The Renova Foundation launches a booklet to assist rural producers participating in forest restoration programs
An essential part of the commitments that were signed with the Renova Foundation’s creation is about forest restoration in the Doce River Basin. In 2016, it was clear that the Doce River would only be recovered if the areas that supply it with water were also restored.
The forest restoration process consists of recovering areas that need more vegetation, either by planting seedlings and seeds, fencing areas to help natural regeneration or preserving springs, other permanent preservation areas, and groundwater recharge areas. This work can be done in protected areas or in areas where rainwater does not get absorbed well, affecting water sources’ supply.
Four action fronts were defined to achieve this objective, resulting in the following programs: Revegetation, Riprap and Other Methods, Recovery of Permanent Preservation Areas (PPAs), and Water Recharge Areas; Springs Recovery; and Promotion of CAR and PRA.
The Revegetation Program recovers native forest, inside and outside the PPAs, on the properties affected by the mud along the rivers Carmo, Gualaxo do Norte and Doce, in Mariana, Barra Longa, Rio Doce, Ponte Nova, and Santa Cruz do Escalvado. It is concentrated on the properties that were directly affected by the tailings and that are located in the stretch that leads to the Risoleta Neves Hydroelectric Power Plant (Candonga), in Rio Doce (MG).
The Program for the Recovery of Permanent Preservation Areas (PPAs) and Water Recharge Areas started the recovery of 40 thousand hectares in Minas Gerais and Espirito Santo and is expected to take ten years. Approximately 10,000 hectares will be recovered by planting seedlings and seeds, and the remaining 30 thousand hectares by natural regeneration of the areas.
The locations to receive the program were identified and selected based on studies carried out by the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) and the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). They were chosen because these locations will guarantee the best water infiltration in the soil to supply several water sources along the Doce River Basin.
Taking care of springs plays a vital role in rescuing rivers and forests. The Springs Recovery Program will recover 5,000 springs over ten years and started with the most vulnerable areas identified by the study carried out by the BioAtlantic Institute (IBIO). Based on this study, the areas along the Doce River Basin with the least water supply capacity, were selected by the Commission of the Doce River Basin (CBH-Doce), together with the tributaries’ commissions.
And lastly, the CAR and PRA Promotion Program. It helps rural producers regularize their situation with the Rural Environmental Registry Program (CAR) and the Environmental Regularization Program (PRA), both of the Federal Government initiatives. Everyone who owns the rural properties affected by the tailings can participate in this program. Regularization of properties with the governments is mandatory to participate not only in the reparation actions of the Renova Foundation but also in government agricultural incentive programs.
Forest Restoration Booklet
In partnership with the Technical Board of Forestry (CTFLOR), the Renova Foundation produced an explanatory booklet on the entire forest restoration process and is digitally distributing it to rural producers in the Doce River Basin. It features all of the Renova Foundation programs with in-depth information, to understand which actions one’s property is eligible for and how to participate. Besides, a glossary and frequently asked questions list help answer the main issues the producer might have about the process.