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Marcos Bosquetti

Prof Marcos Bosquetti
Professor of Management, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil

Dr. Marcos Bosquetti worked 25 years in the renewable energy industry before starting his academic career in 2011 at Federal University of Santa Catarina, School of Business in the Island of Florianópolis, southern Brazil. In 2015 Dr. Bosquetti started SandS - Surf and Sustainability Research Group, the first interdisciplinary research group in Brazil that studies the economic, social and environmental impact of surfing on Latin America's coastlines. Dr. Bosquetti serves as member of the World Surfing Reserve Guarda do Embaú Local Stewardship Committee and is currently in California as a 2016/2017 visiting scholar at San Diego State University, Center for Surf Research.

Presentation Title: World Surfing Reserve Guarda do Embaú - Brazil: Challenges and Opportunities for a Developing Country
Presentation Day: Tuesday 14th March
Presentation Time: 1.40 - 2.00pm

Guarda do Embaú, southern Brazil was voted in 2016 as the next World Surfing Reserve (WSR) and will join the prestigious network of other WSR’s starting with Malibu, USA; Ericeira, Portugal; Mainly-Freshwater, Australia; Santa Cruz, USA; Huanchaco, Peru; Bahia de Todos Santos, Mexico; Punta de Lobos, Chile; and the 8th WSR Gold Coast, Australia. World Surfing Reserves is a program that serves as a global model to preserve outstanding waves, surf zones and surrounding environments around the world. It is an initiative launched by Save The Waves Coalition in 2009 in conjunction with National Surfing Reserves Australia and other partners. This paper presents the findings of a retrospective longitudinal study embracing 4 consecutive years of submission for Guarda do Embaú WSR - from its first application in 2013 to its final approval as the 9th WSR in 2016. This qualitative study aims to understand the development of this initiative through the lenses of stakeholder theory and points out the challenges and opportunities that a WSR represents to a surf village in a developing country. It highlights the results of face to face semi structured in-depth interviews conducted with six members of the Guarda do Embaú’s WSR Special Committee and a comparative content analysis of the four application reports submitted in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 to the World Governing Body of World Surfing Reserve's Save the Waves Coalition and its International Vision Council. Submission for a Guarda do Embaú WSR is an initiative of the Association of Surfing and Preservation of Guarda do Embaú (ASPG) founded in 1987 for local surfers to protect the Guarda’s surf zone and its surrounding environment when its world-class wave that breaks consistently year-round started attracting surfers from Brazil and abroad. The comparative content analysis of the four application reports shows that among the four criteria developed by Save the Waves Coalition and its International Vision Council to evaluate and choose WSR candidates: i) quality and consistency of the waves, ii) environmental characteristics, iii) culture and surf history, and iv) capacity and local support – the fourth criteria has been the critical one in the pathway towards its approval as WSR. The first application report in 2013 had only 8 letters of support while the last application report in 2016 presented 23 letters of support coming from both primary and secondary stakeholders including Santa Catarina Government, at both state and local level. Among the challenges to implement WSR in a developing country like Brazil the interviewees point out: government’s short-term view and weak institutional support; lack of a city master plan; poor infrastructure investments; and lack of tourism destination management. The international recognition of Guarda do Embaú as a World Surfing Reserve will empower and legitimate the local community’s demand for building and implementing a sustainable master plan to address potential coastal developments and tourism exploration as well as water quality issues such as sewage and agricultural pesticides threatening the Guarda do Embaú’s waves and its stunning natural environment, including the Da Madre River, an intact estuary ecosystem, and a mature sand dune system. As the first WSR in Brazil it holds the promise to deeper the commitment to coastal activism and protection amongst the Brazilian surf world and policy-makers. Suggestions for further research includes a comparative study of WSR’s initiatives between developing and developed countries as well as studies of WSR’s best practices of planning and implementation of conservation programs to contribute to the knowledge building on sustainability and surfing, which has emerged as a promising field of study and research due to its potential contributions for both the environment and society.

Marcos Aurélio Gurgel, Director of Communication, Association of Surfing and Preservation of Guarda do Embaú (ASPG)
Geraldo José Rosa, Coordinator, Palhoça Municipal Council of Tourism
Mariana Bastiani, Researcher, Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC)