Rio will have a Nature Reserve adapted for tourists with special needs who are attending the Paralympics
26/04/2012 12:43 - Portal Brasil
The União Biological Reserve (Rebio União), located in the coastal lowlands in the State of Rio de Janeiro, will undergo works to provide accessibility for people with disabilities, enabling them to enjoy around 1,000 of the total of 3,300 meters of the Pilão trail within the reserve.
In addition to serving the State's residents, the new trail will provide a leisure destination for tourists with special needs from Brazil and abroad who will be visiting for the 2016 Paralympics, an event that occurs after the Olympic Games, also to be hosted in Rio. The Head of the reserve, Whitson José da Costa Jr., explained that the idea for the project arose after an Institution for people with physical disabilities requested a visit to the reserve. "We discovered that 14% of the Brazilian population has some type of physical disability and that just the region near the reserve is home to about 50,000 people with some type of special need, who do not have the opportunity to visit nature reserves because they do not have access to them".
The project is part of an agreement between the Chico Mendes Institute for the Conservation of Biodiversity (ICMBio), the Secretary for the Environment in Rio de Janeiro (SEA/RJ) and the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (Funbio). Work should start in June and is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
With a cost of R$ 311,000, the project will be funded by the Secretary of the Environment, with Funbio being responsible for its execution.
In addition to works to adapt restrooms, the auditorium and the exhibition areas to ensure accessibility, the first 900 meters of the trail will be paved and will be fitted with lateral protection (guard-rails). The project also includes hiring a professional to publicize the new space and to encourage visits by institutions working with people with special needs in the region.
There will also be a guide trained to receive visitors with different special needs. The Rebio União is located in the municipalities of Rio das Ostras, Casimiro de Abreu and Macaá and has an area of 2,548 hectares. It is the natural habitat of the golden tamarin, one of the world's most endangered species. The nature reserve is around 160 km from State capital and is considered to be one of the largest remnants of the Atlantic Forest in the State that is still in a good state of conservation.