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The Environment
Itaipu joins the UN campaign
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10/09/2007

Itaipu Binacional has just joined the international campaign of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to plant a billion trees all over the world by the end of this year. Together with its partners, the company will contribute by planting 500 thousand trees in the reservoir protection area, in biodiversity corridors (forests linking protected areas) and in local riparian forests and basins. “Planting trees on a large scale is urgently needed to fight the effects of deforestation and global warming”, says the director of Itaipu Coordination, Nelton Friedrich.


The company’s commitment with this campaign was formalized yesterday (21), during a meeting of the Management Council of the Center for Environmental Science and Protection, which is being implemented in Foz do Iguaçu with the support of UNEP. The organization’s representative in Latin America and the Caribbean, Enrique Leff, said that Itaipu’s contribution would be very important to reach the 1 billion mark. “The main goal of the campaign is to encourage reforestation. We want it to continue and expand in the years to come. The rate of foresting must be greater than the deforestation rate because only then will we be able to revert the negative effects of environmental degradation”, Leff said.

This is the largest initiative of UNEP to fight the effects of global warming. However, the 1 billion figure is still far from enough to revert current levels of deforestation. According to the organization’s estimates, we would need 130 billion trees just to compensate the forest loss of the last ten years.

Participation is open to all individuals and institutions; in other words, every citizen, community, company, civil society organization or government can contribute to the program. Until now, the greatest contribution has come from Mexico, which has pledged to plant 250 million trees until December 2007.

To participate, potential candidates can register at UNEP’s website (www.unep.org). All you have to do is fill out an online form, take the pledge and send us information later about your tree planting progress. A contribution can be made with just one tree.

Environmental action

Itaipu preserves within its main area of influence a total of 108 thousand hectares of forests, which are divided among Reservations, Biological Refuges and the Reservoir Protection Area. These measures are part of the “Cultivating Good Water” program. The program was internationally recognized with an Earth Charter Award and includes measures for revitalizing environmental liabilities (cleaning up basins, processing waste from agricultural activities, supporting sustainable techniques of agricultural management), preserving biodiversity (as in the establishment of biodiversity corridors and the construction of the Piracema Canal, allowing the migration of fish along the Paraná River), as well as environmental education initiatives.