Saturday, 22 December 2012

Escaped the harsh UK Winter for a break with the family in Brazil and in training on a 10'8'' Red Paddle board on the River and beach at Itamambuca. This beach in Sao Paolo State, Brazil, is one of my favourite places... beautiful surf, sand and a backdrop of the Mata Atlantica, or Eastern Atlantic Rainforest. It is here that I was inspired to take up conservation as a career path - this forest is one of three large forest blocks in South America (the others are the Amazon and the NW Forest blocks). The Mata Atlantica is one of the most degraded forest systems as this is where the Portuguese first colonised and began exploiting the natural resources - from wood to gold and through a number of agricultural cycles that included coffee. This region at the coast is now protected and a splendid legacy of the conservation movement although it still faces threats from expanding urbanisation around coastal cities.

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