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Brazil biodiversity update

An environmental team from Hydro shared research and project results from the Paragominas bauxite mine with a gathering this week of the Biodiversity Research Consortium Brazil-Norway.

The seminar, on “Protecting biodiversity in the Brazilian Amazon,” brought together researchers from Brazil and Norway who presented results of reforestation efforts and effects on plants and animals in the area.

Hydro is committed to preserving and restoring biodiversity in the area of the Paragominas mine, which lies within the Amazon Basin, a rainforest area that is home to myriad species in addition to serving an important role in climate change.

Participants heard presentations on how to reduce deforestation, enhance reforestation of disturbed areas, and monitor the health of species – especially threatened species – in the study area.

Domingos Campos, Head of HSE&CSR in Bauxite & Alumina, says the gathering gave everyone greater insight into different approaches to addressing biodiversity.

“For me the workshop was a unique opportunity to gather all the researchers from Brazil and Norway, and get the ‘flavor’ of the Norwegian community, how the Norwegians perceive the work being performed in Brazil.

“It was an important opportunity to illustrate the challenges such a project faces in Brazil, for people to understand the reality in Brazil.”

His colleague, Victor Barbosa, fauna manager at Paragominas, gave a presentation on Hydro’s rehabilitation work, which has recovered 1,400 hectares since 2009. About 65 local employees are involved in the work, with the goal is to reclaim 1 hectare for each hectare disturbed by mining by 2017.

Says Bernt Malme, Head of Environment in Hydro, who told the group about Hydro’s overall efforts in Brazil: “The seminar was an important step forward. It was an opportunity to show important stakeholders in Norway what we do and also to get valuable feedback from them.

“We are also discussing the research priorities for next year and the more long-term strategy. I see that since the start of the consortium, we have become closer and now we have a very open, constructive and transparent dialogue among the partners. We want to use the results to improve our reforestation work and then we need the input and the results from the consortium partners.”

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