Socio-Environmental Development Index
for the State of Bahía
Leonardo Araújo, Elaine Fernandes and Patrícia Rosado
Environmental Conditions Index for the Municipalities of Bahía ( ...continuation )

Furthermore, it can be observed that the Ilhéus-Itabuna micro region has a conglomerate of municipalities with an eci greater than 0.5. It is important to consider that this micoregion has a cocoa mono culture of great economic importance and that cocoa producers often make use of shade from the native vegetation of the Atlántica Forest. Additionally, this microregion contains a significant number of State parks and indigenous reserves and is a coastal region with a lower rate of urbanization than the Metropolitan Region of Salvador.

In the Metropolitan Region of Salvador (mrs) the high population density has led to human activities placing more pressure on the environment and reduced vegetation coverage which interferes with environmental quality in urban spaces, as well as quality of life. Urban problems such as erosion, sedimentation of water courses, the formation of heat islands, lack of green areas, air, noise and water pollution and refuse dumping are problems that arise as a result of lack of awareness on the part of the population and inadequate or a lack of planning. It is a microregion with a relatively high income per capita resulting in a larger fleet of vehicles and greater deterioration of the air quality.

Figure 3. eci for the State of Bahía According to the un classification for the hdi
Source: Research Results

Despite the population pressure, the region’s eci index was greater than 0.5. This was made possible by some universalization of urban infrastructure services in the region such as refuse collection, water supply and sanitary sewage services.

In summary, it is important to note that there was a considerable increase in the number of agricultural and grassland areas planted in relation to natural areas in Brazil, and particularly in Bahía. This result has a series of implications on sustainability, given that in this context there is an increase in the use of fertilizers and agrochemicals, and also the risk of environmental contamination. Additionally, the expansion of soya and maize agriculture, for example, exerts pressures on family agriculture, important in generating employment and income. In 2008, maize constituted 40.5% of the national production of cereals, legumes and oleaginous plants and after soya was the main national agricultural product. The municipalities of Sorriso, in Mato Grosso and São Desiderio in Bahía stand out as having the largest areas planted with these grains, 847.886 and 476.422 respectively. The São Desiderio municipality also stands out in its production of herbaceous cotton; it is in fact the largest national producer of this type of cotton (ibge, 2010).