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Who we are

The Association for Northeast Brazilian Plants, APNE, is a non-governmental and non-profit body, devoted to botanical research, database building and sustainable use of the natural vegetation of northeastern Brazil.

The proposal for creating this joint Anglo-Brazilian institution was launched in 1991, shortly before the Rio 92 Earth Summit.  A steering committee was set up under the name “Projeto Nordeste”, coordinated by Maria Angélica Figueiredo, from the Federal University of Ceará.  After three years of mutual consultations, the Association was officially founded in July 1994, with headquarters in Recife, capital city of the State of Pernambuco.  Initially it was sponsored jointly by the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPQ) and by the Royal Botanic Gardens in London (RBGKew).  Its first responsibility was to manage the “PNE Programme” devised by its multidisciplinary planning council.  This programme included pure botanical research, the gathering of information for a polyvalent database on regional plants, and the dissemination and practical application of such information at the local level in an attempt to mitigate socioeconomic and environmental problems.

The Brazilian Northeast Region was selected as focal area of the programme due both to its longstanding social disparities and its remarkable biodiversity.  The region has an estimated 20,000 plant species, many of which are endemic to the region.  At the same time it has a high index of social deprivation.        


  "Native plants for local people"

The official slogan “Native plants for local people” indicates the joint scientific and social aims of APNE.  The institution seeks to serve the local population as effectively as possible by providing authenticated scientific information about the native vegetation of northeastern Brazil, by giving guidance to potential users and by applying this information in community projects.


Our mission is to acquire, authenticate and disseminate true information about the native plants of Northeast Brazil, enabling us to foster better management of the natural environment, under the twin spotlights of conservation and sustainable use, and helping us to bring enhanced quality of life to the population.  


Our main goals are:


  1. To bring benefits to the population of the Brazilian Northeast through the generation, dissemination and application of knowledge about the vegetation of the region;

  2. To promote the conservation and preservation of the plants of northeastern Brazil. These two main goals may be divided into the following subgoals:

  3. To foster and develop scientific research into plant resources and their sustainable use;

  4. To raise the level of knowledge and sustainable use of northeastern flora by means of training activities, capacity-building schemes, technical assistance and rural extension programmes; 

  5. To assist family-based farmers who are vulnerable and at social risk, by encouraging the rational use of natural resources in the Brazilian Northeast;

  6. To plan, produce and market products which have been developed and tested within the framework of these projects and activities;

  7. To boost environmental education in all spheres of life;

  8. To develop efficient collaborative mechanisms with other environmental institutions and activists and to support national and international educational exchange programmes;

  9. To offer, within APNE’s remit and capability, technical attendance and advice to the public, with emphasis on rural producers, users and potential users of plant resources, technical assistance agencies and society at large;

  10. To fundraise, in Brazil and abroad, to finance the activities of APNE

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