Fazenda Lagoa

Country: Brazil (Coordinates: -10.045102, -41.760647 )
Size: 4.234 Hectares
Ecoregion: Terrestrial - Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests
Status: VCA Bronze

The area is located within the Municipality of Sento Sé, State of Bahia, Brazil. The region is semi-arid with an annual rainfall under 1000ml.  94% of the VCA is covered by native vegetation – the caatinga - which provides a habitat for threatened animal species including jaguars, pumas, armadillos, anteaters, Lear's macaws, and stingless bees. Much of the biodiversity here benefits from proximity to the neighbouring Boqueirão da Onça National Park which covers 346.908 ha.

As a wildlife conservation and sustainable development area, especially one bordering a National Park, effective planning, involving international organizations, can yield positive results, both environmental and socio-economic.

Fazenda Lagoa VCA is part of a movement to demonstrate that alternative and dependable income can be generated from sustainable agricultural practices and forest preservation. With climate change generally reducing the regional rainfall patterns, shifting away from destructive forms of land use is key to effective and long-term water management, essential to the area’s human inhabitants and biodiversity.

Some local people are aware of these alternatives, but effective action to implement them is hindered by the strong prevailing trend in Brazil towards immediate returns from cash crops and related land clearance. Projects, such as those found on the Fazenda Lagoa VCA, can help to change this way of thinking, especially if the socio-economic needs of local people are considered in conjunction with environmental factors.

Some examples of sustainable development taking place here is a project developing renewable energy using wind power, predicted to be operational by 2023. The wind park, once completed, will provide further opportunities for sustainable development and conservation at Fazenda Lagoa.

Local employment and income generation is also supplemented by a number of free-range goats and cattle, and there are activities in place to conserve native bees.

These species (e.g. ´´mandaçaia``) are being displaced by invasive species (´´italianas``), as well as being threatened by general habitat loss throughout the caatinga biome.

Water reserves are vital to sustaining flora and fauna. A manmade lake, dating to 1982, when cattle ranching was the principal source of income for the previous landowner, has been set aside for nature conservation. Wild pig, deer, and bird numbers have been increasing as a result. Natural springs, which during the dry season do not flow but stay damp, are being conserved through the native bee recuperation project.