Last Friday, the responsible for the social responsibility area of Hydro in Brazil, Anne-Lene Midseim, signed a protocol of intentions with the Natural History Museum from the University of Oslo. The agreement will allow signatories to establish areas of cooperation with Brazilian universities, allowing master's and doctoral students from Brazil and Norway to participate in a new research program.
"The objective defined by us in the long term is the preservation of biodiversity in mining areas in Brazil, without the loss of local fauna and flora. The knowledge obtained through research will constitute the key that will allow us to achieve this objective" , notes Midseim.
The partners will use the remaining months of 2012 to develop the program, to define the cooperation relations with recognized academic institutions in Brazil and to seek financing for relevant projects.
|REFORESTATION: Hydro already has a large reforestation project for Paragominas. Here, you can see the research work on species that should be replanted, once the bauxite exploration is completed.|
Exploration of bauxite in Brazil
In 2011 Hydro took over the exploration of the largest bauxite mine in the world, Paragominas, in the northern region of Brazil. Bauxite, a raw material essential to the production of aluminum, is extracted through the open mining process. Before the activity can start, it is therefore necessary to eliminate the forest, fauna and flora from the area in question.
Before bauxite exploration begins in the new areas of Paragominas, Hydro's biologists carefully research the local flora and fauna. Once the bauxite exploration is complete, the mine is closed, the soil is replaced and seeds of the original flora are sown.
Extensive reforestation project
The ore extraction area is a strip around the central Amazon, which has been the object of serious forest devastation and abuses practiced by the development of agriculture, agriculture and forestry activities.
"The research carried out by Hydro reveals that there is still a relevant biodiversity in the ecological infrastructure of the region, but the areas are marginalized and are under pressure and mining activities represent additional wear and tear", comments André Fey, responsible for the Health, Safety and Environment and Social Responsibility at Hydro.
"For this reason, the strengthening of current programs is a wise step to ensure the future of biodiversity in the region."
This stance is supported by Bernt Malme, responsible for the environment area at Hydro, who points out that Hydro and Vale, the former majority owner of Paragominas, had already established a comprehensive reforestation program at the mine.>
"At the moment, we are evaluating a new area in Paragominas that should be explored in a few years. So far, we have already been able to collect seeds from approximately 200 species in the area. The seeds will be used when we reforest the area, after the exploration" says Malme.