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Historic milestone: Itaipu Binacional celebrates the planting of 24 million trees
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13/09/2021

In the second half of 2021, Itaipu Binacional will complete the planting of 24 million trees in its protected areas on the Brazilian side of the hydroelectric plant. The company, which has already broken several records in electricity production, is now celebrating this landmark of respect and care for the environment, which consolidates it as a reference in reforestation programs around the world.

Photo: Alexandre Marchetti/Itaipu Binacional
Photo: Alexandre Marchetti/Itaipu Binacional

Itaipu Binacional's work in restoring ecosystems began even before the plant's first turbine began generating energy. In 1979, with the creation of the protected areas, the implantation of the riparian forest around the reservoir and the creation of biological refuges began.

The work was carried out in four stages. First, between 1979 and 1981, a line of trees called “Cortina Florestal” (Forest Curtain) was planted on the border between Itaipu Binacional and surrounding properties. Between 1983 and 1986, neighboring farmers began to participate in restoration actions through the agroforestry system.

The enrichment of the vegetation introduced in the previous stage and the planting of new areas by specialized companies hired by Itaipu Binacional, especially in the Protective Strip of the reservoir, took place from 1987 to 1991.

The fourth and final stage of the work began in 1996 and continues to this day, with the restoration work being carried out through technical-financial cooperation agreements with neighboring municipalities and also by specialized companies. The 24 millionth seedling is expected to be planted in November. Click here to view the infographic.

For the Brazilian General Director of the plant, Gen. João Francisco Ferreira, "in practice, Itaipu has, always had and will always have a great concern with the ecosystem and biodiversity in all of its surroundings. Taking care of environmental issues also guarantees water and energy security for Brazil and Paraguay,” he said.

For community and energy

Protecting the environment is part of Itaipu Binacional's mission. The binational plant aims to contribute to water security on its two shores, with a focus on energy generation, regional development, biodiversity conservation and social well-being.

As in nature every process is systemic, the direct results of restoration include benefits both for the community and for the plant itself, such as the control of marginal erosion along the reservoir. Other benefits are carbon sequestration by biomass and the formation of a biodiversity corridor that links important conservation units in the Atlantic Forest biome.

Photo: Caio Coronel/Itaipu Binacional
Photo: Caio Coronel/Itaipu Binacional

The quality and beauty of the forests regenerated by Itaipu Binacional, together with the good quality of the water in the reservoir, allow this forest/water binomial to be used in different ways by neighboring communities, such as on artificial beaches, through professional and sport fishing, capture of water for human consumption and irrigation, among others.

All this care has not gone unnoticed by important environmental institutions. In 2017, the SOS Mata Atlântica Foundation published a study indicating that Itaipu Binacional is the main responsible for the regeneration of forest areas in the state of Paraná. In the last 30 years a recovery of 30% of the biome has been observed in the state.

In 2019, Itaipu Binacional's protected areas were recognized as the core area of the Mata Atlântica Biosphere Reserve, within the “Man and Biosphere” program of the United Nations.

Actions

The mark of 24 million planted trees will be celebrated over the next few months with a series of activities, such as the release of podcasts and a documentary, the distribution of gifts and the planting of seedlings by directors and employees of Itaipu Binacional and representatives from neighboring municipalities.