Please briefly describe the initiative, what issue or challenge it aims to address and specify its objectives (300 words maximum)
The HARPIA program started from actions carried out in part of the Atlantic Forest biome, since 2016. In that year, the state of Bahia occupied first place among the Brazilian states that most lost Atlantic Forest remnants and this generated a reaction in order to confront the situation. Considering relevant results obtained with the actions to monitor the Atlantic Forest and the increasingly imminent need to improve the management of native vegetation, the scope of actions was expanded with the objective of monitoring the native vegetation of the three terrestrial biomes in the State.
Please explain how the initiative is linked to the selected category (100 words maximum)
The HARPIA program is aligned with a Category 2 program because it has the goal of providing subsidies to guide more public policies for combating or neutralizing deforestation and for advancing the restoration of native vegetation in the State of Bahia.
a. Please specify which SDGs and target(s) the initiative supports and describe concretely how the initiative has contributed to their implementation (200 words maximum)
The Harpia program has been developed with the perspective of achieving the goals defined by the 2030 Agenda and by other international agreements signed by Brazil regarding the management of native vegetation. For the 2030 Agenda, the program highlights the development of actions aimed at achieving the following goals:
13. Action against global climate change - the program is focused on combating deforestation and increasing ecosystem restoration, thus promoting the reduction and sequestration of atmospheric carbon.
15. Terrestrial life - Combating deforestation by restoring native vegetation the Harpia Program promotes the conservation of terrestrial ecosystems
17. Partnerships and means of implementation - adopting low or no cost management tools and with a simple implementation format based on institutional partnerships, the program guarantees that it can be replicated by other public entities.
b. Please describe what makes the initiative sustainable in social, economic and environmental terms (100 words maximum)
The program adopts low or no cost management tools and a simple implementation format based on institutional partnerships. In economic terms, the program uses human and technological resources already available at INEMA, and eventually, there is an extra contribution of resources from partnerships and agreements. In social and environmental terms, the initiative is seen as a continuous activity that provides gains as it progresses.
a. Please explain how the initiative has addressed a significant shortfall in governance, public administration or public service within the context of a given country or region. (200 words maximum)
The idea of instituting a program for the management of native vegetation in the state came up from actions carried out in part of the Atlantic Forest biome since 2016. In that year, Bahia ranked first among the Brazilian states that lost the most remnants of the Atlantic Forest and this generated a reaction in order to face the situation. Until then, there were no tools or institutional models for vegetation management, only the legal competence on the subject was exercised. The program came to organize the actions already developed and implement others in order to accelerate the fulfillment of goals established in international agreements.
b. Please describe how your initiative addresses gender inequality in the country context. (100 words maximum)
Not applicable. The initiative focuses on environmental management, there are no actions that specifically address gender inequality.
c. Please describe who the target group(s) were, and explain how the initiative improved outcomes for these target groups. (200 words maximum)
Not applicable. The focus of the initiative is environmental management, there is no definition of target groups.
a. Please describe how the initiative was implemented including key developments and steps, monitoring and evaluation activities, and the chronology. (300 words)
In mid-2016, after a national report indicating the state of Bahia as having lost the most vegetation in the Atlantic Forest biome, the state management team, assisted by the environmental technical team, started to implement technological tools for monitoring the native vegetation, obtaining in 2017 the first practical results: monitored polygons. The field inspection actions and application of administrative penalties to infractors started being based on these data. Over time, the number of monitored polygons and actions to repress deforestation had increased and other needs related to the management of native vegetation emerged. In 2021, an ordinance established the program's goals and constituted a work team responsible for defining the strategies to achieve these goals and to coordinate the implementation of these strategies.
b. Please clearly explain the obstacles encountered and how they were overcome. (100 words)
The obstacles faced while implementing the program were of technical, technological and financial order, as well as of government management. To overcome the technical, technological and financial challenges, processes were developed coupled with automated image download and pre-processing systems that allowed the monitoring cycle to be carried out nearly in real time, making costs irrelevant and all inputs and software came from free sources, while the operational technical team was the one that INEMA already had. To overcome management obstacles, institutionalization through a legal act was the main success factor.
a. Please explain in what ways the initiative is innovative in the context of your country or region. (100 words maximum)
The initiative was established based on the identification of the lack of accurate information about the loss of native vegetation, which led to failures in the implementation of management actions on this vegetation. The creation of computerized systems that allow mapping the loss and restoration of native vegetation makes it possible to establish management actions that are much more agile and effective in the conservation of biomes. Besides this, the fact that the program is implemented at a very low cost.
b. Please describe, if relevant, how the initiative drew inspiration from successful initiatives in other regions, countries and localities. (100 words maximum)
Based on the demand for accurate information about the loss of native vegetation, the inspiration for implementing the tool was the remote monitoring carried out for many years in the Amazon by the Space Research Institute (IMPE), renowned in the scientific community. It was necessary to adapt part of the processes and its technical characteristics to the reality of the territory of the State, and from the development of the monitoring tool, several other actions were increased, leading to the creation of the HARPIA PROGRAM for managing native vegetation in the state.
c. If emerging and frontier technologies were used, please state how those were integrated into the initiative and/or how the initiative embraced digital government. (100 words maximum)
The development of the monitoring tool involves the use of geotechnologies. The region currently monitored did not have spatial data on the loss of native vegetation organized in good quality geographic databases. The tool will make it possible to integrate the spatial data produced by it with other management tools used by the institution.
a. Has the initiative been transferred and/or adapted to other contexts (e.g. other cities, countries or regions) to your organization’s knowledge? If yes, please explain where and how. (200 words maximum)
So far, although the State of Piauí has shown interest in learning about the program and adapting the initiative to its reality, it has not actually been implemented in that State.
b. If not yet transferred/adapted to other contexts, please describe the potential for transferability. (200 words maximum)
The entire implementation model of the program is based on Brazilian public management concepts and uses free technologies, making its implementation in other federative units in the country very feasible.
a. What specific resources (i.e. financial, human or others) were used to implement the initiative? (100 words maximum)
In the four initial years of the development of the tool, no financial resources were invested. The human resources available at the institution were responsible for developing the program's activities. The technological resources (software and hardware) were also the ones the institution already had. After this period, financial resources were invested to acquire software and hardware to make improvements the data produced.
b. Please explain what makes the initiative sustainable over time, in financial and institutional terms. (100 words maximum)
The initiative is financially viable because it uses free technologies and free inputs, in addition to being implemented by the institution's own technical staff, dispensing with funding for practically all program activities. Its sustainability is guaranteed by two factors: the legal competences defined for the entity and the formal and legal institution of the program through an ordinance.
a. Was the initiative formally evaluated either internally or externally?
Please describe how the initiative is inscribed in the relevant institutional landscape (for example, how it was situated with respect to relevant government agencies, and how the institutional relationships with those have been operating). (200 words maximum)
Monitoring and overseeing the conservation of the state's native vegetation is a legally established competence for the entity. Implementing and operationalizing the program is an innovation and a challenge in the institutional context considering that there are no such broad initiatives in other national public entities. The Public Ministry of the State of Bahia, as the entity responsible for overseeing the institution's activities, is a key element that drives the development of the program when it exercises its function, demanding from the entity actions that guarantee the conservation of native vegetation.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts emphasis on collaboration, engagement, partnerships, and inclusion. Please describe which stakeholders were engaged in designing, implementing and evaluating the initiative and how this engagement took place. (200 words maximum)
Among the main partnerships established for the implementation of the program, two deserve to be highlighted: the MapBiomas project and the State Public Ministry. MapBiomas performs remote monitoring work on Brazilian biomes and was a key partner in the implementation of the monitoring tool, providing data that expands its monitoring capacity. The State Public Ministry, as the entity responsible for overseeing the institution's performance, proved to be a great partner, helping especially in legal actions to combat deforestation.
Please describe the key lessons learned, and how your organization plans to improve the initiative. (200 words maximum)
Among the lessons learned, the advances promoted by the use of software to organize management activities, the cost-effectiveness of using free data platforms, the importance of carrying out and strengthening institutional partnerships, the importance and advantage of optimizing the activities carried out by the technical body of the agency, the strength generated by the creation of legal mechanisms for consolidating initiatives and the advantages of having an established team to manage the initiative. The publication of a document with the program's action strategy points out the main actions that will still be implemented to improve it. We can highlight: expansion of the monitored area until reaching the entire state territory, improvement of the software tool used for monitoring, the establishment of new scientific, technical and financial partnerships, the legal establishment of plans and goals for the conservation and expansion of native vegetation areas, increasing data storage capacity, making tools and inputs available , training actors involved in the management of the state's native vegetation and establishing mechanisms for evaluating the impact of program actions.