CETESB – Environmental Agency

CETESB, the Environmental Agency of the State of São Paulo, has been adapting itself to new environmental demands by embracing a management model within the perspective of sustainability. Relying on a highly qualified technical team with extensive experience gained over nearly four decades of existence, CETESB counts with the most comprehensive environmental quality monitoring network in the country, contributing to the technical acknowledgment of the State of São Paulo in the environmental field.

The local air, water, soil and vegetation are some of the issues which are systematically studied, overseen and, more than that, permanently monitored and supervised by CETESB, resulting in the publication of annual Environmental Quality Reports which support public policies in the environmental area.

In the national context, CETESB is part of the National Environmental System (SISNAMA) and takes part in activities related to the National Council for the Environment (CONAMA), aside from giving support to municipalities and answering a series of demands from universities, research centers and non-governmental organizations, the Public Ministry and the Legislative Power.

Environmental licensing plays a fundamental role within the assignments of CETESB. Within the process of licensing unification, effective since 2009, when the Agency incorporated the activities of the now extinct State Department of Natural Resource Protection (DEPRN) and Department of Metropolitan Land Use (DUSM), CETESB today examines environmental impact studies and reports. These include all projects with potential or actual environmental impact, such as hydroelectric power plants, highways, airports and other large enterprises, but also smaller activities, which can undergo a simplified licensing.

CETESB currently counts with 46 Environmental Agencies spread across the State of São Paulo, as well as an Advanced Service Sector which is integrated to the Poupatempo network. Through its Agencies, CETESB develops an intense work of corrective control and inspection, prominently regarding industries and mobile sources (vehicles). But the role of CETESB towards society is even larger: it monitors the environmental quality of rivers, reservoirs, beaches, air, soil and groundwater; manages contaminated and rehabilitated areas; provides a landfill quality index; develops chemical emergency responses; and promotes programs to support sustainable production and consumption, climate change mitigation and the preservation of the ozone layer.

A reference center

CETESB became one of the 16 reference centers for environmental issues of the United Nations – UN, working in close cooperation with the 193 countries that make up this international body. It also was chosen as one of the five global institutions of the World Health Organization – WHO for issues of water supply and sanitation, as well as a reference and advisory body of the United Nations Program for Development – UNDP for issues related to hazardous waste in Latin America.

For more information, please visit: (in Portuguese)

CETESB and the Chemical Emergency Response 

CETESB has an Emergency Response Sector since 1978 when the Brazilian Marina tanker spilled 6,000 tons of crude oil in the north coast of São Paulo State and caused a serious environmental damage.

Today the sector has a team composed of biologists, chemists, engineers and other professionals with national and international experience. There are vehicles specially equipped with Personal Protection Equipment and with Monitoring Equipment for detection of toxic gases, vapors and flammable substances. The staff can be promptly mobilized by the Chemical Emergency and Disaster Control Center.

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FF – Forestry Foundation

The Foundation for the Conservation and Forestry Production of the State of São Paulo – Forestry Foundation – aims to contribute to the conservation, management and expansion of the State of São Paulo’s forests.

With this purpose, the Foundation supports, promotes and implements integrated actions aimed at environmental conservation, biodiversity protection, sustainable development, recovery of degraded areas and reforestation of environmentally vulnerable sites, carrying out partnerships with governmental bodies and civil society institutions. Furthermore, the Forestry Foundation is responsible for marketing forest products from areas owned by the State.

Currently, the Forestry Foundation is responsible for managing approximately 90 units of Integral Protection Conservation and Sustainable Use, distributed throughout the State. Additionally, the Foundation also has assignments related to Private Reserves of Natural Heritage – RPPNs and Areas of Relevant Ecological Interest – ARIES.

For more information, please visit: (in Portuguese)

IF – Institute of Forestry

Founded in 1886, the Institute of Forestry – IF is a pioneer entity regarding nature conservation. Linked to the Secretariat for the Environment since 1986, the institute has created and managed many of the protected areas in the State of São Paulo, a task that is being shared with the Forestry Foundation since 2007.

Its institutional mission is based on research, conservation and production, subsidizing public policies aimed at socio-economic development, promoting and executing actions to protect the natural and cultural heritage and its associated sustainable development. Currently, the Institute manages 10 ecological stations, a state park, 18 experimental stations, two forest nurseries, two forest parks and 14 state forests (more than 53000 ha), in addition to supporting the management of the Biosphere Reserve of the Green Belt of São Paulo City (MaB-UNESCO Program).

The work carried out by the institution contributes to the protection, conservation and management of our ecosystems, especially in regard to the improvement of air quality, the maintenance of water flows, erosion control, the conservation of fauna and of many species threatened with extinction, detailed research on soil and vegetation and biological cycles. It also offers leisure in direct contact with nature, environmental education activities, sustainable forestry production, research on biological biodiversity etc.

For more information, please visit: (in Portuguese)

IG – Institute of Geology

The Institute of Geology is a research institution established in 1886, designed to plan and execute research in support of the occupation of the territory of São Paulo. It represents the oldest effort of scientific research in the State of São Paulo.

Linked to the Secretariat for the Environment since 1986, the Institute’s main mission is to conduct scientific research in geosciences and environment, generating the knowledge needed to implement public policies in the State through the development of institutional programs: geotechnics and the environment, geological research, paleontological research, groundwater resources and the environment, mineral resources and the environment, climate and the environment and the geomorphology of the State of São Paulo.

The work developed by the IG is fundamental in issues related to territorial planning, land use, mining, geologic hazards and groundwater, among others, undertaking studies that focus, for example, on erosion, and the definition of areas subject to flooding and landslides.

For more information, please visit: (in Portuguese)

IBt – Institute of Botany

The mission of the Institute of Botany is to conduct research in botany and maintain and develop the Scientific Herbarium, Biological Reserves, the Botanical Museum and the Botanical Garden of São Paulo.

Research programs developed by the IBt relate to biodiversity and conservation, ecological restoration, global climate change, bioprospection and water resources. These programs contribute to the preservation and documentation of biodiversity of vegetation still existing in the Cerrado biome and in the Atlantic Forest of the State of São Paulo.

The Institute of Botany also supports the decision-making regarding environmental public policies, especially through: generation of scientific parameters for biodiversity restoration in São Paulo; assistance in the restoration of degraded areas and riparian forests; publication of endangered, rare and endemic species lists; maintenance of live plant collections; data collection on flora; plant rescue using impact mitigation techniques; and establishment of appropriate guidelines for compensatory reforestation in large enterprises.

The Institute also prospects plant compounds for drugs and evaluates the effects of pollutants on vegetation and water quality. The Botanical Garden promotes environmental education activities and awareness for the population of São Paulo. The Postgraduate Program and the internships offered by the Institute help qualifying specialists to work in all areas related to the environment.

For more information, please visit: (in Portuguese)

Zoo Foundation

The Zoological Park Foundation of São Paulo was established in 1957 and maintains a population of 390 species (more than 3.200 wild animals, including birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians), being 32 of these species threatened with extinction. Located on 82.4 hectares of Atlantic Forest where native fauna lives, it has lakes that harbor several species of birds, including of migratory nature. The Zoo has already received more than 85 million visitors.

The Foundation administers the São Paulo Zoo, the Safari Zoo, the Zoo Farm and the Fauna Conservation Center of the State of São Paulo, having obtained the ISO-14001 certification on environmental management.

Environmental education activities are performed by the Zoo Foundation in its own facilities and in various public schools. It also develops research on ex situ and in situ conservation of endangered species along with several public universities in the State. Additionally, modern molecular biology laboratories develop the basis for genetic, genomic, and applied microbiology studies and of the bank of germplasm maintained by the Foundation. In cooperation with the Federal University of São Carlos – SP, it has Professional Masters in wildlife conservation. The Foundation also participates in global conservation efforts with international Latin American (ALPZA), European (EAZA) and global (WAZA) associations.

Zoo Park

The Zoological Park has the mission of maintaining a collection of live animals from different parts of the world not only for public education and recreation, but also to conduct scientific research to better known the animals. The institution already performs work focused on the reproduction of some species threatened with extinction, and plays an important role in the conservation of these species, disseminating knowledge through scientific work, congresses and environmental education projects.

Safari Zoo

The Safari Zoo was inaugurated on June 5, 2001. Located next to the zoo, it has a total area of 80,000 m², with more than 300 animals and a route of four kilometers. Visitors can watch animals such as deer, monkeys, ostriches, emus, llamas, lions and tigers up close, as well as appreciate native fauna while driving through the area in vehicles owned or rented onsite.

Zoo Farm

Since 1982, the Rural Production Division, also known as the Farm Zoo, is maintained in an area of 574 hectares, located between the cities of Sorocaba, Araçoiaba Sierra and Salto de Pirapora.

The Zoo Farm, the only agricultural property of the State that has the ISO 14001 certification, produces most of the food that is served daily to the animals of the Zoo Safari Park. Furthermore, it is responsible for supplying raw materials for construction, renovation, decoration and forage the Zoo facilities, such as wood, sapés, bamboos and seedlings.

For more information, please visit: (in Portuguese)