The Regional Department of Southern Amazonia, RDSA (or NURAM in Portuguese), was created in March 2007 at a meeting which took place in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia, the agreement being signed on June 18, 2007 in Cuiabá by the State University of Mato Grosso, the Secretariat of Science and Technology of the State of Mato Grosso (SECITEC), the Research Support Foundation of Mato Grosso (FAPEMAT), and the Emílio Goeldi Museum of Pará (MPEG), the Ministry of Science and Technology being represented in partnership with the Federal University of Mato Grosso, including additional participation by extra-Amazonian institutions such as the UFRGS. RDSA (NURAM) currently has 35 researchers, 3 accredited collaborators and 7 scholarship students. Through the creation of the research department, restoration of the Alta Floresta campus got underway at the State University of Mato Grosso in order to cater for a previously non-existent research infrastructure, the new structure now consisting of a sorting room for fish; vertebrates and invertebrates; a biogeoinformatics room; an image capture area for collected biotas; fish collections; and the Southern Amazonian Herbarium. The research department project, approved by the CNPq in 2009, includes: “Collections, conservation and valuation of alternatives for the sustainable use of biodiversity in the Southern Amazonian region”, with the main objective of providing a biodiversity inventory of taxonomic groups on a regional scale, associating abiotic factors, utilizing standardized collection protocols as a form of inventory strategy, integrating ecological practices with taxonomy, improving the types of data associated with the collections and enabling new uses of biodiversity. It is the Project’s aim:
1. To qualify and maintain the zoological and botanical scientific collections supported by the Southern Amazonian Department (UNEMAT and UFMT) and its associated infrastructure, providing the necessary conditions for full and proper operation for optimizing usage as a primary source and deposit of information related to Amazonian biodiversity;
2. To promote training and qualification of human resources by supporting systematics and ecology graduation and post-graduation projects developed under the Project;
3. To improve taxonomic and ecological knowledge and understanding of the Southern Amazonian region, promoting structured rapid inventories in selected areas;
4. To organize long-term research projects by means of structured inventory protocols within the Southern Amazonia modules in the Juruena National Park;
5. To empower the regional research department to operate within the standardized biological inventories hub;
6. To present new strategies for the sustainable use of biodiversity within the Buffer Zone of Juruena National Park;
To ensure that the Project is properly integrated into the Eastern Amazonian PPBio network and any other associated projects, by providing data through PPBio integration platforms and by participating in planning, work-orientated, coordination and results orientated communication meetings.