18% is degraded (meaning that there may even be trees standing in these places, but disturbances such as fire and illegal logging have led to impoverishment of the forest, with loss of biodiversity and reduction of ecological functions, for example). We are very close to what some studies indicate as the limit of 20% to 25% of change in the biome’s vegetation cover – from then on, theoretical models indicate that the forest would no longer be able to recover.

Points of no return (also called tipping points) refer to the limits beyond which the system would collapse and are the focus of the chapter in the report led by Marina. The scientists’ analysis shows that there are points related to different variables – such as the amount of rain, the increase in the length of the dry season, the global temperature, and, of course, the level of deforestation.

The hypotheses about what could happen to the Amazon – and the planet – after crossing one of these points are also varied. Although there is no consensus on exactly what the impacts will be, it is known that they will certainly be felt in many places. Disturbances in such a large forest spread across the world in a domino effect.

“There will be changes in rainfall patterns, in general, in the Southeast and South of Brazil. Whether for more or for less, this still needs to have a consensus, but there will be. Things have a flow, and the flow of moisture that comes from the Atlantic Ocean and passes through the Amazon is an important flow in providing water that can fall anywhere in Brazil and South America, in general. So there will be changes in temperature and rainfall regardless of climate change. Then, we need to see which direction in a more consensual way”, explains Marina.

The forest is connected to other critical elements of the Earth system. Changes in the Amazon Basin could affect the circulation of the Atlantic Ocean and ice melt in Antarctica and the Arctic. “The fact is that temperature and rain can change elsewhere in the world. And these tipping elements [elements of the planet, interconnected with each other, which are subject to abrupt and catastrophic changes after crossing certain thresholds] can, in a cascade effect and on a more global scale, accelerate changes in other places”, reinforces the professor.

It is noteworthy that it is not just a matter of avoiding a complete collapse, even smaller and more localized disturbances can cause enormous damage. “We need to manage the resilience of the Amazon, including considering the people who live in the Amazon. Who lives in the Amazon depends on what the Amazon provides. We have to think about it a lot. It does not matter whether there is going to be a systemic collapse or not within the Amazon, even if they are small collapses, this will have a very large impact on the cultural diversity that exists there. These people are going to lose the house they have today”, reiterates Marina.

Red flags

The SPA recommends, to decision makers, an immediate moratorium on deforestation in areas that are already approaching points of no return and that deforestation and degradation be zeroed in the entire Amazon region by 2030. On the subject, Mercedes Bustamante, professor at the Universidade de Brasília (UnB) and member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the SPA, is emphatic: “With the recent outbreaks of deforestation that are devastating the most extensive tropical forest on the planet, we must also announce a red alert  for Amazon. Saving forests from ongoing deforestation and degradation and restoring ecosystems is one of the most urgent tasks of our time to preserve the Amazon and its populations and address the global risk and impacts of climate change. The mosaic of Amazonian ecosystems extends from the high Andes to the Amazonian lowlands and is home to the most extraordinary biodiversity on Earth, with more than 10% of the plant and animal species in the world”.

“The great biodiversity of the Amazon will not continue, not only of plants, but of animals, and also the diversity of humans, cultures, languages, native peoples, with the intense anthropogenic pressure that we are experiencing, especially in relation to deforestation”, emphasizes Marina Hirota. “We need to achieve zero deforestation as quickly as possible. What [the report] says is ten years at most, but I think less than that. I would say zero deforestation as quickly as possible, with public policies, but also with inspection in loco, because there are many illegal activities in the Amazon, and the report talks a lot about that too”, he adds.

The teacher also draws attention to the need to value traditional peoples, such as indigenous peoples and riverside communities, who are at the forefront of the political and social struggle that exists today in Brazil. “Keeping native peoples where they are helps us keep the forest standing. It sounds a little romantic, but they are true guardians of the forest.”

Solutions and ways forward

Despite the alarming findings, the report highlights the significant potential of advancing paths to sustainable development based on a combination of scientific research and knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and leveraging strong partnerships. It takes the combined and collaborative efforts of Amazonian policy makers at the central and local levels, the financial and private sectors, civil society and the international community.

The SPA highlights that the size and challenges of the Amazon Basin require large-scale international financial development and public and private partnerships to promote and sustain restoration, conservation, forest management, development of sustainable value chains and payment for schemes ecosystem services, as well as investment in education, science, technology and innovation. Financial support must be mobilized from advanced economies, ensuring that their consumption is linked to areas with zero deforestation and preserving the role of forests as an important natural carbon sinkhole.

Among the most urgent actions, in Marina’s view, are the demarcation of indigenous lands and the inspection of mining, deforestation and invasion of protected areas. Managing the resilience of the Amazon involves public policies at different levels of governance and open conversations between different sectors of society. It must be made clear that there is no need to cut down more forests for agricultural expansion, for example. This can be done in areas that are already deforested and degraded and through investment in new technologies.

The Panel advocates the vision of a living Amazon that promotes conservation and restoration initiatives, a transformation to an innovative bioeconomy of healthy standing forests and flowing rivers that respects and recognizes natural cycles and human rights. “If we keep the forest standing, it can make a lot more profit than if it’s fallen”, emphasizes Marina.

The change, she says, also involves the awareness of the population. “It’s a huge ecosystem, which has several sub-ecosystems. It’s hard to understand if you’ve never been there, the connectivity that exists in the Amazon is very different. Even if people don’t know this and are used to other perspectives of life in space and time, I think it’s very important for us to have empathy. Because what’s happening over there it is going to happen to everyone at some point. It is happening there because there is still forest there, but also in other places that have forest or any natural ecosystem, the pressure is very high. Just look away and see what ecosystem around you is changing and what impact it has on your life. In the Amazon, this is happening to local people and it will reach us at some level.”

Marina illustrates the issue with some recent examples of environmental problems in Santa Catarina, such as increasing deforestation and leakage caused by the rupture of a sewage structure in Lagoa da Conceição. “All these things that we can see here, imagine that multiplied by thousands, so that we can have an idea of the size of the Amazon. That doesn’t mean it’s more or less important, it means that it impacts our lives on one level or another. And what happens here in Santa Catarina also reverberates and spreads to other places in Brazil, even if at a lower level, due to the size of the state compared to the Amazon, which encompasses several states. We have to create this sense of belonging that we are in one country. A part of the Amazon is in Brazil. We are together in this.”

Scientific Panel for the Amazon

Inspired by the Pact of Letícia for the Amazon, the SPA aims to be a scientific authority on various topics related to the Amazon Basin. The Panel is organized by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and involves more than 200 scientists – of which two thirds are from Amazonian countries – including indigenous leaders.

In addition to Marina, three other UFSC researchers participated in the elaboration of the report: postdoctoral fellows from the Postgraduate Program in Ecology ,Bernardo Monteiro Flores and Carolina Levis, and professor at the Department of Phytotechnics Ana Catarina Conte Jakovac.

For more information, visit the SPA website, the report and its executive summary.Summary versions of all chapters are accessible in English. They are also being, little by little, being translated into Portuguese, and some are already available on the website aamazoniaquequeremos.org/capitulos-em-sintese.


Camila Raposo/Journalist at Agecom/UFSC, with information from the Scientific Panel for the Amazon (SPA)


Translated by SINTER/UFSC

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UFSC professor takes part in report presented at COP26 about urgent risks and solutions in climate science

05/11/2021 12:08

In a report released this Thursday, 4 November, at the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP26), a group of scientists highlighted some of the most important recent discoveries related to climate change. The document 10 New Insights in Climate Science is a compilation of an article published in October on the University of Cambridge website, produced by 62 researchers from 22 countries and five continents. The professor at the Department of Physics at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) Marina Hirota is one of the authors.

Aimed at decision makers, the material summarizes the advancement of scientific knowledge, with data from studies published in the last year, on some of the most urgent topics and has the intention of raising awareness about the actions necessary to preserve a safe and habitable planet. In presenting the report, the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Patricia Espinosa, highlighted that the topics cover distinct but interrelated issues, such as the increase in mega-fires around the world and new justifications related to the cost-benefits of rapid climate action. Each item is accompanied of political recommendations in many different scales of action – from global do local.

“Although we are quickly running out of time to slow climate change, this report shows that stabilizing in 1,5ºC is still possible, but only if immediate and drastic global measures are taken”, affirmed Wendy Broadgate, director of the Future Earth Global Hub, in Sweden. “Global leaders of the COP26 must define aggressive goals of emission reduction – nothing less than 50% less greenhouse effect gas until 2030 and liquid goals of zero emission until 2040, is enough”, adds Broadgate.

The report also warns that the rapid growth in methane and nitrous oxide emissions has set us on the path to a 2.7°C warming. As Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and co-chair of the Earth League, warns, the science is clear: exceeding 1.5°C of global warming poses major challenges for societies around the world and increases the risks of crossing points of no return in critical locations for regulating the climate system – such as the Amazon, for example.

It is in this aspect that Marina Hirota’s major contribution to the report lies. The teacher worked with the so-called tipping elements, a term without translation into Portuguese, but which refers to elements of the planet that have a non-linear behavior and that are subject to abrupt and catastrophic changes after crossing certain thresholds (which may be related to a high temperature, a change in the rainfall regime or the level of degradation of an ecosystem, for example). The Amazon, the Greenland ice sheet and the circulation of the Atlantic Ocean are examples of tipping elements. It is noteworthy that they are all interconnected. Changes in one of them cause a domino effect, with serious effects on several other systems on the planet.

With Amazon, the focus of Marina’s studies, the situation is especially worrying. “There are parts of the Amazon that are already showing a new configuration behavior, on several fronts. For example, southeastern Amazonia is already behaving as a carbon source, rather than a sinkhole. This is a very recent study. This [occurs] independently of fire, which is what most emits, what most transforms the forest into a source [of carbon]. So, regardless of the fire, we already observe that the forest is emitting more carbon than absorbing it”, comments the professor. There are even regions that have already become a type of impoverished savannah. Also noteworthy is the fact that 17% of the original Amazon area has been deforested and that 18% is degraded – meaning that there may even be trees standing in these regions, but disturbances such as fires and illegal logging have led to impoverishment of the forest, with loss of biodiversity and reduction of ecological functions, for example.

What does that mean? That we are very close to what was hypothesized as a limit of 20 to 25% of change in vegetation cover in the Amazon”, says Marina. This is believed to be the threshold of a point of no return, from which the forest could no longer recover. “Although this has not been fully proven, and it isn’t, we could call it, which I think is not worth it. So, it’s about taking an attitude of really having a deforestation moratorium, of reducing deforestation to zero in a brief time, increasing inspections, and all that stuff, because that can really cause a collapse of the system”, she emphasizes.

The researcher also highlights other aspects of the report that have more direct relations with Brazil, such as the great fires (such as those that affected the Amazon and the Pantanal recently), which should become more and more frequent, and the reflection on the preservation of coastal ecosystems – including reefs and other animal populations and coastal vegetation, such as restingas and mangroves.
The study shows that, given that human and ecosystem health are closely linked, profound changes in energy and consumption patterns are needed, which must consider justice and equity, including support for vulnerable populations. The good news is that new research shows that the costs of mitigating climate change are far outweighed by the immediate benefits to people and the planet. This includes the restoration of natural ecosystems – which also represent high economic value – and improvements to human health and well-being. The transition to renewable energy, for example, could dramatically reduce the 6.67 million deaths caused by air pollution annually in the world.

The study also recognizes the role of individual actions (what each of us can do to lower our ecological footprint) and the need to adopt nature-based solutions. “This is also very, very important for Brazil, in terms of well-done restoration. Not only planting trees, but restoring ecosystems, not only the Amazon, but also the Cerrado, the Caatinga, the Atlantic Forest, the Pantanal, the Pampas, all these biomes. And works that involve science, civil society, private initiative, local people toward restoring these ecosystems effectively, not just planting trees everywhere making no sense of it. It makes little sense for you to plant trees in the Pantanal, a flooded place, for example. That people get more and more involved in this, in initiatives that have this as their goals. And it doesn’t matter the scale on which it is done”, emphasizes Marina. She cites, as an example of local action, the project by professor of the Department of Zoology and Ecology at UFSC Michele de Sá Dechoum, which involves the removal of invasive pine trees in the Dunas da Lagoa da Conceição Municipal Natural Park, since exotic trees compromise the biodiversity of the site.
“Our knowledge of the climate system has skyrocketed in recent years, but policymaking has not yet achieved these critical advances,” says Detlef Stammer, professor at the University of Hamburg and chair of the scientific committee of the World Climate Research Programme. “The findings of this report are a strong call to decision makers to address the urgency of the state of our climate and help put us back on a path to a sustainable future,” adds Stammer.

Get to know the ten reflections:

1. Stabilization of warming at 1.5°C is still possible, but immediate and drastic global action is needed.
2. The rapid growth of methane and nitrous oxide emissions has put us on the path to a 2.7°C warming.
3. Mega-fires – climate change forces extremes of fire to reach new dimensions with extreme impacts.
4. Tipping elements are subject to high impact risks.
5. Global climate action must achieve equity.
6. Supporting individual behavior change is a crucial but often overlooked opportunity for climate action
7. Policy challenges impede the effectiveness of carbon pricing.
8. Nature-based solutions are critical for the road to Paris – but attention to detail is essential.
9. Building resilience of marine ecosystems is achievable through climate-adapted conservation and management and global stewardship.
10. The costs of climate change mitigation can be justified by multiple immediate health benefits for people and nature.

More information at 10insightsclimate.science.

Camila Raposo/Journalist from Agecom/UFSC, with information from Future Earth, The Earth League and World Climate Research Program (WCRP)

Translated by SINTER/UFSC

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UFSC has 33 researchers on the updated list of the world’s 100,000 most influential scientists

04/11/2021 18:54

* Updated 29 October 2021, at 2:37 pm, to include the list of scientists with current data (2020)

* Updated 3 November 2021, at 2:32 pm, to update the number of scientists linked to UFSC. Previously, the news mentioned 26 researchers, and, in total, considering the two lists, UFSC has 33 people cited in the study.


The third update of a survey conducted by a team at Stanford University, in the United States, was published on the 19  October, containing data to the list of over 100,000 of the most influential scientists in the world. UFSC has 26 researchers on the new list, which includes a total of 812 Brazilian researchers. Data from the latest version of the survey, published in 2020, indicated 14 researchers from UFSC and 600 representatives from Brazil.


The study update uses citations from the Scopus database until August 2021. Data were compiled into two spreadsheets, with scientists ranked by the citations they received throughout their careers (download link) and another with scientists ranked by current data (download link).


The publication is from the Journal Plos Biology.The database created by Stanford University scientists has the world’s leading scientists based on standardized citation metrics such as citation information, H-index, co-authorship and a composite indicator.


>> Access the available data


Scientific Careers

According to the study presented in the career ranking data table, which demonstrates the lifetime impact of research on scientists, UFSC has the following representatives (in the order they appear in the ranking):

  1. Bernhard Welz, Department of Chemistry, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (CFM/UFSC)
  2. Traugott Peter Wolf, Graduate Program in Medical Sciences, School of Health Sciences (CCS/UFSC)
  3. Nicolas Garcia
  4. Ruy Exel, Department of Mathematics, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (CFM/UFSC)
  5. Rui Daniel Schröder Prediger, Department of Pharmacology, School of Biological Sciences (CCB/UFSC)
  6. Ivo Barbi, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  7. Enedir Ghisi, Department of Civil Engineering, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  8. Eduardo Carasek da Rocha, Department of Chemistry, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (CFM/UFSC)
  9. Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Department of Physical Education, School of Sports (CDS)
  10. Antonio Luiz Braga, Department of Chemistry, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (CFM/UFSC),
  11. Newton C. A. da Costa, Department of Philosophy, School of Philosophy and Human Sciences (CFH)
  12. Alexandre Trofino Neto, Department of Automation and Systems, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  13. Afonso Celso Dias Bainy, Department of Biochemistry, School of Biological Sciences (CCB/UFSC)
  14. Christian Johann Losso Hermes, Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  15. Adilson Jose Curtius, Department of Chemistry, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (CFM/UFSC)
  16. Marcelo Farina, Department of Biochemistry, School of Biological Sciences (CCB/UFSC)
  17. Jamil Assreuy Filho, Department of Pharmacology, School of Biological Sciences (CCB/UFSC)
  18. Mauricio Laterça Martins, Department of Aquaculture, School of Agricultural Sciences (CCA/UFSC)
  19. Dachamir Hotza, Department of Chemical Engineering and Food Engineering, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  20. Hazim Ali Al-Qureshi, Department of Mobility Engineering (Joinville/UFSC)
  21. Cláudia Maria Oliveira Simões, Graduate Program in Pharmacy, School of Health Sciences (CCS/UFSC)
  22. Denizar Martins, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  23. Débora de Oliveira, Department of Chemical Engineering and Food Engineering, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  24. Marcelo Lobo Heldwein, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)

2020 (data collected until August 2021)


  1. Diego Augusto Santos Silva, Department of Physical Education, School of Sports (CDS)
  2. Enedir Ghisi, Department of Civil Engineering, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  3. Ruy Exel, Department of Mathematics, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (CFM/UFSC)
  4. Guilherme Luz Tortorella, Department of Production and Systems Engineering, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  5. Rui Daniel Schröder Prediger, Department of Pharmacology, School of Biological Sciences (CCB/UFSC)
  6. Paulo Augusto Cauchick Miguel, Department of Production and Systems Engineering, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  7. Danilo Wilhelm Filho, School of Biological Sciences (CCB/UFSC)
  8. Traugott Peter Wolf, Graduate Program in Medical Sciences, School of Health Sciences (CCS/UFSC)
  9. Dachamir Hotza, Department of Chemical Engineering and Food Engineering, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  10. Marcelo Farina, Department of Biochemistry, School of Biological Sciences (CCB/UFSC)
  11. Selene Maria Arruda Guelli Ulson de Souza, Department of Chemical Engineering and Food Engineering (CTC/UFSC)
  12. Bernhard Welz, Department of Chemistry, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (CFM/UFSC)
  13. Christian Johann Losso Hermes, Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  14. Mauricio Laterça Martins, Department of Aquaculture, School of Agricultural Sciences (CCA/UFSC)
  15. Eduardo Carasek da Rocha, Department of Chemistry, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (CFM/UFSC)
  16. Graziela de Luca Canto, Department of Dentistry, School of Health Sciences (CCS/UFSC)
  17. Fabiane Barreto Vavassori Benitti, Department of Informatics and Statistics, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  18. Antonio Luiz Braga, Department of Chemistry, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (CFM/UFSC),
  19. Débora de Oliveira, Department of Chemical Engineering and Food Engineering, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  20. Ivo Barbi, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  21. Ione Jayce Ceola Schneider, Department of Health Sciences, School of Sciences, Technologies and Health of Campus Araranguá (CTS/UFSC)
  22. Julio Elias Normey Rico, Department of Automation and Systems, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)
  23. Hazim Ali Al-Qureshi, Department of Mobility Engineering (Joinville/UFSC)
  24. Maria Jose Hötzel, Department of Animal Sciences and Rural Development, School of Agricultural Sciences (CCA/UFSC)
  25. Cláudia Maria Oliveira Simões, Graduate Program in Pharmacy, School of Health Sciences (CCS/UFSC)
  26. Marcelo Lobo Heldwein, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, School of Technology (CTC/UFSC)

Placement of UFSC in the ranking

The 812 classified authors from Brazil represent different institutions, public and private. UFSC is in 19th place among the 20 institutions with the highest number of citations from Brazil. Check below the 20 institutions with the highest number of citations (as they appear in the ranking of scientific careers).

  • Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho
  • Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas
  • Universidade Federal de Pelotas
  • Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Da Amazônia
  • Iguaçu University
  • Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Centro de Inovação e Ensaios Pré-Clínicos (CIEnP)
  • Universidade de São Paulo – USP
  • Brazil’s Hospital Premier
  • Universidade Federal do Paraná
  • Centro Nacional de Monitoramento e Alertas de Desastres Naturais (Cemaden)
  • Universidade Estadual de Campinas
  • Embrapa Arroz e Feijão
  • Fundação Oswaldo Cruz
  • Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
  • Laboratório Nacional de Nanotecnologia
  • Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
  • Laboratório Nacional de Computação Cientifica, Petrópolis

The data includes all scientists who are among the top 100,000 most cited in all fields according to the composite citation index (when self-citations are included and/or when they are not included). In addition, in the update, the table also includes scientists who are not among the top 100,000 ranked according to the composite index, but are amidst the top 2% scientists in their main subfield discipline, in the midst of those who have published at least five articles.

Translated by SINTER/UFSC

Read the original article here

A never-seen-before bird and a lot of richness: get to know the fauna of the Distrito do Saí, which should be protected by Wildlife Refuge

04/11/2021 13:50

Embroidered bird with a robust beak*, according to Wiki Aves, is the meaning for the scientific nomenclature of Pachyramphus marginatus, or just “black-capped becard”. The small animal, which measures up to 14 cm and weighs no more than 18 grams, had its distribution recorded from Pernambuco to Paraná, but in December 2019 it was seen for the first time even further south, specifically in the Distrito do Saí region.

The ornithologists who recognized it are from the team at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina responsible for the socio-environmental survey for the creation of a conservation unit in São Francisco do Sul, on the northern coast of Santa Catarina. First, the team identified the male. A few months later, a female was also seen for the first time, consolidating the hypothesis that the forest has a lot to present, including in terms of ecological tourism.

According to Professor Guilherme Renzo Rocha Brito, from the Department of Ecology and Zoology at UFSC, these first records extend the species for about 40 km to the south of its known distribution area, and although it is not possible to say with certainty whether other specimens had already flown further south, this is relevant information for understanding the birdlife of Saí. The team identified at least 252 different species in the region, from 59 families – data that make it one of the richest regions in the state.

“It is one of the richest bird areas in the state’s Atlantic Forest. From there, it starts to decrease a little, for climate reasons, due to the cold weather. In comparative terms, it is possible that there are similar numbers in the araucaria forests, but I suspect that it does not come very close to the richness we found there”, he explains.

The professor says that birds are animals from very specific environments, that is, depending on the type of environment, it is possible to find a community that only fits that region. “In a mangrove, for example, you find birds that are only in that environment. In the forests you will find a community a little different. But in the case of the Distrito do Saí, in that region there is a mosaic of various types”, he comments. Surrounded by bay, mangroves, forests and hills, the area has birds of different colors, types and patterns – a record of biodiversity and the urgency of conservation.”A little further up, on the border between Paraná and São Paulo, for example, there will be a little greater variety for being a larger nucleus of forests. What we see in Sai is a very interesting potential”.

As birds are very sensitive to changes in their environment and very dependent on forest habitat, the richness in the area is also an indication that the forests of the Distrito do Saí region support a relatively healthy community, including a high number of endemisms and rare and threatened species. In addition to the black-capped becard, the team also identified species such as the Jaó-do-Sul (yellow-legged tinamou), of the Macuco family, a relatively large animal that looks like a chicken and is very often hunted, sought for food. A free-living Bullfinch has also been identified, a rarer species much sought after by coops in the past, found only in areas of unspoiled and undisturbed wildlife.

“The message is that it is a very complex community, with many agents and many examples. And the more complex the community, the more complex are the interactions, for the sustainability of such a community it is required a very healthy environment, with plenty of resources. More than 50% of these birds are insectivores, for example, dependent on insects”, he illustrates.

An effective development of this analysis on birdlife was widely commented on by the community in the Distrito do Saí, as this characteristic can lead to the creation of touristic projects related to bird watching. “The Distrito do Saí is one of the only areas in the state of Santa Catarina with the possibility of observing and recording many species. This scenic beauty encourages nature tourism”, indicates the UFSC report. “The community’s reception regarding this possibility was very good. Inn owners, for example, were excited about this issue, as it appeared as a new development potential”, reinforces the professor.

Example of biodiversity
The region, according to the fauna survey, has an undeniable ecological importance. According to Professor Selvino Neckel de Oliveira, from the Department of Ecology and Zoology at UFSC, who coordinated the study, the first step towards conservation is to acquire knowledge about the area and its biodiversity, as this makes it possible to assess each species and their determined characteristics. “Based on this data, you can have a dimension of the conservation status, for example, if you are facing a species that has a restricted distribution in that area or if it has never been registered in that environment”.

In the case of the Atlantic Forest, which was reduced to about 7% of what it was originally in the past, its subsequent recovery resulted in a landscape with fragmented habitats, that is, patches of forest areas separated by cities or agricultural systems that isolated certain species which, as a consequence, can be extinguished. “In a context of fragmentation, even the species that manage to remain become unviable, as populations are decreasing, since there is no exchange of genetic material between populations”, he explains.


Oliveira explains that it is necessary to study the environment, know what it has and assess its state of conservation.“Our fauna survey showed that the Distrito do Saí is one of the richest places for species in our Atlantic Forest, with a very high number of species, compared to the area unit”, he points out.”And why is this environment rich? Because the northern part of Santa Catarina is a connection region for fauna and flora that come from the Southeast/Northeast of Brazil and the southern part of Brazil. So, we have elements from the fauna and flora of the South meeting with elements from the Southeast and Northeast regions of Brazil.

An example that the team included in their analysis is the Pygmy Brocket, a species recorded in the forest of the Distrito do Saí for about two years and whose occurrence was more common in the Atlantic Forest portion of the São Paulo region and from there to the Northeast. Amphibian species observed in the forest are also examples of a region with a heterogeneous fauna, with elements that had their origins further south or north of the Saí. “What happens is that the limit of distribution of these countless species occurs here in the Saí region”.

The professor recalls that what the team surveyed in the region is a small sample, the result of about 20 days in the field, due to the pandemic context. Even so, great diversity was observed. “Imagine if you had a study station at this location 20, 30 years ago and how important these records would have been in the long term. We were impressed, because in a short time we were able to prove this biodiversity”, he adds.

The data – which in the report are divided into groups (fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds and dipterous insects) – do not allow the team to hypothesize about the possible loss of biodiversity caused by human action, for example. But the researcher observes that the region has lost areas of forest, in addition to being constantly threatened by construction sites, such as port expansion. “The deer, for example, we registered only one individual. Wasn ´t  there more ten or a hundred years ago? Or even the Howler monkey, which used to be seen with some frequency and is now practically no longer seen in this region”.

For him, what stands out the most in the fauna of the Distrito do Saí is the set of constrction site, identified through the observation of the elements of the Atlantic forest that are well represented in several points of the polygon and that are essential for the justification of a Conservation Unit. “There are many components of biodiversity: the physical environment, with springs with good quality water, the biotic component, such as huge trees; few, but they are there, and trees that produce many fruits for fauna. The components of the Atlantic Forest biodiversity are all there”.


Reread the series by accessing the ‘Nascentes do Saí’ tag or clicking here

Amanda Miranda/Agecom Journalist


Translated by SINTER/UFSC

Read the original article here

Abundant water and regenerated forest will be preserved with the creation of a Wildlife Refuge in São Chico

04/11/2021 13:38

The abundance of water and the richness of species in the forest in the Distrito do Saí reinforce what researchers at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina have already recognized from the literature and other works in the locality: it is necessary to promote the conservation of the biodiversity and enhance sustainable tourism in the region. The creation of a Wildlife Refuge will allow the Atlantic Forest to remain protected, which also guarantees quality water and other benefits to the communities.

“Ensuring the preservation of the forest plays an important role in connecting people with nature, in entering the forest and feeling comfortable. The forest promotes a very pleasant sensation: thermal, aesthetic sensation, of walking into a forest and being able to see flowers, birds, insects. Since this type of tourism is more focused on enjoying the environment, it is important that the forest is very well preserved”, explains Professor Pedro Fiaschi, from the Botany department.

The forest in the Distrito do Saí, according to Fiaschi, has characteristics that attract attention. The area is covered by Atlantic Forest in an advanced stage of regeneration. “In this region we have tall trees with a large diameter, in addition to structuring at various levels: from very large trees to the lower layers. There are several forest extracts showing signs that they are in an advanced state of regeneration”, he explains. In addition, there are also sections that can be primary forests – that is, that have never been impacted and that have preserved their original characteristics even before the arrival of the human species.

According to the 2020 report by SOS Mata Atlântica, this biome covers about 15% of the Brazilian territory, which is equivalent to 17 states. Furthermore, it is home to 72% of the population, housing three of the largest urban centers on the South American continent. Data on its deforestation also draw attention: from 2018 to 2019, 14,502 hectares – or 14,000 soccer fields were suppressed, threatening its rich biodiversity.

In the Distrito do Saí, however, the report by the UFSC researchers indicates a relatively preserved area, which increases the relevance of conservation measures. According to the professor, many areas of the Atlantic Forest were impacted by human action during the urban occupation process, which is less evident in the Saí region. “All of this suggests that this region should be preserved. A very well-preserved forest will have a much larger number of species and will also be home to many species of animals. The more species there are in the flora, the richer the associated fauna will be”.

These evidences, however, do not suggest that there were no impacts of human action on the native forest. According to the researcher, it is possible that there has been, in the locality, a history of clear-cutting in some sections, with the removal of the forest, and also the selective removal of some species, such as jequetibá and ocotea catharinensis, popularly referred to as “canela-preta”. Thus, even though the forest is considered to be at an advanced stage of regeneration and is rich in species, there are other regions, even in Santa Catarina, which are in a better state of conservation, especially those located in steeper regions, where access to human action is hampered.

Floristic richness

The jequetibá is a tree with a broad, large and showy trunk,  those that are impossible to miss. Therefore, it is difficult for them to go unnoticed even by lay eyes. In the field work at UFSC, a student of Professor Pedro Fiaschi identified a young specimen. “He collected a branch and showed it to us. It is possible that there are more in the forest, but this one we identified is a young one”, he explains. The species is considered endangered, but it can be found in the Distrito do Saí.

According to the professor, this species is not found in other regions of the state. In Florianópolis, for example, there is no record of jequetibás. This happens because the forests further north, in the Atlantic Forest, usually have records of species that do not occur in areas further south of the state. The Distrito do Saí, therefore, has this differential: being on the North Coast, it will have some species characteristic of a region with more abundant rainfall and a slightly less seasonal climate than that of Florianópolis, for example. This was one of the points highlighted by the team that carried out the survey in the project report: the forests of the Distrito do Saí are characterized as important floristic components of the state because of this characteristic, “contributing to the biological richness of Santa Catarina and providing habitat for a wildlife equally biodiverse”, as stated in the report.

For researchers, the existence of many species of bromeliads, ferns and other epiphytes in the Distrito do Saí is not surprising. These species are common in the Atlantic Forest and many are not found in other Brazilian biomes.”About bromeliads, when you go to a forest and look up at the trees, you can see many species growing on the trunks of trees, which is not surprising in well-structured forests located on hills, with large trees and light penetration from several angles”, he summarizes.

According to the professor, the beauty of these plants can be an attraction for tourists, as they also attract many species of birds and other pollinators. “Like many other plants, bromeliads have a lot of interaction with pollinators, which are very important for their reproduction, while other plants depend on animals to disperse their seeds, which is essential for the maintenance of the forest, as it allows repopulation from other areas”.

Ferns also appear as part of the project report. Some species are rarer and known in a few places. “In the Distrito do Saí we identified many species of fern, much more than we would find in Florianópolis, for example. They are a group that are associated with rainforests and generally occur where there are many bodies of water and rain well distributed throughout the year”, he explains.

The forest formation, therefore, stands out in the landscape of the Distrito do Saí. According to a survey by Professor Orlando Ferretti’s team, more than 90% of the soil in the studied region has this composition – and only 1.14% would be exotic, planted forest. “We already imagined that the Distrito is a very important region in terms of biodiversity. Of course, within it there are areas that have undergone recent changes, due to occupations that are more on its margins. In fact, the area surrounding the conservation unit registers that the urban occupation is reaching the polygon”, he explains.

This biodiversity, according to the professor, is also attributed to the formations of the Serra do Mar, a mountain range made up of numerous reserves. The vegetation in the region, he explains, was transformed at least 50 years ago, with selective cutting in some places. “Even so, we realize that it is in a very interesting state of regeneration, with hilltops and slopes that have recovered well, which also provides good quality to the region’s water, in more than 150 spring points”.


The forest’s relationship with water also says a lot about the quality of both. According to the 2020 report by the NGO SOS Mata Atlântica, the biome provides water for more than 60% of the Brazilian population. It is no different in the North Coast of Santa Catarina and particularly in São Francisco do Sul. The name of the UFSC project, Nascentes do Saí, refers to the region’s hydrological characteristics.

According to Professor Nei Kavaguichi Leite, from the Department of Ecology and Zoology, it is possible to use the water cycle to understand the role of the forest in relation to this aspect. One of the illustrative images of the phenomenon is when part of the rainwater is retained in the crown of trees, which causes the soil to absorb it more slowly, recharging aquifers that feed the rivers. The lack of forest cover, on the other hand, accelerates this process and causes the soil to quickly become saturated with water. “This generates a high surface runoff that can lead to a rapid increase in the level of rivers and streams, with consequent flooding, or even result in siltation due to the input of large amounts of sediment in water courses.”

Conserving the forest ensures water quality

The study by the project’s hydrology team covered nine hydrographic basins, with an interest in understanding water availability in these areas, also verifying its distribution and abundance. Another important point to be considered is that these waters are responsible for part of the supply of the municipalities of São Francisco do Sul and Itapoá, ensuring quality of life for the population. Five of the eight water catchment points of the company Águas de São Francisco are in the region.

According to the report, the analyzed hydrographic basins have an area of approximately 26.7 km2, with monitoring carried out by the hydrology team covering approximately 77% of the study area, in an approximate total of 57 springs. Springs are the point where a watercourse begins and are located in the highest regions.

The water abundance in the Distrito do Saí was also corroborated by the highrate of  rainfall, with an annual average of 2,363 mm, above that recorded in Santa Catarina, which is 1,506 mm. The analysis also highlighted the extensive coverage of native forest, which ensures the urgency of conservation measures. “There are streams that are in regions with a certain degree of anthropization, but a very relevant aspect is the maintenance of riparian forests, which border the rivers. These are forests that serve as a refuge for biodiversity, guarantee the stability of the ravines and control the water that reaches the streams. In many of these streams that we studied, riparian forests provide food for many species and also serve as recreation”, points out Nei.

The professor also recalls that the maintenance of these woods and the forest, in general, are also preventive measures for landslides caused by the heavy rainfall. “The lack of vegetation cover can lead to erosion and even siltation of streams. In places with small changes, such as the fall of a tree, at some point, this phenomenon is already detected. Completely changing the characteristics of the region can generate a very big impact”, he ponders.

The alert also comes from Professor Orlando Ferretti. According to him, despite the great biodiversity and the large amount of forests, the area presents risks of landslides if the forest is not preserved and does not become the target of environmental policies. “When you see the type of soil that exists there, susceptible to geological risks, and also the amount of rain, one can even speak of a more immediate risk, since the urban area is growing”.

Read more this Thursday, 09/30

Amanda Miranda/Agecom Journalist

Translated by SINTER/UFSC

Read the original article here

UFSC and the community of São Francisco do Sul suggest the creation of a Wildlife Refuge in the Distrito do Saí

04/11/2021 13:31

In the woods, on top of a hill on the North Coast of Santa Catarina, a small Black-capped Becard is ready to brave its way into a new world. It could be a character in a cartoon, but it is a bird seen for the first time in a state where it is not usually seen. The chosen region is full of attractive features: with diverse species and abundant water, it should become the first conservation unit on the mainland of São Francisco do Sul, as a result of extensive work that brought together science and communities in the Distrito do Saí.

The partnership started after the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) was hired by the São Francisco do Sul City Hall to study the region. The funds came as part of a fine collected by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and were applied to analyse the characteristics for the creation of a municipal conservation unit, in a previously established polygon. The study resulted in a report with more than 700 pages, which organizes knowledge about aspects such as hydrology, geology, fauna and flora in the region and also presents a socio-anthropological history of the area, recommended to become a Wildlife Refuge.

The Nascentes do Saí Project draws a panoramic image and also an x-ray of a place full of particularities, which urgently needs to preserve its biodiversity and can also serve as an ecological tourism point due to its characteristics. The territory of the Distrito do Saí has 116 km² (roughly 44 square miles), water, forest and animals in abundance and a cultural heritage full of stories. Transforming it into a conservation unit will contribute to the protection and sustainable development of its tourist attractions.

“The region of hills in the Distrito do Saí surprised us with its richness of species, both flora and fauna. It is a remnant of Atlantic Forest that is very important to the State, most of which is at an advanced stage of regeneration, in addition to being fundamental for the municipality’s water security because of its springs”, explains Professor Rodrigo de Almeida Mohedano, from the Department Sanitary and Environmental Engineering and project coordinator. “In addition to this gathering of information, of data, the project is based on a governance process with the community, because we understand that vertical actions, from the top down, are not very effective. It is necessary that the community participates from the beginning”, contextualizes the professor.

The process was not easy at first, since common sense dictates that protected areas are usually to be feared, because, in some cases, they tend to make occupation rules more rigid. But even with an unforeseen pandemic along the way, the team managed to build, based on dialogue, a proposal and a draft of a law to create what is called Wildlife Refuge.

The polygon initially delimited by the city hall became a larger area, of approximately 6,702 hectares (roughly 16 acres), according to Professor Orlando Ferretti, responsible for the geographic characterization. The route also started to cover areas of higher altitudes, on the border with Itapoá and Garuva, where there is no occupation, but there is forest.

According to Ferretti, the proposal to create a unit at the site dates back to the 1980s, when Unesco created the concept of a Biosphere Reserve, with the objective of supporting the preservation of different biomes around the world. In Brazil, this process lasted between the end of 1990 and the beginning of 2000, when possible reserves for the Atlantic Forest areas were established. “It was a designation much more of an international policy, of observing in the different biomes which areas should be more cared for and have more scientific work and protected areas”, he contextualizes.

Today, the Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve (RBMA), the first created in Brazil, has undergone several expansions. According to information from Unesco, it covers territorial portions of Atlantic Forest vegetation over 89,687,000 hectares (roughly 221 acres). This forms an ecological corridor through 17 states, including Santa Catarina. The RBMA is the largest and one of the most important units of the UNESCO World Network.

Within the Atlantic Forest biome itself, explains the professor, numerous reserves were created, part of them in the southern region – and the most important today is called Serra do Tabuleiro State Park. “In the North, there are areas of Serra do Mar, in the regions of Joinville, Campo Alegre, Garuva, São Chico. There is a great indication of the importance and biodiversity in these areas, marked out by Unesco”, he comments. The São Francisco do Sul region, since the 2000s, has been recognized as highly important, but it still does not have a conservation unit in its continental area.

The idea of creating the first full protection conservation unit in the region has an additional importance: added to the other protected areas in the surroundings, this polygon would be a kind of ecological corridor and would guarantee more genetic exchange in the populations of animals or plants that live in other reservations. “It is important that there is a lot of conservation unit* so that there is a connection between the different fragments and therefore the species can circulate between the areas, making the genetic flow easier”, emphasizes Rodrigo.

Professor Ferretti also reinforces the possibility of a new reserve joining a so-called mosaic of protected areas, which guarantees greater coverage of legal protection, with an intense variety of environments, such as mountains and plains, for example. This allows for a possible connection with corridors, either by water or by land, making the animals pass from one point to another. “The creation of units is urgent too, so as not to isolate these animals”, he points out.

Uniting knowledge

According to Professor Rodrigo, the Environmental Education Center* (NEAmb) was one of the cornerstones of this entire process. In addition to having, in its history, the execution of a similar work, carried out in the city of Itapema, the NEAmb potentialised multidisciplinary knowledge for the study. “Our differential was to work with communities, empower the community with knowledge and include them in the process, with environmental education and governance methodologies”.

The proposal to unite the local knowledge of the community and the technical knowledge that the UFSC team proposed made the Nascentes do Saí project a collective effort. “It’s no use coming from outside, from the university or from the government, and imposing the creation of a Conservation Unit, because without its appropriation by the community, it would only exist on paper”, emphasizes Luiz Gabriel Catoira Vasconcelos, responsible for governance. “The concept of governance that we bring from Professor Daniel Silva is precisely this: increasing the ability of communities to participate in the management of their territory and their common goods”.

The researcher recalls that it was a challenge to transform pre-established opinions, since many of the residents identified the project as potentially harmful to them and their way of life. Lack of trust in the government and even a prejudice towards environmental initiatives are pointed out as two of the possible causes of this initial distancing. “The effectiveness of managing common goods such as water, forests and a balanced environment depends on the existence of dialogue and cooperation between all the actors involved. Otherwise, individualistic competition leads to an intensification of degradation and eventually to irreversible collapse”, he points out.

For this reason, the team sought to cultivate and build trusting relationships. The community was called to participate from the beginning, in conversations, then in virtual groups, due to the pandemic, and also in the three public hearings held to present what information was being gathered and also to hear what residents had to say. The workshops on participatory construction of the Conservation Unit proposal established dialogue between people with divergent views, driving them into working in a cooperative manner.

“Certainly the participation of each person enriched the process and contributed to the quality and legitimacy of the decisions taken. More than that, it was an encouragement that it may still be possible to regenerate the capacity for dialogue and cooperation in our society”, points out Vasconcelos, who saw the community exercise autonomy for the proposition of the Wildlife Refuge category, a joint recommendation, which reconciled the technical knowledge of the UFSC team with the interests and knowledge of the community. “Of course there were also the objective and methodological moments of the workshops, but they were the result of months of listening, talking, connecting and persevering in the dialogue, especially when it was difficult”.

Culture and traditions also preserved

The community, actively participating in the decisions about the Distrito do Saí protected area, also integrated the project on another front: sharing their memories, telling their stories and presenting their practices, which allowed the UFSC team to carry out a socio-anthropological inventory of the region. . For the researcher Elis do Nascimento Silva, coordinator of the study, it is important to consider that the creation of a CU in a territory does not only involve the protection of the natural environment and its biodiversity, but it also articulates with the life of peoples and communities.

“A sociological, historical and anthropological approach is necessary from the beginning of the study and surveys of primary and secondary data that allow us to understand the history of occupation of the region, the activities and productive practices of the communities that depend on areas destined for creation of CU and, above all, the affective bonds and traditional ways of people interacting with these environments for some generations”, summarizes Elis.

One of the things that caught the team’s attention was the rich history of occupation in that area, from the pre-colonial period, signaled by the remains of the sambaquis, which prove that there is a human presence in the region for at least 6,000 back from present time.

There are other points in history that deserved a careful recording from the UFSC researchers as part of the effort to collect the memories and events of the community: the arrival of the French in 1504 and the experience of the Falanstério do Saí in 1842 for the implementation of a collectivist system of work based on free association and cooperativism, for example, is also a moment that differentiates the Distrito do Saí from other areas. Other sociocultural heritages are attributed to the historical presence of the Guarani people, the Portuguese, Spanish, Germans and enslaved Afro-descendants.

The recognition and appreciation of artisanal fishing as an important intangible cultural heritage of the Distrito do Saí is another highlight that the researcher makes about the study. According to her, even with a certain weakening in the practice of this activity among the new generations, it is a tradition of the place that is present in the memory of most families. “Related to artisanal fishing, there is also the culture of the flour mills and the festivities – traditional and contemporary – that are currently celebrated in the Distrito do Saí, such as the Nossa Senhora da Glória Festival and the Shrimp Festival”, he points out.

For Elis, the existence of a conservation unit in the Distrito can further involve the community in the territory, being able to strengthen the cultural identity and generate a sense of belonging due to the appreciation of biodiversity by the government and tourists. “With the creation of the CU, we anticipate that it can be another tourist attraction for the region and that, based on the interest and organization of the community, its material and intangible cultural heritage can be better managed and valued as a potential of the Distrito do Saí, not only cultural-historical, but also developing the local economy even further”, adds the researcher.

Read more this Wednesday, September 29

Amanda Miranda/Agecom Journalist

Translated by SINTER/UFSC

Read the original article here

UFSC report recommends the creation of a conservation unit in the North of SC; read the series ‘Nascentes do Sai’

04/11/2021 13:28

A threatened Atlantic Forest, a team of researchers and a community interested in sharing their knowledge and debating the region’s preservation. The Nascentes do Saí project, formally entitled Socio-environmental Diagnosis for the Creation of a Conservation Unit in Vila da Glória, municipality of São Francisco do Sul/SC, gave rise to a report that has over  700 pages highlighting a recommendation to the government: it is necessary to legally preserve the polygon that involves forests, hills, river sources and hundreds of species before it is destroyed.

To fulfill the objective of drawing up a socio-environmental diagnosis of the region, the multidisciplinary project had a team of professors and students from various centers at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina and also from Univille to carry out studies on fauna, flora, geology and geomorphology, socioanthropology, land survey and geographic characterization. Its guidelines ranged from the preservation of water resources to the availability of natural resources for scientific research, as well as the creation of environmental education programs and the proposal of a plan for the construction of the unit’s Conservation and Territorial Management Policies.

Starting this Tuesday, the UFSC Communication Agency will present three reports that summarize the importance of the partnership between the university, science and society, and help to present one of the richest regions in the state, in which abundant rains and the geographic conditions generate a “package” that can benefit the community with eco-tourism initiatives.

The series is divided into three blocks of subjects, which will be presented from Tuesday and Thursday: in the first article there is a general presentation of how the project took place and the involvement of the community in all its stages; in the second, the focus is on the presentation of the forest, its flora and springs and, finally, the fauna is highlighted, reinforcing the importance of its correlation with preservation.


Follow the calendar:

Tuesday (28 Sept.) – UFSC and the community of São Francisco do Sul suggest the creation of a Refúgio de Vida Silvestre, a wildlife sanctuary, in the Distrito do Saí

Wednesday (29 Sept.) – Abundant water and regenerated forest will be preserved with the creation of the wildlife sanctuary Refúgio de Vida Silvestre in São Chico

Thursday (30 Sept.) – A never seen before bird and incredible abundance: get to know the fauna of the Distrito do Saí, which must be protected by Refúgio da Vida Silvestre


More about the Nascentes do Saí Project:


Texts: Amanda Miranda/Agecom Journalist/UFSC

Art: Design and Visual Programming Coordination/Agecom

Photos: Nascentes do Saí Project Collection


Translated by SINTER/UFSC

Read the original article here

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