The Ribeira Valley stretches between the states of São Paulo and Paraná and is the poorest and least-developed region of these otherwise well developed states. Though lacking economic wealth, the region is rich in natural treasures, including the largest continuous area of Atlantic Forest in Brazil. The community of Iporanga is home to an important natural conservation area, PETAR (Parque Estadual Turistico do Alto Ribeira.)
The Atlantic Forest biome, with its coastal proximity, is home to an exceptional set of flora and fauna. However, this diverse environs is under immense threat. At one time the Atlantic Forest stretched across 1,290,000km² (15% of Brazil’s land area), but only 7% of this original area remain forested today. Three-fourths of what is left is endangered, making the Atlantic Forest one of the most threatened forests to date. It needs to be protected.
The small, isolated town of Iporanga lies in the middle of the Ribeira Valley, tucked in amongst the Atlantic Forest.