We are a diverse and interdisciplinary team focused on promoting the conservation of biodiversity based on local visions of development and sustainability. Our shared purpose is to blend local knowledge with the global scientific effort to protect biodiversity to ensure the continuity of the species that have evolved in the unique conditions of our island, Brava. Our approach is to promote a natural resource management system that simultaneously benefits human and non-human communities in Brava.
Brava – ‘a Ilha das Flores’, nestled within the captivating Cabo Verde archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, is a destination of unique allure and distinct character. As the smallest inhabited island in this diverse chain, Brava boasts an intimate and tranquil atmosphere that sets it apart. Its breathtaking landscapes are a tapestry of contrasts, where towering cliffs dramatically meet the azure waters below, and lush valleys cradle vibrant communities.
The island’s geological history is etched in its terrain, with ancient volcanic activity shaping its contours. These geological wonders are the backdrop to Brava’s rich cultural heritage, with colourful villages and towns dotted across its undulating landscapes. The local architecture reflects both colonial influences and traditional Cabo Verdean style, creating an inviting and visually striking atmosphere.
With a resident population of 5 647 (2934 Male, 2713 Female according to the 2021 National Census) and an average age of 31 years, the island of Brava has 2 128 households. The primary economic activities are fishing and agriculture (farming and livestock breeding).
Beyond its visual appeal, Brava is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. The island is home to remarkable biodiversity, many of which are endemic to the region. Endangered species find refuge here, as Brava’s commitment to biodiversity conservation shines through various initiatives. Brava harbours some of the most diverse vegetation of Cabo Verde and the highest total plant species richness, with 239 species, and second-highest endemic floral species richness, with 25 taxa (Duarte et al., 2008). 78% of the endemic plants are threatened: 29.3% are Critically Endangered, 41.3% are Endangered and 7.6% are Vulnerable, based on an assessment according to IUCN Red List criteria by Romeiras et al. (2015).
Most of Cape Verde’s endemics have a limited geographic range, and 25 species (27%) have Areas of Occupancy and Extents of Occurrence of <10 – 100km2. Of all Cape Verdean islands, Brava has the highest percentage of threatened endemic plant species.
Visitors to Brava are greeted not only by its natural beauty but also by the warmth of its inhabitants. The sense of community is palpable, and locals eagerly share their cultural traditions, music, and cuisine with those who venture to this hidden gem. The island’s festivals and celebrations (June-August) offer a glimpse into its soul, with vibrant music, dancing, sports, and a spirit of unity that resonate with all who experience them. Whether exploring the enchanting landscapes, immersing oneself in the local culture, or simply enjoying the tranquility that pervades Brava, this island offers a unique escape from the ordinary. As one journeys through its valleys and along its coastlines, it becomes clear that Brava is not just a destination; it’s an embodiment of the harmony between humanity and nature, a treasure waiting to be discovered by those who seek the extraordinary!
Brava is the smallest inhabited island of the Cape Verdean Archipelageo (approximately 67 square kilometers). Despite its small size, Brava stands out as having the highest total flora species densities, while for endemic flora Brava and São Nicolau jointly occupy the leading position.
Unique Microclimates: Brava’s diverse microclimates, influenced by factors such as altitude, exposure to trade winds, and proximity to the ocean, create distinct ecological niches for plant and animal life. From arid coastal plains to misty highland forests, the island’s varied habitats support a remarkable array of species adapted to different environmental conditions.