The Brazil-Norway Biodiversity Research Consortium is formed by the University of Oslo, Norway, and its Brazilian partners Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, Universidade Federal do Pará and Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia, in addition to Hydro.
The scope of the consortium is to create a research program connected to Hydro's mining operations. The objective is to strengthen Hydro's capacity to preserve the natural biodiversity of the areas where the company mines bauxite. After the establishment of the BRC in 2013, the partnership was strengthened in January 2016 through a new research collaboration agreement between the Research Council of Norway and the state of Pará.
This year, during the BRC seminar, held in Belém, capital of the state of Pará in Brazil, the partners renewed the BRC collaboration agreement for another five years.
"We are committed to long-term sustainable development and we believe that this agreement will promote collaboration in the generation of knowledge, seeking solutions that will support the recovery of plowed areas to a condition that, in terms of biodiversity, is the same or even better than before, "said Silvio Porto, executive vice president and business leader, Bauxita & amp; Hydro's Alumina.
In its first four years of existence, the studies supported by the agreement registered two new species of insects in the Amazon, leading to the discovery of eight new species of fungi in Brazil, of which three new species are found in the Amazon region.
The partnership also generated 13 research projects related to different topics, such as greenhouse gases, fungi, crustaceans, fish, birds, mammals, flora, botany, soils and insects. In total, about 100 professionals participated in the studies under the agreement, including doctors, master's students, graduate students and technicians who are writing scientific articles. This includes five completed master's theses and another 22 papers that will be published later this year.
The results of the research projects are already being implemented in Hydro's mining operation
"We have seen improvements in soil management at the Paragominas mine as a direct result of the knowledge gained from the work of BRC. Another example is the optimization of reforestation techniques, which depending on the location, are producing considerable results," said Bernt Malme, vice president of Hydro's environment unit.