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City biodiversity index and the cities-biodiversity relationship: a case study for Sorocaba, SP, Brazil

Abstract

In order to adopt a strategic model which aims to mitigate the environmental pressures exerted by the process of unbridled urbanization, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), an international agreement that permeates its conservation, the sustainable use of its resources and the equitable sharing of its resources, approved in 2010 the creation of the City Biodiversity Index (CBI), a political-legal instrument that aims to assess its management and progress. Later in 2016, the “Sorocaba: the city of biodiversity” program was launched by Secretariat for the Environment and Sustainability (SEMA), consisting of six specific objectives and among them, the establishment of criteria for the evaluation of conservation measures through indicators adapted from CBI, in order to propagate the urban ecology and ecosystems importance. Given the above, this study aimed to prove the compatibility between urban centers and biodiversity and to evaluate the environmental management of the city of Sorocaba, located in the interior of the State of São Paulo, through the application of 23 CBI indicators and semi-structured interviews with environmental technicians of the municipality, in order to raise possible strategies in the conservation of biodiversity. The sum of the indicators resulted in a value of 57 points out of a total of 92 (61.9%), showing that, although Sorocaba has a relevant biodiversity, the low score of many indicators implies a need for greater mobilization of government spheres and the successive application of the CBI, in order to expand the conservation and environmental management of the city agenda over the years, strategy agreed among the technicians interviewed.

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Data availability

Due to the sensitive nature of the species locations the datasets from the current study are not publicly available but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Universidade Paulista – UNIP Vice-Rectory of Graduate Studies and Research for the financial support, and to Sorocaba’s Secretariat for the Environment and Sustainability (SEMA) for providing the data presented in the project.

Funding

Open Access funding provided by Universidade Paulista – UNIP Vice-Rectory of Graduate Studies and Research.

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WSS conceived the research idea and helped with statistical advice and corrections; JFC designed the methodology, collected field data, led the writing and editing of the manuscript; FLS was responsible for the maps design. The final version of the manuscript was read and approved by all authors.

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Correspondence to Julia Fernanda de Camargo.

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de Camargo, J.F., da Silva, F.L. & Smith, W.S. City biodiversity index and the cities-biodiversity relationship: a case study for Sorocaba, SP, Brazil. Urban Ecosyst 25, 673–689 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-021-01178-4

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Keywords

  • City biodiversity index
  • Conservation
  • Local government
  • Urban biodiversity