TransCerrado

Pedaling for preservation
and sustainable development

The adventure

The adventure

Have you ever imagined joining adventure, ecotourism and appreciation of family farming, all with the same purpose? That’s what the TransCerrado Project is about: pedaling for preservation and sustainable development.

It will be about 10 days of pedaling in kilometers of walking trails, roads and asphalt, located in the Cerrado heartland. Three cyclists will leave the city of Goiás Velho on October 16th, with scheduled arrival in Alto Paraíso, in the National Park of Chapada dos Veadeiros, on the 25th, passing through the federal capital.

With watchful eyes, they will show us the landscapes and the wealth of fauna and flora tangled in the Cerrado and also tell us the stories and experiences gathered throughout the journey, with a focus on those who promote sustainability.

All this to raise awareness and alert, through the adventure sport, about the need for preservation of the Cerrado and to reveal the full potential of ecological tourism and sustainable agriculture for the development of the second largest Brazilian biome.

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The path

Altogether, it will be hundreds of kilometers traveled by three cyclists – two scientists and one navigation expert – with one goal: to pedal in defense of the preservation of the Cerrado.

Who are they?

Paulo Moutinho

Paulo Moutinho

PhD, senior scientist and co-founder of the Amazonian Environmental Research Institute, Brazil

Paulo is a 58-year-old ecologist. He’s been working with the impacts of deforestation on climate change and people in Brazil for the last two decades. In 2017, he made a long bike journey, with two other partners, through 1,100 km of the unpaved stretch of the Trans-Amazonian Highway, in the middle of the Amazon, to draw attention to the socio-environmental problems of the region.

Paul Lefebvre

Paul Lefebvre

Associate researcher at Woods Hole Research Center, USA

Paul is an expert on Geographic Information Systems and field research instrumentation engineer, who has worked in the Amazon since 1993. From 1995 to 1998, he lived in Brazil, helping to establish the IPAM Remote Sensing and GIS Laboratory, and continues working on research projects in the Amazon, helping young scientists in their research. He is a longtime cyclist and veteran of many bike journeys, including an unsupported crossing of North America.

Márcio Bittencourt

Márcio Bittencourt

Telecommunications technician and marine navigation specialist

Márcio is 51 years old and is military of the Navy Reserve, where he worked for 30 years. For 14 years he’s been part of the coordination of the group of cyclists Rebas do Cerrado, the largest mountain bike group in Brazil. In the last three years, he has participated as a volunteer in structuring, implementing and signaling long-haul trails linking preservation units in the Midwest.

Why the Cerrado?

You may not know it yet, but the Cerrado is the most biodiverse savannah in the world. It is present in 11 Brazilian states – Bahia, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná, Piauí, Rondônia, São Paulo, Tocantins, besides the Federal District – and occupies 24% of all national territory, about 80 million hectares. Approximately 25 million people live in the Cerrado, many of them indigenous, quilombolas, traditional communities and family farmers.

Studies indicate that there are about 10 thousand species of plants in the Cerrado, of which 44% are exclusive to the biome, in addition to a rich fauna: with 250 species of mammals, 856 species of birds, 800 species of fish, 262 species of reptiles, and 204 species of amphibians. Also known as the “cradle of the waters” or “Brazil’s water tank”, the Cerrado houses eight of the twelve Brazilian hydrographic regions and supplies six of the eight major watersheds in Brazil. In addition, it is in the Cerrado where three of the main aquifers of the country are located.

Despite all this biodiversity, the Cerrado has only 8.7% of its native vegetation officially protected in preservation units. In addition, according to MapBiomas data, the Cerrado lost 29 million hectares of native vegetation in the last 34 years, which corresponds to one third of the total deforestation in Brazil during that period. In the first three months of 2019, 95% of deforestation that occurred in the biome were illegal.

Currently, the Cerrado has 56% of its area covered by native vegetation and 40% focused on farming activities.

It is in this context that the TransCerrado adventure is placed. It wants to provide more visibility to the biome, and show the importance of preserving the most biodiverse savannah in the world. It is possible to put conservation and sustainable agriculture together, recovering soils, increasing the productivity, and restoring forests, all of that with the correct land and environmental management . At the same time, ecotourism can be a potential economic activity complementary to the agriculture practiced in the region.

Pedal in photos

Must-see pics in incredible scenarios shared with you. Clique na imagem para saber mais.


Pedal em videos

It's worth every second of history.

    A necessary pause

    This Sunday (20), we will hold an event that brings together researchers, cyclists and walkers in the Brasilia National Forest.

    The activities will start at 8:30 am, with a 40 km bike route, and a 12 km trekking route. At 10am, a round table will discuss science, sport, sustainable production and conservation of the Cerrado, followed by music and a socio-biodiversity fair. It is open to the public with free admission.

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