Cerrado in equilibrium: Reserve in Goiás adopts agroforestry system to protect the biome
Born out of the concept that production and conservation can go hand-in-hand, Agroforestry Systems (SAFs) – which produce important agricultural crops in conjunction with forest – have been used to help recover degraded areas and protect the Cerrado. In Niquelândia, north Goiás state, Legado Verdes do Cerrado (LVC), a Private Sustainable Development Reserve owned by CBA (Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio), has an area of 6.9 hectares that combines agricultural production with the cultivation of native species, mainly baru (Dipteryx alata) and cajuzinho do cerrado (Anacardium humile).
Legado Verdes do Cerrado uses agroforestry to protect biodiversity and improve the quality and structure of the soil, to lock in carbon and attract local birdlife. The initiative reflects the concern expressed in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to seek to unite global initiatives to end poverty, protect the environment and the climate and guarantee that people can live in peace and prosperity.
SDGs 13 asserts that it is necessary to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, while SDG 2 talks about combating hunger, seeking food safety and promoting sustainable farming. In addition to protecting the Cerrado’s biodiversity, the agroforestry model is also an income generation alternative for populations in situations of economic and environmental vulnerability.
Fauna diversity – The agroforestry results guarantee not only conservation but also restoration of the Cerrado, rehabilitating landscapes, protecting water bodies and the interaction between fauna and flora. Another benefit provided by agroforestry is attracting pollinators such as bees, which are essential to the livelihood of species and protecting local biodiversity. Agroforestry also attracts birds, such as toucans, who feed on bananas, and the collared peccary, that eats manioc, in addition to tapirs, forest foxes and armadillos.
Cerrado Conservation – Approximately 80% of the 32,000 hectares of Legado Verdes do Cerrado is covered by native Cerrado. The reserve’s main concern is the conservation and restoration of the local biome. Known as the cradle of waters, the Cerrado is an ecosystem that needs looking after, and for this region initiatives such as that of the LVC of using agroforestry are fundamental to protect life, water and biodiversity on the planet.
The advanced state of conservation of Legado Verdes do Cerrado makes it possible to collect seeds on our own land, offering genetic diversity of species and providing the high quality of the saplings produced in the Biodiversity Production Center, be it for agroforestry or restoration projects. The LVC’s priorities also include the scientific research into protecting the biome.
Disseminating social technology – In order to further foster the Agroforestry Systems (SAFs) to regenerate degraded areas, Legado Verdes do Cerrado developed a project in partnership with Instituto Tiradentes, a local school that administers a technical agricultural course focusing on agroecology. The main purpose was to disseminate social technology amongst rural producers, encouraging the discussion of sustainable agricultural production in Brazil, a theme that is still a social and environmental challenge. Twenty-five young people were trained during the partnership.
About Legado Verdes do Cerrado
With approximately 80% of its area consisting of native cerrado, Legado Verdes do Cerrado is a 32,000-hectare area owned by CBA – Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio, an investee of Votorantim S.A. Located some three hours from Brasilia, it consists of two centers: Three rivers spring in the Engenho center: Peixe, São Bento and Traíras, which provides the entire water supply for public consumption in Niquelândia/GO. This is home to Legado Verdes do Cerrado, 23,000 hectares of land where scientific research, environmental education initiatives and new economy activities take place, including the production of plants and reforestation; while 5,000 hectares are dedicated to farming, soy production and forestry activities. The 5-thousand-hectare Santo Antônio Serra Negra center contains virgin native Cerrado savannah vegetation and is partly bordered by the Lago da Serra lake.
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Founded in 1955, Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (CBA) is a vertically integrated, sustainable producer of high-quality aluminum products. With hydroelectric generation capacity for 100% of our energy requirement, CBA’s operations span both bauxite mining and processing into primary aluminum (ingots, billets, rod and slabs) and semi-fabricated products (plate, sheet, foil and profiles). Working closely with customers, CBA also develops tailored solutions and services for the packaging and transportation markets, helping customers to produce more lightweight, durable and sustainable products.
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Sirlene Milhomem (62) 98176-0297 [email protected]
Rosana Terra (62) 98207-5297 [email protected]