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The Environment
Rio+20: In 3800 rural properties, rivers are protected by woods
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In 3800 rural properties of Bacia do Paraná 3 (BP3), in the West of Paraná state, fences separate the protection strip of rivers, brooks and streams of the areas of plantation and cattle. They are already 1,212 kilometers of fences, installed at a distance of 30 meters of the water courses, according to what the current legislation demands.
The new legislation reduces the demand of minimum protection strip, according to the property size. As they already understand the importance of preserving the river banks and obey the current rules, the majority of the rural owners of the region followed is not very interested in the discussion about the changes in the Forestry Code.
Education and Awareness

Itaipu technicians estimate that less than 5% of the more than 33 thousand rural owners of the region make restrictions to the fences and to the recuperation of the riparian forest.  The good acceptance is owed to the fact that the farmers are even more aware of the importance of environment preservation, having in mind the great droughts the region has been facing over the last few years.
In the case of the micro basins benefited by the program Cultivating Good Water (Cultivando Água Boa-CAB), the success is also attributed to the education work, developed in the BP since 2003.

The program manages by the hydrographic basin design, searching for partnerships with rural producers, public organs, education institutions, non-governmental organizations, basic sanitation companies and general community, to solve environmental issues and create sustainable development awareness.
The awareness of the farmers “stops the feeling that the bushes in the riverbanks and streams causes the loss of territory for plantations”, says Gilmar Secco, manager of the Department of Itaipu Regional Interaction. The farmers start to understand that a well conserved and productive soil is more important than to aggregate a few meters of riparian forest to the plantation area.
“So, what’s the use in increasing a few meters by the riverbanks, if the rest of the property many times suffers a lot for erosions and lack of nutrients, caused by the lack of an adequate dealing of water, soils and other kinds of care”, asks the manager. According to Secco, showing the farmer that they can produce more without mistreating the environment is exactly one of CAB premises.
“In Brazil, the situation of Paraná 3 basin is privileged”, says Secco. The fencing in the rural properties, to protect the riparian forest, is part of the covenants signed between Itaipu and the partners for the recovery and environmental conservation of 95 from the 130 micro basins benefited by the program in the region. In 35 of them, the work has already been concluded.
Dirty Faucet

Gilmar Secco, with a simple example, shows the importance of the situation in micro basin. “When there’s dirty water going out the faucet, there is no use in cleaning the faucet. You must go to the river source, to find out what makes the water dirty; after that, you must clean the riverbed up to its mouth. Only then we clean the water tank and then the faucet”.
It is this awareness, of the importance of keeping the river clean from the source to the mouth so we all can have clean water in the faucet that the program Cultivando Água Boa looks to develop, according to the technician.
In practice, the preservation work already shows results in the rivers of the region. Pacuri River, in Santa Helena, for example, is already with a bigger volume of water. But Gilmar Secco reminds that the results don’t show immediately, they are reaped with a long-term work.
Good example

Is what we see in the protection strip of Itaipu reservoir, 34 years later. There, since 1979, Itaipu planted more than 23 million seedlets, produced in their own nurseries.
These seedlets were used specially to recompose areas degraded by agriculture and cattle raising areas, which correspond to the biggest part of the flooded lands during the formation of the reservoir, in 1978.
Of the 34 thousand hectares of protected areas in Brazil, for example, 18 thousand were devastated.  Currently, there is still less than 2% of the protection strip that needs reforestation.
Itaipu protects, currently, more than 100 thousand hectares of forests, in the Brazilian side as well as in the Paraguayan side.
According to the Brazilian law, the plant would be obliged to keep a protection strip of 100 meters of width, but the average width is up to 217 meters, according to the manager of the program Biodiversidade Nosso Patrimônio, João Antônio Cordoni.
For more information and interviews, please contact:

Press of Itaipu Binacional
55 45 3520-5230