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Itaipu initiatives draw Chinese interest
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Itaipu Binacional has served as technical inspiration for the Chinese to build the Three Gorges power plant and now is also a good example for them in terms of good social environmental practices. Nelton Friedrich, Itaipu's Coordination and Environmental Director, was invited by the company running Three Gorges to talk about the social-environmental initiatives developed on the Paraná Watershed 3 at an international symposium held at the Chinese power plant.


Itaipu initiatives draw Chinese interest At the symposium held jointly by NGOs International Hydropower Association (IHA), The Nature Conservancy, and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Nelton Friedrich spoke mainly about the Cultivating Good Water program, which is a set of 20 programs and 63 projects developed in collaboration with several partners in 29 cities of the power plant's area of influence: the Paraná Watershed III.


According to the Itaipu director, his ideas were very positively received. “Both the administrators of the Three Gorges power plant and the representatives from several organizations attending the event showed interest in learning more about the program”, he highlighted. What most drew their attention, said Friedrich, was the watershed-based management, the involvement of Itaipu's many partners, especially the communities themselves, and the way the company has been reaching results in the environmental area. The Cultivating Good Water program has earned many awards for Itaipu, both in Brazil and abroad, such as the Charter of the Earth and the “5th Brazilian Environmental Benchmarking”.

“Besides the work directly linked to water, they were greatly interested in our encouragement of other practices, such as organic agriculture, environmental education and medicinal plants”, said the Itaipu director. According to him, the lecture generated immediate returns. “Zhu Chunqeuan, WWF's operations director in China, expressed his interest in exchanging information, while Refaat Abdel-Malek, IHA chairman, said he will bring representatives of hydro power plants to Itaipu so they can learn more about the program”, said Nelton Friedrich.