Private Nature Reserve – RPPN Fazenda Caruara, voluntarily created and maintained by the Port of Açu for nearly five years in the City of São João da Barra, will have a Management Plan to guide its utilization, preservation and conservation. After carrying out the social-environmental diagnosis of the area, the Port of Açu laid out a management proposal to authorities from the Mayor’s Office, environmental regulators and representatives from the surrounding communities. The study was enhanced by IPF Soluções Florestais, the company hired to execute the Management Plan. A community meeting was held yesterday at Espaço da Ciência, in the Balneário de Atafona complex.
The goal is to reconcile preservation and conservation of the restinga ecosystem with interests of the different stakeholders that have a direct relationship with the location, so that they can coexist. “We were adamant about listening to each group of stakeholders, as the idea is to develop the plan with participation from the community and to have integration. The project will include programs such as public visitations, environmental education, administration, communication, protection, supervision, as well as research and monitoring, so that everyone can have access to the preservation unit that we developed with such passion,” said Daniel Nascimento, Environmental coordinator of the Port of Açu.
Many issues related to the Management Plan were discussed in the meeting, including validation of planning and zoning and the architectural concept of the unit.
“The debate with institutions and the community that enjoys the space is very positive. This communication channel between the port which holds the area and the local population is essential for the project’s efficiency. Our premise is to bring society closer to this space that is so rich for the city in terms of fauna and vegetation, and promote different activities using the concept of preservation and revitalization of this important ecosystem,” said Alex Firme, the São João da Barra Secretary of the Environment.
RPPN Caruara, created in 2012 by the Port of Açu, is the largest private preservation unit dedicated to restinga shrub forest in Brazil, with approximately 4,000 hectares – or almost 4,000 soccer fields and nearly half of the operational area of the Port Complex. The preservation unit carries out plant re-composition work and monitoring of local vegetation and fauna, employing local workers. About 40 local residents work there now. All seedlings planted at the RPPN are produced in a nursery installed on the enterprise, dedicated to restinga species, with capacity to produce up to 500,000 seedlings per year. The nursery currently produces and handles more than 70 restinga species, and more than 850,000 seedlings were already produced and planted at the RPPN. Some are in the list of endangered species in Brazil.