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Vegetation Management for Conservation in Mato Grosso, Brazil - COMPLETED

Building capacity and providing scientific support for in situ conservation in areas of key strategic or biodiversity significance in the Amazon
Kew staff working in the Cristalino State Park, Mato Grosso, Brazil

Between 2006 and 2011 this project, which was originally focused on a site in Mato Grosso do Sul, shifted its principal area of activities to the ‘arc of deforestation’ in the southern Amazon. The objective is to apply Kew’s botanical expertise, through collaborative research and capacity building, to facilitate the establishment of new conservation areas and strengthen the management of existing ones.

Programa Flora Cristalino

Programa Flora Cristalino, a project led by Kew, supported a local NGO (Cristalino Ecological Foundation) in the development of management plans for new private reserves, and was subsequently invited to contribute towards a management plan for the Parque Estadual Cristalino (Cristalino State Park). Project activities, undertaken in partnership with the State and Federal Universities in Mato Grosso and with the State authority for the Environment (Secretaria do Meio Ambiente de Mato Grosso), included detailed botanical inventory and vegetation mapping, training and capacity building in plant and vegetation studies, creation of an important reference collection at the Herbário da Amazônia Meridional in Alta Floresta; and development of resources for the Cristalino Ecological Foundation's environmental education programme.

The comprehensive report and conservation assessment provided to the Cristalino State Park was used to develop its management plan, contributing towards strengthening the Southern Amazonian Ecological Corridor uniting the Juruena and Xingu National Parks.

In the course of this programme diverse vegetation types were identified and studied, including dense evergreen forest, deciduous and semi-deciduous forest, and campinarana. Over 1,300 species were recorded in the area, including numerous new records for the state and several species new to science.

Northern Mato Grosso

Following the success of Programa Flora Cristalino the project has widened its scope to support conservation in other priority areas in northern Mato Grosso. This began with a preliminary vegetation survey in the Xingu State Park in March 2011, undertaken in collaboration with UNEMAT and SEMA.

Key papers published since 2006

  • Milliken, W., Zappi, D. C., Sasaki, D., Hopkins, M. & Pennington, R. T. 2011. Amazon vegetation: how much don’t we know and how much does it matter? Kew Bull. 65(4): 691 – 709.
  • Milliken, W., Zappi, D., Sasaki, D. & Soares, C. R. A. (2010). Programa Flora Cristalino: novidades sobre a flora e vegetação no sul da Amazonia. pp 257 – 262 In: Absy, M. A., de Almeida Matos, F. D. & do Amaral, I. L. ( eds), Biodiversidade Vegetal Brasileira: Conhecimento, Conservação e Uso. Sociedade Botânica do Brasil, Manaus.
  • Sasaki, D., Zappi, D., Milliken, W., Henicka, G. S. & Piva, J. H. 2011. Vegetação e Plantas do Cristalino – um manual. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew/Fundação Ecológica Cristalino.
  • Vanderplank, J. & Zappi,D. C. 2011. Passiflora cristalina, a striking new species of Passiflora (Passifloraceae) from Mato Grosso, Brazil. Kew Bull. 66(2): 149 – 153.
  • Zappi, D. C., Sasaki, D., Milliken, W., Piva, J., Henicka, G. S., Biggs, N. & Frisby, S. 2010. Plantas vasculares da região do Parque Estadual Cristalino, norte de Mato Grosso, Brasil. Acta Amazonica 41(1): 29 – 38. 

Project partners and collaborators


Fauna and Flora International (FFI): Cynthia Pinheiro Machado

Fundação Ecológica Cristalino (FEC): Renato Farias, Denise Sasaki, Gracieli Henicka, José Hypólito Piva, Vitoria da Riva Carvalho

Secretaria do Meio Ambiente de Mato Grosso (SEMA): Eliani Fachim, Eliane Pena, Elton A. Silveira

Universidade de São Paulo (USP): Prof. Renato de Mello-Silva

Universidade do Estado de Mato Grosso (UNEMAT): Célia Soares 

Project funders


Bentham-Moxon Trust.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Kew-Rio Tinto Partnership