Abrolhos 2000: Conserving the Southern Atlantic's richest coastal biodiversity into the next century
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The Abrolhos bank, an area of continental shelf off the coast of Bahia, Brazil, has the most biologically diverse coral reefs in the entire southern Atlantic Ocean. The coral reefs and nearby coastal ecosystems constitute a global conservation priority and are the target of the Abrolhos 2000 project, initiated by Conservation International as part of its global marine conservation strategy. Although portions of the Abrolhos reefs are located within a marine park, they are not afforded adequate protection due to insufficient conservation resources and a failure to be part of a broader integrated coastal management program. Through partnerships with government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, local communities, the private sector, and other stakeholders, Abrolhos 2000 is working to provide these needs while establishing local capacity for conserving coastal and marine ecosystems. The project's initial successes provide examples of useful strategies for making integrated coastal management work in the context of emerging economies.