The Morro da Pedreira Environmental Protection Area is located in the municipalities of Santana do Riacho, Conceição do Mato Dentro, Itambé do Mato Dentro, Morro do Pilar, Jabuticatubas, Taquaraçu de Minas, Itabira and José de Melo, in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais. of Brazil.
The predominant biome is the Cerrado.
The creation of the Morro da Pedreira EPA guarantees the protection of the Serra do Cipó National Park and the landscape of part of the Espinhaço massif, aims to protect and preserve Morro da Pedreira, archaeological sites, vegetation cover, wild fauna and the springs, whose preservation is of fundamental importance for the region's ecosystem.
The Environmental Protection Area APA Morro da Pedreira, has great biological diversity and a uniqueness that makes it known worldwide. The limestone walls, known as “Morro da Pedreira”, are the destination of lovers of climbing, Brazilians and foreigners, who venture along its routes of all levels of difficulty. Facts like these justified the creation of the APA, on January 29, 1990, protecting an area of 97,168 hectares of the “garden of Brazil”, in the words of landscaper Burle Marx in the 1950s.
The importance and uniqueness of the region, which covers the entire APA Morro da Pedreira and the Serra do Cipó region, was recognized by UNESCO on June 25, 2005, with the creation of the Biosphere Reserve, the most important international declaratory act that distinguishes the region, recognizing the Serra do Espinhaço as “the nursery of waters”. Small flowers of different shapes and colors, the evergreens, various grasses, vellozias, bromeliads and orchids adorn the rugged relief, where quartzite rocks show up in the rarefied vegetation, intersected by hundreds of small water courses, which form dozens of waterfalls.
A large extension of the territory of APA Morro da Pedreira is covered by complex vegetation that is adapted to extreme conditions, in a shallow, fragile and very acidic soil, which favors that only a few species of plants are able to settle, grow and flower there. Hence the importance of these natural environments, known as rupestrian fields. In addition to the rupestrian fields, the APA features features of the Cerrado biome and the Atlantic Forest, associated with the basins of the São Francisco River and the Rio Doce that drain the territory.
The main objectives of APA Morro da Pedreira are to contribute to the ordering of land use, ensure the sustainability of the use of natural resources, protect biological diversity and favor in an integrated manner the protection of the National Park.