CBA studies to monitor the fauna help environmental conservation in the “Zona da Mata”
Environmental Protection Areas (EPA) are locations essential to preserve biodiversity and natural resources. The Rio Preto EPA in São Sebastião da Vargem Alegre, in the “Zona da Mata” in Minas Gerais benefits from CBA’s environmental studies and recovery process. To contribute beyond its legal obligations, CBA provided “Estudos de Avifauna, Mastofauna e Herpetofauna da Região” [Studies of the Region’s Avifauna, Mastofauna, and Herpetofauna] to the Rio Preto EPA board. This information will improve the EPAs Quality and Conservation, and thus its score with the State Forestry Institute, which analyzes the environmental quality of conservation areas in the state of Minas Gerais Both are important scoring elements for the environmental conservation index. According to Christian Fonseca de Andrade, manager of CBA’s mining units in the “Zona da Mata”, this is just one more CBA commitment to sustainability and to government support. “In addition to providing important information for the environmental improvement of the EPA, this initiative expands knowledge of the species in the territory, contributing to the environmental conservation of the entire region. The results of these studies show a wealth of biodiversity comparable to other conservation units”, he added. These studies compile the results of 14 CBA field campaigns between 2018 and 2021, monitoring groups of reptiles, amphibia, birds, and mammals each quarter. Monitoring vertebrates revealed the significant diversity of species – 256 birds, and 67 reptiles and amphibia, in addition to 56 mastofauna representatives (land or water mammals). A considerable number of species threatened with extinction or about which there is limited data (and thus possibly also threatened) were recorded during the monitoring effort – six birds, nine mammals, and two amphibia. According to the São Sebastião da Vargem Alegre City Department of Agriculture and the Environment, access to this data will improve knowledge about the conservation area and its needs. According to Eduardo Almeida, City Secretary for Agriculture and the Environment, and the President of the Rio Preto EPA, “Sharing these studies is a valuable tool to absorb and isolate the interests, care, and needs of the Environmental Protection Area.” Environmental Conservation in the “Zona da Mata” in Minas Gerais Bauxite mining differs from other types of mining as it is occasional, surface, temporary, and progressive. In other words, it involves small areas for short periods.Mining and recovery are performed almost simultaneously, so the area involved can quickly return to its original productive and/or ecosystem activity, completing the recovery process and the socioeconomic impact. In addition to sharing environmental studies with the Rio Preto EPA, CBA helps preserve the region’s ecology on a number of fronts, sponsoring environmental education in the EPA and monitoring the entire “Zona da Mata” in Minas Gerais. By recovering the mined areas, CBA returns them to farmers in the same or better condition so they may resume their farming activities, or reintegrate the area into the natural landscape following forest restoration. The methods and technologies used in all steps of the process have improved significantly since 2008, as a result of three lines of research with UFV: Environmental Rehabilitation (Soil), Forest Restoration, and Water Conservation (Forest Hydrology). From the start of this partnership, CBA has worked ceaselessly with the scientists at UFV to continuously develop its environmental processes.