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CBA’s Reflora Project starts planting saplings in rural properties in the “Zona da Mata” region in Minas Gerais



Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (CBA), together with the Votorantim Institute, and Votorantim Reserves, has started to plant saplings via its Reflora project, which focuses on small farmers interested in reforesting areas that had been formerly used for faming and cattle raising. In this first phase, over 460 saplings of native species were planted in Miraí, in the “Zona da Mata” since June 9. The goal of this initiative is to recover ecosystems, increase the country’s biodiversity, create ecological corridors, preserve water resources, possibly generate carbon credits from forests, and regularize land ownership in degraded Legal Reserve (LR]) and Permanent Conservation Areas (PCA). By the end of 2022 we expect to plant over 15,000 saplings in the region. Christian Fonseca de Andrade, manager of the Mining Units in the “Zona da Mata”, celebrated the start of this activity. “CBA’s strong socio-environmental commitment provides an environment where innovative initiatives that go beyond our legal responsibility and connect to our valuable partnerships, such as Reflora, can emerge. We call particular attention to our joint activities with the Federal University in Viçosa (UFV) in our continued forest restoration efforts. This is one more activity to develop the communities where we are present, connecting the business, academia, the government, and rural proprietors. We know our actions can lead to positive transformations that go beyond our industry. We want to develop the communities where we work, expanding everyone’s awareness of the importance of sustainability. According to Professor Sebastião Venâncio Martins, who leads the Forest Restoration Lab (LARF) team and one of the three research lines in the CBA / UFV partnership, the techniques used to plant native Atlantic Forest species has contributed to connecting the remaining fragments of forest with restored forests, expanding the ecological corridors in the region. These corridors are essential to ensure increased forest coverage in the landscape, animal movements, and the dispersion of seeds across the areas”, he said. In this partnership, once saplings have been planted by CBA, land owners and local agents care for the areas being recovered with maintenance and monitoring, supervised by a CBA technical team. The project will also help participants remain in good standing vis-à-vis the Forest Code. Vaguinei Juliani Cruzato shared what it’s like to be the first landowner in the region to receive these saplings. “I am proud and satisfied to be part of this project. I hope to contribute to future generations so that we may all live in a better world. Planting trees is a simple and beneficial option to avoid environmental impact. Forests also harbor birds, which spread seeds and eat insects”, he added.     The project The Reflora project will continue to provide saplings and technical qualification so that rural landowners can enable reforestation using native species in areas formerly used for farming and cattle raising, as well as Legal Reserve (LR) and Permanent Conservation Areas. In 2021 the company published the first bid where interested landowners can register for the project. Selection took into account the document status of the properties, owners, and squatters, and their potential liabilities. Another bid will be issued in 2022. To participate, rural landowners must meet additional priority environmental and socioeconomic criteria. Those selected must fulfill the terms of the agreement, allow access to technicians and those responsible for the area in order to implement the project, which includes planting and training, and sapling monitoring and maintenance.

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