Private Nature Reserve – RPPN Fazenda Caruara, voluntarily created and maintained by Açu Port, celebrated its fourth anniversary on this Tuesday. The reserve, with an area of approximately 40 km², is the largest private restinga preservation unit in the country and the only one in Rio de Janeiro State that protects this type of ecosystem. The area, the “apple of the eye” of the Port, equals about 60% of all private reserves created by the State.
To celebrate this date, the Port’s Environment team will distribute to collaborators of the enterprise and to São João da Barra public school students copies of the book named “O Tempo e a Restinga” (“Time and Restinga”), sponsored by Prumo Logística, the developer and operator of the Port Complex. It is the first book to describe plant species that grow in São João da Barra restinga forests, and also highlights actions carried out in the region that, to a certain extent, held back construction in preservation areas.
“This is a very important day for us. We had four years of efforts and commitment to conservation and preservation of the restinga ecosystem. Our main goal is to contribute to sustainable development of the region. Even better is to know that, through our work, we contribute to bring awareness to the people who live here. The idea is to foster this culture among our collaborators and young people in São João da Barra,” said Daniel Nascimento, Environment Analyst at Açu Port.
RRPN Fazenda Caruara carries out plant re-composition work and monitoring of local vegetation and fauna, employing about 40 people who live in the region. All seedlings planted at the RPPN are produced in a nursery installed at Açu Port. The nursery is dedicated to restinga species and has capacity to produce up to 500,000 seedlings per year.
José Valdecir Alves Peixoto, aged 68, born and raised in Mato Escuro, in the Fifth District of São João da Barra, is one of those responsible for this work. In the 1970s, he worked for sugarcane mills in the RPPN Fazenda Caruara territory, without realizing that he had a treasure in his hands. Now, as a Port collaborator and true guardian of the nursery, he works in the same area, but with greater conscience. “It was all grass. When I worked at the mill, we cut and burnt everything to make pasture for cows. Before I worked here by destroying. Now I am here to help rebuild”.
The nursery currently produces and handles more than 70 restinga species, and more than 750,000 seedlings were already produced and planted at the RPPN. Some are in the list of endangered species in Brazil.
RPPN Fazenda Caruara is responsible for more than half of tax revenues related to the Green ICMS tax in São João da Barra. According to the State’s Environment Secretary, in 2015 alone, the city received 1,712,216.00 reais in the pass-through of financial resources. The Green ICMS was created as an incentive for cities to develop efforts to preserve their natural heritage and hold preservation units, protected areas and water springs in their territories.