Jan Mon, 2021
Cameras set up in rehabilitated areas of the Atlantic Forest belt of Minas Gerais known as Zona da Mata capture the presence of various species of animals and show local development post-mining
The partnership between Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio (CBA) and Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV) has yielded positive results in forest restoration projects in the Zona da Mata region of Minas Gerais state. Planting native species attractive to the local fauna – specially birdlife – in mined areas is already in an advanced stage of development, and has attracted small, medium and large animals, detected by cameras with motion sensors.
The installation of photography and video cameras began in January 2020 and various animals have been observed, such as the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), guan (Penelope obscura) and other birdlife species. CBA’s forestry engineer, Juliana Paiva, explains that, although most of the area’s wildlife is made up of small and medium animals, large animals, like ocelots, can also be seen moving through the area. “Planting species attractive to local fauna is really important in this case, since they connect pre-existing forests in Protected Areas (APP), legal reserves, forest compensations and mined areas”, she adds.
UFV lecturer Sebastião Venâncio Martins is optimistic about the results. “Finding a species like the penelope – a spreader of seeds from the Atlantic Forest and endangered in multiple regions, in an area of rehabilitated forest restoration shows that it is able to feed itself. It’s really rewarding to see this result because it shows that is completely viable to rehabilitate a previous bauxite mining site”, he affirms.
The forest rehabilitation project has a series of post-mining environmental quality bioindicators, analyzed in conjunction with LARF – Forestry Rehabilitation Laboratory/UFV, which inform the assertive choice of planting techniques, planted species’ selection and monitoring.
The manager of CBA’s facilities in Zona da Mata, Christian Fonseca de Andrade, points out that the partnership with UFV fosters the continuous improvement of the environmental rehabilitation model by developing the best practices for managing mined areas and that are an international flag bearer in sustainable mining.
“Our scientific research allows us to better understand the benefits for the environment and farmers, who benefit most from these projects. The positive results generate more precise data for analyses and follow-up”, he emphasizes.
In order to conduct Forest Rehabilitation Projects, UFV lecturer Sebastião Venâncio guides his graduate and undergraduate students in the research. “And our team from CBA provides information about the areas to be analyzed and provides machinery and equipment, like tractors, bulldozers, drones and cameras, as well as resources, such as agricultural inputs and labor”, adds Christian.
Forest Restoration Project
Since 2011, the Forest Restoration Project has been a part of the partnership between CBA and LARF (UFV’s Forest Restoration Laboratory) and aims to produce technical research and guidance on restoring native forests, in both mined areas and environmental offset areas in the cities of Miraí and Itamarati de Minas, located in the Zona da Mata region . A series of scientific dissertations, theses and research, based on the monitoring surveys conducted, are developed, which has led to dozens of scientific articles, book sections and papers in congresses.
In 2019, the technological research and development in forest restoration earned important international recognition. The book Recent Advances in Ecological Restoration was published in the US by the publisher Nova Science Publishers, a leading publisher in this field. Two chapters of the book are dedicated to the work of Forest Restoration in areas mined by CBA, reflecting the sustainability of the company’s operation in the Zona da Mata region.
Also in 2019, the scientific article “Natural regeneration, growth and survival of saplings in a restored bauxite mining site in , Miraí, MG”, by Forestry Engineering student Patrícia Aparecida Laviola Ricardo, under the supervision of lecturer Sebastião Venâncio Martins, was elected the Best Scientific Research of UFV’s Center for Agrarian Sciences, presented at the Academic Integration Symposium (SIA 2019).
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 plate sheet) and semi-fabricated products (sheet, coils, foils and extruded profiles). Working closely with customers, CBA develops solutions and services for the packaging and transportation markets, helping customers to produce more lightweight and durable products and improve their quality of life.
CBA is here for you. See: www.cba.com.br.