THE OURO PRETO DECLARATION
Brazilian Forest Canopies: Biodiversity and Climate Change1st July 2004
Participants at Brazil’s first International Forest Canopy Workshop hosted at the Universidade Federal deOuro Preto, in Minas Gerais State, between June 28
July 2004, comprising researchers, studentsand important members of Research Institutes, Universities, Business, Non-Governmental-Organizationsand Brazilian and Foreign Governmental organisations involved in the pioneering field of forest canopyresearch, do this day solemnly make this declaration.
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that the canopy
is where the forest meets and interacts with the atmosphere;
that forest canopies are among the least known and studied habitats of the planet andthat they shelter the majority of terrestrial biodiversity;
that Brazil harbours the greatest expanse of tropical forest in the world, possibly beingbiologically the most diverse on the planet, that has an important function in national and global climateregulation, and provides products and ecological services of significant value for Brazilian and foreigncommunities;
that the Convention of Biological Diversity (Rio 92) and its Work Programme onForests requests that Governments protect threatened habitats, including forest canopies, and calls formore research of “the interface between forest components and the atmosphere”
that the 2002 Cairns Declaration on Forest Canopy Research calls for the development
and implementation of a Global Canopy Programme;
the Brazilian biodiversity policy, decree N
that canopy research can help to fill gaps of information identified by the Ad Hoc TechnicalExpert Group on Biological Diversity and Climate change
, as well as those identified by the IPCC Reportto the CBD on Climate Change and Biodiversity
that forest canopies play a crucial role in; the maintenance of terrestrial water balance; inthe maintenance of the equilibrium of the carbon exchanges between the biosphere and the atmosphere;provide critical environmental services for the sustainability of our planet; represent a wide range of genetic resources; and have a great potential in medicinal, pharmacological, educative, tourist and leisureuse for human communities.
that studies made in the canopy have demonstrated the existence of unique animal andplant groups and an important relationship with atmospheric processes, being one of the main habitatsresponsible for the maintenance of the climatic equilibrium of the Earth;____________________________
Defined as the: Assemblage of tree canopies, including a great diversity of biological, physical and chemicalinteractions, which receive the most part of the energy that maintains these ecosystems.
SBSTTA 9 (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/11),
Technical article V