Among the project’s actions are the promotion of sustainable development in Mariana communities and 38 other municipalities affected by the Fundao dam collapse, as well as the monitoring of Doce River water and its tributaries according to international standards
Yesterday, 07/04, the Renova Foundation and the Representation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Brazil signed the international technical cooperation project “Peacebuilding and dialogue for the sustainable development of regions impacted by the Fundao dam collapse: strengthening the institutional capacity and implementation of Renova Foundation actions”. It was signed at 10:30 am in the UNESCO office in Brasilia, Brazil.
The planned duration of the project is three years, and it aims to promote sustainable development – social, environmental and economic – of the regions hit by the Fundao collapse, an ore tailings dam located in the municipality of Mariana (MG), on 05/11/2015.
The lack of drinking water, loss of homes, businesses, animals and crops, as well as a halt to fishing, are among the main direct damages along the 670 km of the Doce River and its tributaries all the way to the sea. In all, 39 municipalities were impacted.
“UNESCO is delighted to sign this international technical cooperation agreement with the Renova Foundation. We understand that the challenges related to the repair of Mariana’s tragedy involve an structure in which UNESCO, with its multidisciplinary technical framework, can provide experience and seek relevant and innovative solutions. Through our cross-cutting mandate on issues related to cultural heritage, water resource management and human rights, we will seek to contribute to ongoing actions promoted by the Renova Foundation,” says UNESCO Director and Representative Marlova Jovchelovitch Noleto.
CEO of the Renova Foundation, Roberto Waack, affirms that “the partnership with UNESCO represents the strengthening of a network aimed at repairing and contributing to the future development of the Doce River Basin. Renova Foundation’s role is to mobilize several organizations and the community for this challenge, working together to obtain more powerful solutions and results. In this sense, UNESCO represents a wealth of immense knowledge, which goes beyond the scientific and material component, but also brings to the repair agenda an approach focused on the people, culture, history and memories.”
The Renova Foundation has the responsibility to implement and systematize strategic actions in repair and compensation programs – aimed at communities affected by the disaster – for human, material and environmental damage caused by the event. This task is very complex given the territorial extent and the size of the tragedy. The volume of tailings, the course it followed and the different ways it spread, have become a complex challenge, unprecedented in scale, time and knowledge.
Solutions to this complex context require a broad institutional structure involving public authorities, civil society, the private sector and affected communities. In this sense, the cooperation with UNESCO in Brazil seeks to expand the Foundation’s institutional and management capacity in carrying out actions and programs already underway, with a focus on building a peaceful culture and dialogue through education, science and culture. It is therefore a project that involves three different areas of mandate of UNESCO – human and social sciences, culture, and natural sciences – seeking integrated solutions to the problems experienced by the populations affected by the dam collapse.
The project involves actions aimed at:
- supporting the development and institutional strengthening of the Renova Foundation;
- stimulating sustainable development of the region based on respect of human rights;
- monitoring the Doce River water in a participatory manner and according international standards;
- promoting integrated management of water resources and terrestrial, aquatic and coastal ecosystems.