Petrobras, as the sponsor of 124 social and environmental projects in the Amazon biome, celebrates the International Biodiversity Day on December 29, with significant results from the most bio-diverse region on the planet. The Company has invested R$ 1.9 billion over the six years in environmental and social projects throughout Brazil, of which R$ 110.8 million went to 124 initiatives in the Amazon. Over this period, these initiatives have helped protect 28 species of native animals. Moreover, benefiting more than 110,000 people through environmental education and income generation. The Preservation of Amazonian Aquatic Vertebrates (Aquavert), the Water Pact and Amazonian Plant Encauchados projects are among those highlighted.
The Aquavert Project, run by the Mamiraua Institute, aims to preserve and monitor native endangered species in the Mamiraua and Amana Reserves, Central Solimoes, Amazonas, covering a total area of over three million hectares. Petrobras has sponsored the initiative since it was set up in 2010, and work in the protected areas has ensured around 42,000 baby turtles have been born with a thousand Arrau turtles being monitored, the most threatened species in the region. Moreover, researchers have tagged and tracked 40 female Black Caiman and rehabilitated ten Amazonian Manatee pups, three of which will be returned to the wild next year. On an expedition to Rio Purus, they spotted 1,640 Tucuxi dolphins and 528 Amazon River dolphins, discovering one of the main concentrations of dolphins in South America Altogether, the project involved 6,000 people in environmental education, research and the treatment of animals.
The Water Pact and Amazonian Plant Encauchados projects sponsored by Petrobras, started in 2007 and 2009 respectively, have already focuses on the forest, preserving a total area of about 2.3 million hectares. This year, the Water Pact could expand its protected area from 800 hectares to 1.9 million hectares, covering a region of the Amazon between northwest Mato Grosso and southeast Rondonia benefiting 3,000 people. Between 2007 and 2012 indigenous people and rubber tappers planted 1.2 million native seedlings such as Acai, Peach-palm, Brazil nut and cherry, and produced 90 tons of rubber and about 1.5 million kilograms of Brazil nuts, generating R$ 4.8 million for the people living in the forest.
Since 2009, the Amazonian Plant Encauchados Project has helped more than 1,500 people in 17 districts in Acre, Amazonas, Para and Rondonia. Indigenous people, rubber tappers, people living along the river, descendants of Afro-Brazilian slaves and farmers have taken part in the initiative, developed together with researchers from Center for Biodiversity Protection and the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources, which carries out the project, a simple and low-cost technology using latex extracted from native rubber trees mixed with plant fiber, such as Acai stones and fiber, sawdust and Brazil nut shells to produce handicraft known as Encauchados. Items are sold at regional markets and abroad. With an annual production of 10,000 liters of native rubber latex, 100,000 handcrafted pieces have been produced since the project started. Producers' income has increased 60% through this initiative and has protect an area now amounting to around 370,000 hectares.
Every two years, Petrobras selects projects submitted publicly to make access to funds democratic and ensure the sponsorship process is transparent. It encourages new initiatives to emerge such as the Amazonian Green Life Association in the city of Silves, 200 km from Manaus. It was selected by the Company in 2012 to train 133 women from local communities to extract and produce vegetable oils and natural cosmetics in a sustainable manner, aiming to plant 3,000 native seedlings to reforest the region.
In November 2013, the new Petrobras Social and Environmental Program was launched, bringing together the social, environmental and social sports projects with a R$ 1.5 billion investment between 2014 and 2018.
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