The program's research projects are focused on addressing environmental problems, mainly in the hydrographic basins of the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo and the coastal zone of Baixada Santista and related atmospheric basins. In this sense, the choice of the geographical cut of the watersheds makes compatible the spatial and temporal scale of study of the PPG-AAI with those of the public environmental organizations that, for example, adopt them as integrated environmental management units. Thus, the results of the projects implemented in the PPGAAI should contribute to meeting the demands of society related to the prevention, mitigation and elimination of environmental impacts.
1. Integrated assessment, prognosis and diagnosis of environmental impacts in metropolitan watersheds and coastal areas
The State of São Paulo concentrates approximately 60% of its population (35 million inhabitants) in the metropolitan areas of São Paulo, Baixada Santista and Campinas, which in turn correspond to approximately 22% of the Brazilian population, 17% of Mercosur and 11% of South America. These metropolitan areas are also responsible for approximately 60% of the state's GDP, which is the largest in the country. All of this development has generated considerable pressures on natural resources and environmental health, and significant socio-economic and environmental conflicts, interconnected in the scale of hydrographic basins and atmospheric basins associated with them, especially the state's metropolitan water resources management units (UGRHI 05 - Piracicaba / Capivari / Jundiaí, UGRHI 06 - Alto Tietê, and UGRHI 07 - Baixada Santista). Although the State of São Paulo has made significant advances in environmental assessment, prognosis and diagnosis, the actions of environmental managers are still insufficient to guarantee environmental sustainability, requiring new interdisciplinary approaches in the scope of Integrated Environmental Assessment. Therefore, the present project aims to:
a) Provide and improve interdisciplinary approaches, techniques and methods for the identification and characterization of indicators of the main impacts and environmental conflicts related to the use of natural resources in the watersheds delimited by the water resources management units of the metropolitan regions of São Paulo (Campinas / Jundiaí , São Paulo and Baixada Santista).
b) To diagnose the environmental components and processes and relate them to the observed environmental impacts, in order to improve existing and / or potential actions of monitoring, remediation and environmental control in the watersheds and watersheds delimited by the water resources management units of the metropolitan regions of São Paulo.
c) To train researchers and professionals with an interdisciplinary vision to act in the evaluation, prognosis and environmental diagnosis.
2. Development and improvement of techniques and indicators for integrated monitoring of environmental impacts in watersheds
The environmental problems resulting from the development of the State of São Paulo have stimulated large public and private investments to recover the state and quality of ecosystem goods and services in the hydrographic basins of the state water resources management units (UGRHI 05 - Piracicaba / Capivari / Jundiaí, UGRHI 06 - Alto Tietê, and UGRHI 07 - Baixada Santista). Recent advances in terms of the regulation of environmental laws and regulations, especially those related to waste management, to the Watershed Committee and to the Ecological-Economic Zoning, should be highlighted. However, these efforts show that there is still a great need for the development of actions to control impacts (from policies and management to operational) and remediation of degraded areas, whose complexity requires the intervention of interdisciplinary knowledge. In this sense, the present project aims to: