Research projects address issues such as water and sediment quality and impacts on animal and plant communities — including analysis of contaminant concentrations in the environment
Six research projects from Minas Gerais universities were selected by the Foundation for Supporting Research of the State of Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) to monitor and evaluate the impacts of the Fundao dam collapse in Mariana (MG) on the biodiversity of the Doce River Basin. Resulting from a partnership between the Renova Foundation and the institution, the RFP shall allocate financial resources to fund the studies.
For Bruno Pimenta, leader of the Renova Foundation’s biodiversity programs, investment in research is of paramount importance for the repair of the Doce River. “These studies will serve to follow the recovery of the aquatic biota and propose solutions for the portion of the Doce River located in Minas Gerais. In addition, it is an important opportunity for universities and research groups to engage in the repair,” he said.
The projects will be implemented over the next five years and address issues such as water and sediment quality, impacts on animal and plant communities – including analysis of contaminant concentrations in the environment. Among those selected for contracting are initiatives such as: “Satellite-tracked drifters and automatic monitoring of environmental parameters, applied to understand the contribution of tributaries to the rehabilitation of the Doce River”, from the Federal University of Itajuba (Unifei) and “Assessment of the impacts of the dam collapse on the spatio-temporal dynamics of the biogeochemical processes and aquatic biota of the Doce River”, from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG).
“One of the purposes of this call was to stimulate the production of knowledge related to the investigation of the impacts of the areas affected by the disaster. In addition to proposing solutions for the repair of identified impacts”, explains Laila Medeiros, biodiversity expert of the Renova Foundation.
Biodiversity monitoring in Espirito Santo
A cooperation agreement between the Renova Foundation and the Doce River Sea Network is underway to monitor biodiversity in about 200 points of the Espirito Santo portion of the Doce River and the region that runs from the mouth of the Guarapari River (ES), to the south, and Porto Seguro (BA) to the north.
The study focusses on all sorts of species, from bacteria to whales, in addition to water quality, sediments, tidal and wave conditions, mangroves and sandbanks. It is being conducted by researchers from 24 research institutions across the country, and is coordinated by the Federal University of Espirito Santo (Ufes) and the Espirito Santo Foundation of Technology (Fest). The first vessels began their expeditions in September.