The BIOTA program’s main objective is to catalogue and characterize the biodiversity of São Paulo State.

Brazil’s flora and fauna are some of the world’s most richly diverse. Brazil is home to six large biomes — Amazonia, Caatinga (scrubland), Atlantic Rain Forest, Cerrado (savannah), Pantanal (wetlands) and Pampa — originally distributed across 8.5 million square kilometers of the country and more than 8 thousand kilometers of coast. This means that Brazil is home to between 15 and 20 per cent of the planet´s biodiversity.

São Paulo State, located in southeast region of Brazil, still possesses an extremely rich biological diversity despite being highly urbanized and densely occupied. It is estimated that, in terms of number of species, São Paulo is home to two thirds the flora of Europe.

Created in 1999, the BIOTA-FAPESP Program’s main objective is to catalogue and characterize the biodiversity of São Paulo State, defining the mechanisms for its conservation, its economic potential and its sustainable use.

The BIOTA-FAPESP Program has been a conservation initiative with a solid scientific basis for more than 10 years. Research includes: molecular genetics for classification of species; evolution studies to understand the origin of processes that generate, conserve or reduce biodiversity; and investigation of the human dimensions of conservation and sustainable usage. Scientists participating in the program have published nearly 700 scientific articles and catalogued more than 1,800 new species. The program has drafted two maps which identify conservation areas based on 151,000 records of more than 9,000 species. Fourteen government decisions are included in the São Paulo legislation for conservation of threatened biomes.