The Environment
At COP 26, Itaipu Binacional endorses biodiversity conservation as key for climate resilience and adaptation
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29/10/2021

The hydroelectric energy company Itaipu Binacional, which belongs equally to Brazil and Paraguay, will present its initiatives related to climate in Glasgow, Scotland, during COP 26. The aim is to show how biodiversity conservation is a fundamental strategy to cope with climate change, helping to build resilience and to adapt to different climate scenarios.


Itaipu's reservoir. Photo by: Daniel de Granville/IB

Itaipu is one of the largest power plants in the world and holds the world record in accumulated production: 2.8 billion Gigawatts-hour, enough to supply the planetary needs for electricity for 45 days. The reservoir extends for 170 km along the border between the two countries and serves multiple purposes besides energy generation: human consumption, agriculture, fishing, tourism, and wildlife maintenance.

Itaipu built a green belt of protected areas around the reservoir to ensure its multiple uses. They sum up to 100 thousand hectares of the Atlantic Forest. In 2019, this territory became a nucleus zone of the Biosphere Reserve, from UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Programme.

This area was formed from remnants of the original forest and partially by degraded zones restored (with twenty-four million trees planted just in the Brazilian margin).

Conservation of native fauna is also part of this strategy. Itaipu has initiatives for endangered species reproduction, like the harpy eagle, the tapir, and the jaguar, among others.

Aware of the importance of encouraging other sources of clean energy, other than hydropower, Itaipu fosters biogas initiatives in surrounding communities. With the bi-national company's support, farmers reduce their methane emissions, using waste from agriculture and animal husbandry to produce energy and bio-fertilizer.

These projects are part of a broad strategy of sustainable territorial development that helps the nearby communities to reduce their social and environmental liabilities, having the micro-basins as a reference for the action's planning and execution. Such projects also consider the goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Program

Itaipu will present its experience on sustainable territorial management in four side events at COP 26. The first one is organized by the government of Tajikistan and takes place on November 3, at the Water Pavilion, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Glasgow time): "Hydropower Development: providing renewable and environmentally friendly energy, ensuring long-term water availability and preventing water-related natural disasters”. This event will be live at youtube.com/siwi_water.

On November 4, 11 a.m., at the Brazilian Pavilion, the second event, promoted by the Brazilian Ministry of Environment, will focus on "Itaipu's Sustainable Territorial Management Program".

November 4, at the UNDESA Pavilion, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Itaipu will take part in the event "Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions and their role in fighting climate change", organized by the Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions Network, which has Itaipu and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) as founding members. It is a hybrid event (in-person and virtual). Registration link for online participation here.

Itaipu is also the organizer of the event "Biodiversity and climate change: the importance of ecosystem conservation to generate clean and renewable energy for all", which will be held at the UNFCCC Pavilion on November 9, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The events will include global leaders and representatives from public, private, and non-profit sectors, and international organizations related to energy, water, climate, and biodiversity conservation.

More information is available at: www.itaipu.gov.br/en/press-office/itaipu-cop