This was the first National Park in Brazil, created in June 1937. Located in the grand Serra da Mantiqueira, the Itatiaia National Park covers an extensive area in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, near the border with São Paulo. With mountains and rocky elevations that reach 2791 m of altitude, it houses some of the highest points in the country and countless springs that drain to important regional watersheds.
Although its creation in 1937, it was only in the 1980s that environmental movements gained strength in the country, increasing territorial spaces for the preservation of natural resources, biota species and traditional communities. In 2000, the legal system that defines and regulates protection areas was established and since then, conservation units have been legally instituted and managed by the government. Unfortunately, a huge setback is happening recently with the dismantling of policies that safeguard protected areas.