The Handling Plan developed by RPPN Fazenda Caruara Environmental Reserve was approved by the State’s Environmental Institute (INEA) this Wednesday. The management plan may organize utilization, visitation and preservation efforts in the reserve, which was created and voluntarily maintained by the Port of Açu, in São João da Barra. The document establishes general guidelines for its utilization and priority actions that should be implemented. The Handling Plan sets up protection zones and stresses the importance of the involvement of many stakeholders to preserve the region’s ecosystem, in addition to allowing the community to interact with the restinga.
According to José Magela, CEO of Prumo Logística (the developer of the Port of Açu), the approval of the Handling Plan is a big step for the enterprise. “This is a milestone for our environmental reserve, which has proper authorization to open its doors to the public in an orderly way. This plan reinforces our commitment to the sustainable development of the Port Complex. RPPN Caruara is an asset to us and to the whole region,” he said.
The Handling Plan includes the implementation of brick-and-mortar structures, visitation program, environmental education, research and monitoring. It also outlines actions to promote the integration of the reserve with the economic and social fabric of surrounding communities, seen as vital to ensure efficient implementation. Guided visits and nature walks are among the activities open to the public proposed by the Handling Plan. According to Daniel Nascimento, Environment Coordinator of the Port of Açu, the goal is to put together efforts for the preservation of the restinga ecosystem with groups that have a direct relationship with the reserve. “We surveyed the reserve area and its surroundings and listened to all stakeholder groups because the idea is to develop the plan in a way that invites participation and integration with the community,” he explained.
Created in 2012 by the Port of Açu, RPPN Caruara is Brazil’s largest private reserve dedicated to the restinga ecosystem, with approximately 4,000 hectares (or about 4,000 soccer fields) and nearly half of the Port Complex’s operational area. Activities involving vegetation re-composition and monitoring of plants and animals are developed there with local labor. About 40 local residents work there at the moment. All seedlings planted in the reserve are produced in a nursery in the enterprise that is dedicated to restinga species and has annual capacity for 500,000 seedlings. The nursery currently produces and handles 85 species. More than 1 million seedlings were produced and planted in the reserve, some of them belonging to species threatened with extinction.