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Biodiversity Corridor
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The Santa Maria Biodiversity Corridor is the link between the riparian forests of the reservoir and other areas protected by Itaipu (100,000 hectares), with the Iguaçu National Park, an area of 185,000 hectares, passing through the Private Reserve of Natural Heritage -- PRNP, of Ranch Santa Maria.

To build it, it was necessary to engage 42 landowners on the importance of devoting part of their land for the planting of native tree species, forming a corridor of 37 km long (12 km in a straight line). Thus, in 2003, IAPIBAMAItaipu, the Santa Maria Ranch and municipalities of Santa Terezinha de Itaipu and São Miguel do Iguaçu, with the support of the Attorney-General started the work of implementing the Santa Maria Biodiversity Corridor with the awareness-raising phase of the producers.

Nearly all joined early on, convinced of the advantage of adapting their properties for environmental legislation (30 m of riparian forest on each side of the river) without having to expend their resources. Itaipu and local governments contributed with the labor force to build the fence and for reforestation, IAP provided seedlings and IBAMA donated materials to construct the fences (fencing, wire, ratchets and rockers).

Today, the Corridor is almost all in place, leaving only 15 out of the 222 hectares that make up the total project. This area is in addition to another 240 hectares matching the private reserve of Santa Maria Ranch.

The Corridor is on the crest of the divide between the drainage basins of the Parana and Iguaçu rivers. It covers the basin of the Apepu River, which flows into the National Park, and the Bonito River, which flows into the Itaipu reservoir.

To be completed, the project still requires the construction of the second bridge over one lane of the federal road BR-277. When complete, the Corridor will allow the connection between two of the most extensive conservation areas in southern Brazil, the Iguaçu and Ilha Grande National Parks, favoring the spread of genes and the consequent improvement in biodiversity.

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