Restoration practicesin Brazil's Atlantic rainforest.
The atlantic Rain Forst (Mata Atlantica) extends along the southern coast of Brazil and inland into Argentina and Paraguay. Originally covering 15% of the land area of Brazil, it was a region of an estimated 1.3 million km2 (MMA 2000). Today, remnants of the Atlantic Forest represents about 8% of the original area, or some 94,000 km2 in Brazil (Desmatamentozero 2001). Isolated from otherm ajor forest ecosystems in South America the Atlantic Forest is a diverse mix of begetation and forest types with a high rate of endemism. the two main ecoregions of the Atlantic forest include the coastal forest, extending in a narrow strip only 50 to 100 km wide in northern Brazil. The interior Atlantic Forest stretches across the foothills of the Serra do Mar and related mountain ranges. these inland forests reach as far as 600 km from the coast and range in elevation as high as 2,000 m. The coastal forest has been the most disturbed, with only about 3% of tis original forest cover remaining. The best-preserved areas of the Atlantic Forst in Brazil survive in relatively inaccessible areas of the stats of Sao Paulo, Parana, and central Rio de Janeiro. The largest contiguous stretch of Atlantic Forest, from Serra de Jureia in Iguape /sp to Illha do Mel in Paranagua /PR, was declared a Biosphere Reserved by UNesco in 1991 and a World Heritage Site in 1999. This stretch covers an area of about 1.7 million ha with elevations ranging fro msea level to 1,4000 m. Half of Misiones Province in Argentina remains in forest, and 13% of the original interior Atlantic Forest survives in Paraguay.