Pioneering initiative in Brazil will assess, in a scientific and independent manner, the best solutions for environmental management of the region
One of the most renowned global conservation science institutions, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), will work in a scientific and independent way to recommend the best solutions for the environmental recovery of the Doce River Basin. By means of a contract with the Renova Foundation, IUCN will implement and coordinate an Independent Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (ISTAP) for the next five years.
The work will be coordinated by the Ecuadorian Yolanda Kakabadse, a world-renowned environmentalist who has been the president of WWF International since 2010, and who was previously the head of the IUCN and the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment.
The Doce River panel, as it will be called, will have six more members in search of the best environmental solutions for the region. These members will be selected through public notices, which are already open. The actions of the panel will initially be divided in six thematic axes, considering aspects of terrestrial, marine and riverine life: strategy, toxicology, impacts on ecosystems, ecosystem remediation, water management, waste and tailings, and sustainable economic practices.
IUCN is the largest and most diversified environmental network in the world with extensive experience in scientific studies and implementation of panels focused on large-scale environmental challenges such as the oil spill in Nigeria (2011) and the threat of gray whales in the far east of Russia (2016). More than 16 thousand specialists are part of the IUCN network, with many of its members being among the highest authorities in their areas of expertise. Members of governmental and non-governmental organizations are brought together, providing dialogue, exchanges of information and diverse cooperation among all regions of the world.
SOLUTIONS FOR THE DOCE RIVER BASIN
Given the size and complexity of the challenges faced, IUCN’s actions will be fundamental to evaluate the efficiency of the solutions developed by the Renova Foundation and other players involved with the Doce River Basin. “We act on the frontier of knowledge, which also includes new alignments with scientific parameters and public policies”, explains Roberto S. Waack, president of the Renova Foundation.
In this sense, IUCN will contribute to deepening the scientific knowledge about the environmental impacts caused by the collapse of the Fundão dam. As there is no precedent for some of the damage generated, the entity’s role may be a reference for the establishment of recovery and conservation strategies, involving all the stakeholders active in this process.
The evaluations, research and recommendations of this partnership will be presented over a period of five years, through reports containing robust and achievable scientific guidelines. Due to its autonomy, IUCN will act independently of the Renova Foundation – although it may resort to any levels of engagement with the institution, in favor of the proper functioning of the Doce River panel.
The composition of the Doce River panel, its actions agenda, conclusions and recommendations will be made public on a regular basis, as a means of enhancing the transparency of work. A webpage was created to disseminate all pertinent information of the Doce River panel, including its terms of reference and the publications for hiring its coordinator and expert members.
Check out the Doce River panel’s hotsite at: www.iucn.org/riodocepanel.