The island of Trindade was discovered in 1501, by Portuguese navigator João da Nova. It was named by Estevão da Gama a year later, and the same name remains today, in honor of the Holy Trinity - due to three elevations that can be seen from a distance. The higher one, in the center, is the Desejado peak, the highest point in the South Atlantic (600m).
In the sixteenth century, Trindade was often confused with the island of Ascension, name which it still has, in certain letters and writings of the period. The mix-up is understandable, given the interest and design of the strip of the British Isles in the South Atlantic The island was used intermittently, for support, by slave traders and English pirates. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was visited by navigators, explorers and naturalists.
In 1882, Trindade became part of Brazil. In 1895, the British occupied it once again, with the justification of establishing a submarine cable station. This act was opposed by Brazil, through diplomatic channels, and confirmed with the deployment of a Navy ship, instituting an icon for sovereignty, with the words: "Law overcomes strength".
In 1916, Trindade was occupied by Brazil during World War I, to prevent its use by enemy ships. In 1941, during the second World War, the island was again manned, to prevent enemy submarines from using it as a support base.
Finally, in 1950, a scientific expedition was sent to plan a permanent occupation of the island. In 1957, the Oceanographic Station on the Island of Trindade - POIT - was established and, since then, the Navy ensures its effective ownership by Brazil.
Trindade is an oceanic located, situated between the parallels 20º 29' and 20º 32' S and meridians 29º 17' and 29º 21' W, 620 miles from Vitória (ES) and 800 miles from Rio de Janeiro (RJ), on the path to Africa. In addition to the Martin Vaz Islands , located 26 miles to the east, the nearest land is the Island of Ascension, located 1,170 miles to the northeast.
The island is located at the eastern end of the Vitória-Trindade seamounts, and rises to 5,500 meters from the ocean floor, with a smooth profile and upwards concavity. It has a length of 10.2 km², and is strongly rugged, with elevations reaching up to 600 meters (Desejado Peak). About 3 million years ago, a fracture zone develop, extending from Brazilian continental shelf. Due to its volcanic origin, lava, volcanic ash and sand can be found. The last volcanic eruption occurred approximately 50,000 years ago.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the island was covered by lush rainforest. Currently, the existing vegetation consists of a grass and herb cover, and a forest of giant ferns, in the moist and shady heights of the island, with trees 5 to 6 meters in height.
The tropical oceanic climate is tempered by winds from the east. Its average annual temperature is 24° C; the month of February is the hottest of the year (27° C) and September is the coldest (21° C). Almost every day, especially in summer, a rapid precipitation of rain occurs (usually lasting less than 5 minutes), known locally as "Pirajá". Between the months of April and October, the island receives periodic cold fronts, with a mean interval of one week.
The Island of Trindade has drinking water springs in the Cachoeira creek (the most abundant one), and in the Príncipe and Portugueses creeks.
The island has a considerable number of birds, crabs and sea turtles. They are surrounded by the waters of the Brazil Current, with high salinity (37 g/l) and average temperatures (27° C) medium, unusually rich in terms of fish (sea bass, xaréus, groupers, barracudas, sardines) and lobsters.Back to top
For a few years now, the MB has been receiving an increasing amount of requests to conduct research in Trindade. Such requests warrant the creation of a specific program, under the aegis of the Inter-ministerial Commission for the Resources of the Sea (CIRM), coordinated by the Navy of Brazil, and using the logistical support it provided by the Navy to the facilities it keeps on the island. This program, created in April 2007, is called PROTRINDADE (Scientific Research Program on the Island of Trindade), was conceived to manage the development of scientific research on the Island of Trindade, Martin Vaz Archipelago and adjacent sea area, thus enabling the collection, systematization and dissemination of scientific knowledge the region.
As provided for in Article 20, item IV of the Federal Constitution, the Island of Trindade is a federal asset, delivered by the Federal Heritage Secretariat (SPU) to the charge of the Navy of Brazil (MB), through Term of Delivery No. SCC-001/84, of 24 April, 1984, Case MF.0783.0335/83 (Decision No. 18.008.0). The MB has occupied the Island of Trindade continuously since 1957.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS - 1982) gives Brazil the right to establish, around the Island of Trindade, a Territorial Sea, a Contiguous Zone, an Exclusive Economic Zone and a Continental Shelf, as implemented by Law No. 8.617/1993.
The scientific activities on the island began in 1957 when, during an event called the International Geophysical Year, the MB began operating the Oceanographic Station on the Island of Trindade (POIT) and, since then, continuity have only been feasible, albeit in a limited fashion, due to the support of the Navy, responsible for ensuring a Brazilian presence in that distant portion of our territory, and the sea that surrounds it.
Because of its location, in a latitude near the main oil fields and the region with the greatest concentration of population and economic development of the country, Island of Trindade constitutes an outpost, vital for national defense, when it comes to the deployment of naval assets. In particular, as support to naval forces operating in the South Atlantic, protection of sea lines of communication in Brazilian waters.
Scientific research allow us to identify the potential for the sustainable exploitation and use of an asset. In addition, new findings may help preserve the environment. Particularly in case of the Island of Trindade, the path of science has been one of the priorities for joint action by the Navy and research institutions and universities.
PROTRINDADE was created, in April 2007, under the auspices of the CIRM, which is responsible for supervising its activities, through the Subcommission for the Sectorial Plan for the Resources of the Sea (PSRM).
Program implementation is the responsibility of an Executive Committee consisting of representatives from:
- Ministry of Defense (MD);
- Ministry of Education (MEC);
- Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME);
- Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI);
- Ministry of the Environment (MMA);
- Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MPA);
- Navy of Brazil (the Navy General Staff, Command of the 1st Naval District and the Hydrography and Navigation Directorate) - MB;
- Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA);
- Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio);
- National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq); and
- Secretariat of the Inter-ministerial Commission for the Resources of the Sea (SECIRM).
The Executive Committee is coordinated by MB, through the SECIRM, with advice from a Scientific and a Logistics Subcommittee, in order to assist, promote, manage, monitor and support the development of scientific research on the Island of Trindade, Martin Vaz Archipelago and adjacent sea areas.
It is up to the Executive Committee, specifically, to:
a) promote Program planning and implementation;
b) drive and operate a systematic program of scientific research on the Island of Trindade and Martim Vaz, and adjacent sea areas;
c) approve the priorities for scientific projects to be developed;
d) approve scientific research projects to be developed on the Island of Trindade Island and Martim Vaz and adjacent sea areas;
e) supervise the transport of the researchers;
f) examine and harmonize the proposals from the sub-committees, take them to the PSRM Subcommittee and, when necessary, convey to the Subcommittees the measures to be taken as a result of guidelines issued by CIRM;
g) monitor financial budget proposals, organize and coordinate budgetary proposals and coordinate the use of financial resources available to the Program;
h) monitor results obtained and propose necessary changes when implementing the program, not only based on an assessment of the results of activities and new projects presented, but also in view of the evolution of the overall technical and administrative structure of the Program;
i) examine and approve the proposals evaluated and forwarded by CNPq relating to offers of collaboration and participation from universities, research centers and government or private agencies, in the scientific activities developed in the Island of Trindade and Martim Vaz and adjacent sea areas; and
j) define the composition and duties of the Scientific and Logistics Subcommittees.
Sub-committees have the following compositions:
I - Scientific Subcommittee:
- National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq)
- Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA);
- Representative from the Scientific Community (Scientific and Technical Operations Coordinator);
- Secretariat of CIRM (SECIRM);
II - Logistics Subcommittee:
- Command of the 1st Naval District (Com1ºDN).
- Navy of Brazil (Navy's Directorate of Civil Works - DOCM);
- Hydrography and Navigation Directorate (DHN) (DHN); and
- Secretariat of CIRM (SECIRM).
Subcommittees have the following powers:
I - Scientific Subcommittee:
a) advise the Executive Committee on all aspects of conducting scientific research on the Island of Trindade, Martin Vaz Archipelago and adjacent sea areas;
b) induce and promote scientific research on the Island of Trindade, Martin Vaz Archipelago and adjacent sea area;
c) select and define research priorities to be developed on the Island of Trindade, Martin Vaz Archipelago and adjacent sea area, with recognized scientific merit and approval by the competent body, in relation to compliance with relevant environmental legislation;
d) proposals for harmonizing scientific and technological projects with PROTRINDADE guidelines and objectives, as well as the availability of financial resources, offering funding-raising activities and and the necessary adjustments;
e) set the boarding priority for researchers, in the missions scheduled by the Navy of Brazil (MB) to the Island of Trindade and coordinate the transfer of researchers to the ports of boarding and de-boarding, through the MB or contracted by it;
f) monitor the scientific research projects approved by the Executive Committee;
g) promote events that help in the evaluation and dissemination of the results of scientific research developed on the Island of Trindade, Martin Vaz Archipelago and adjacent sea area; and
h) propose to the Executive Committee any modifications, suspensions or cancellations of scientific research projects that may be causing or threatening to cause damage to the environment of the islands and its dependent and associated ecosystems.
II - Logistics Subcommittee:
a) evaluate the possibility of providing logistical support for scientific and technological projects presented by the Scientific Subcommittee;
b) devise the operational plan for the scientific activities developed on the Island of Trindade, Martin Vaz Archipelago and adjacent sea area, considering the logistical support possibilities and limitations;
c) advise the Executive Committee on financial, material and personnel needs involved in providing logistical support to the scientific research projects to be developed on the Island of Trindade, Martin Vaz Archipelago and adjacent sea area; and
d) provide logistical support, as made available by the MB, needed for researchers to stay on the island, and the conduction of scientific research approved by the Executive Committee.
The Logistics and Scientific Subcommittees have the following resources:
a) logistical support from the Navy of Brazil;
b) financial, technical and scientific support from Ministries and institutions involved directly or indirectly in the scientific research conducted on the Island of Trindade and Martin Vaz and adjacent sea area;
c) administrative support from SECIRM; and
d) support by hoc consultants to scientific research projects, selected by a recognized authority, to deal with specific matters.
PROTRINDADE meets the guidelines of the National Policy for the Resources of the Sea (PNRM), the National Defense Policy (NDP) and the National Environmental Policy (PNMA). Its purposes will be:
a) contribute to achieving the objectives established by the PNRM;
b) promote diversified, quality research, referring to relevant issues;
c) encourage the training of human resources capable of conducting quality scientific research in the Island of Trindade and Martin Vaz and adjacent sea area; and
d) prioritize, across all activities, the notions of security and good working conditions, aimed at those in the program being carried out on the Island of Trindade, Martim Vaz and adjacent sea areas.
PROTRINDADE has the following objectives:
a) with the consent of the Navy of Brazil, build and maintain facilities and accommodations for researchers carrying out scientific research, at the existing facilities on the Island of Trindade;
b) provide the means and support necessary for transport and stay of researchers carrying out scientific research on the Island of Trindade and Martin Vaz and adjacent sea area; and
c) promote and manage the development of scientific research on the Island of Trindade and Martin Vaz and adjacent sea area.
- Contribute to the increase in the number of research projects in development in Ocean Islands; and
- Create a Pilot Project under the Environment Management PROTRINDADE in Ocean Islands.
The identification and measurement of aspects related to PROTRINDADE, done periodically, obey the following:
|ADMEASUREMENT||UNIT OF MEASURE||REFERENCE|
Número de projetos de pesquisa em desenvolvimento no âmbito do PROTRINDADE.
Taxa de implementação do Projeto Piloto de Gestão Ambiental no escopo do PROTRINDADE.
The Tender Notice for scientific research in the Island of Trindade and Martin Vaz and adjacent sea area shall be devised by CNPq. Research projects will be submitted to CNPq, after the disclosure of the Notice, and will be evaluated and approved by this Agency, based on scientific merit.
The research projects presented to the Subcommittees will be evaluated and approved based on their environmental impact and, when necessary, assessment will also be done by IBAMA; in terms of logistical support to them, by Com1°DN.
The research proposals will be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval, after being examined by the assisting Subcommittee.
Omissions, regarding the selection of research projects, shall be decided upon by the Executive Committee, with the assistance of its Subcommittees.
The Scientific Subcommittee will enter the research projects - approved by the Executive Committee - into the planning process for scientific activities, and will disseminate the schedule of events to interested parties.
The Logistics Subcommittee will structure the logistical support necessary to the implementation of approved research projects.
All scientific activities developed in the Island of Trindade, Martim Vaz and adjacent sea areas should be planned in accordance with the rules and procedures set forth by the Navy of Brazil.
The decisions of the Scientific and Logistics Subcommittees should be forwarded to the PROTRINDADE Executive Committee, for a referendum.
Those interested in doing research on the Island of Trindade should contact the Coordinator of PROTRINDADE's Scientific Committee (CNPq), where they can submit the research project, to be reviewed for scientific merit. If it is selected, contact the Coordinator of the Executive Committee for subsequent action aimed at being included in the PROTRINDADE project.
It is up to researchers to secure authorization from the competent bodies in advance, for the collection of samples provided for in the project and specific steps for transporting chemicals, flammable, explosive products or those that may be harmful to one's health.
The Scientific Station of the Island of Trindade (ECIT) was inaugurated in December, 2011. Its architectural designed was conceived at the Federal University of Espírito Santo - UFES - and sought to reduce the environmental impact. The construction project was prepared by the Navy's Civil Works Directorate - DOCM - incorporating modern technical solutions, such as the constructive PVC technique, and exploring the natural lighting and ventilation.
The ECIT has the capacity to accommodate up to eight researchers; it consists of two cabins for 4 persons each, a living room, kitchen, two bathrooms, a balcony and two laboratories: dry and wet. It has proper furniture, for the comfort of the researchers.
The remainder of Science Station schedule is managed by the PROTRINDADE Coordinator.
Program execution will be evaluated by the Executive Committee, while the monitoring of the results of scientific activities will be conducted by CNPq - it will define indicators, formats and periodicity for the evaluation of such activities and the presentation of results to the Scientific Subcommittee.
- Island of Trindade and Martin Vaz Archipelago - "A Geobotanic Essay" (in portuguese)
- Phytotoxic Effect Guilandina bunduc (in portuguese)
- Analysis Phytotoxic Effect Guilandina bunduc (in portuguese)
- Potential Phytotoxic Guilandina bunduc (in portuguese)
- New goats on the island (in portuguese)