United Nations
Implement an innovative financial mechanism for ocean governance in Santa Catarina state
by University of the Region of Joinville (Academic institution)
The Babitonga Bay is the southernmost large mangrove ecosystem in the subtropical Atlantic (Brazil). It is surrounded by six coastal cities with one million coastal citizens in the largest metropolitan region of Santa Catarina state. Babitonga has been listed in eight Federal Decrees by the Ministry of Environment attributing national ecological relevance to this region. This coastal-marine area is also intensively used by over 1,700 fishers, has two large active ports and about another seven currently pursuing environmental licensing. Mining, aquaculture and tourism are also present so that social conflicts and ecological degradation have ensued.

Since 2005, attempts to designate an MPA by the Federal Government have been frustrated, largely because of a only top-down approach. In 2010, a company was fined for spilling 116.5 thousand litres of oil in the bay, and the money is currently being applied by the Public Ministry and Federal Court of Justice to improve the environmental governance of the region. Since early 2015, these state organizations are in partnership with the regional University of Joinville (Univille) and the Sea Memories Collective to facilitate the co-design of a new governance system for the Babitonga ecosystem (www.babitongaativa.com). This is done through an ecosystems-based project that combines transdisciplinary marine social-ecological systems science, an ambitious level of social participation and very clear policy goals. In its first 24 months, the project has been regularly engaged with about 400 direct resource users in several interrelated activities, including dozens of MSP workshops, and a ten-month transdisciplinary course on ecosystem stewardship (ecocidadania in Portuguese) to build core-groups of concerned citizens in each of the 6 cities (including community leaders and school teachers). These activities aimed to engage people with current and novel coastal and marine policies and decision-making platforms.

The project Babitonga Ativa thus coordinates various governmental and societal organizations in the co-design of new governance structures, as part of a bottom-up and inclusive regional MSP process, which is likely to include an MPA. The Bays most critical ecosystem services are being spatially located and valued to guide the negotiation of trade-offs in collective planning and zoning. The project was invited by the Federal government licensing authority to help merge several environmental monitoring programs for the ports of the Bay into one coherent ecosystems-based monitoring proposal.

In future years, this may also lead to the first marine protected area ever formally designated in Brazil with an operating management council and a management plan are already in place. The management council election was held in may 2017 and now a group of 28 private, public and civil society institutions will be launching the co-design of novel instruments for coastal-marine governance, including a financial mechanism to safeguard the long-term sustainability of this transformational enterprise.
Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • No take marine protected area
  • Marine protected area with partial protection
  • Multiple use marine protected area
  • Locally or community managed marine areas
  • MPA management and/or enforcement
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
  • Legal/policy/institutional measures
  • Access to coastal fishing grounds
  • Community empowerment for fisheries management
June 2018
Co-design and implementation of a Financial Mechanism for the Sustainability of Babitonga Ecosystem Governance
Financing (in USD)
200,000 USD
Basic information
Time-frame: 2017 June - 2018 June
IBAMA (Public) Companhia de Polcia Militar Ambiental (Public) Prefeitura Municipal de So Francisco do Sul (Public) Prefeitura Municipal de Itapo (Public) Prefeitura Municipal de Garuva (Public) Prefeitura Municipal de Joinville (Public) Instituto Viva Cidade (Civil Society Organization) Associao Ecolgica Joinvillense - Vida Verde (Civil Society Organization) Associao de Defesa e Educao Ambiental - ADEA (Civil Society Organization) Instituto Federal Catarinense - Campus So Francisco do Sul (Academia) Associao Itapoense de Surf (Civil Society Organization) Associao de Moradores e Proprietrios do Capri (Civil Society Organization) Associao Movimento Ecolgico Carijs - AMECA (Civil Society Organization) Fundao Universidade da Regio de Joinville - UNIVILLE (Academia) Centro de Cincias Tecnolgicas - Udesc (Academia) Associao de Maricultores do Capri - AMAPRI (Private) Colnia de Pescadores Z-03 - Balnerio Barra do Sul (Private) Colnia de Pescadores Z-01 - Itapo (Private) Colnia de Pescadores Z-02 - So Fco. do Sul (Private) Associao de Pescadores Profissionais da Enseada (Private) Sindicato dos Operadores Porturios de So Fco.do Sul (Private) Colnia de Pescadores Z-30 - Garuva (Private) Sindicato das Indstrias da Extrao de Pedreiras (Private) SECOVI Norte - SC (Private) Joinville Iate Clube (Private)
Ocean Basins
  • South Atlantic
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Direct Ecosystem Users: small scale fisheries and aquaculture; mining; marine transport; tourism and leisure
Contact information
Leopoldo Cavaleri Gerhardinger, PhD., Science Coordinator of Babitonga Ativa Project, babitonga.ativa@gmail.com, +55 47 992858456
So Francisco do Sul, Brazil
Other SDGs
United Nations