The Land Conservation Organization contributes to the conservation of the Atlantic Rain Forest

An Institution supported by the Odebrecht Foundation has already recovered, since 2012, more than 8,300 hectares in the Southern Bahia Lowlands

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The Land Conservation Organization (OCT) operates, In Bahia, in the Pratigi Environmental Protection Area (EPA) located in the Southern Bahia Lowlands, a region measuring 171,000 hectares and that is part of the Atlantic Rain Forest Central Corridor. Supported by the Odebrecht Foundation, its actions seek to promote the conservation of soil, flora, fauna and to revitalize local water resources.

In order to realize this, the institution has spurred three initiatives:

• Environment Conservation: development of environmental services and strengthening of natural resources, which contributes to sustain life on the planet. In this context, OCT coordinates programs (such as Pratigi Carbon Neutral) that recover springs, enabling and developing the hydric capacity of the region. Besides these, it technically guides farmers on planning and regularizing their properties.

• Productive Conservation: encouragement of agricultural crops with low environmental impact while stimulating reforestation and the sustainable occupation of the farming properties with crops that contribute to the maintenance of the ecosystem’s balance.

• Environmental Planning: identification of areas with the capacity to sustain low-impact cultures, biodiversity research and territorial planning (communities or EPAs) in order to guide the sustainable agricultural production in the region.

Besides being one of the world's wealthiest regions in terms of its biodiversity, the Atlantic Rain Forest is of vital importance to approximately 120 million people who live within its limits, being the area responsible for the generation of 70% of the gross domestic product of Brazil. The Atlantic Rain Forest also regulates the flow of water sources, ensures soil fertility, controls the climate balance, and its landscapes offer scenic beauty. It also preserves an immense historical and cultural heritage.

Nevertheless, a research published in 2014 by SOS Mata Atlântica Foundation and the National Institute for Space Researches indicates an increase of 9% in the deforestation of the region, during the 2012-13 period in relation to the previous bi-annual period. In the last 28 years the Atlantic Rain Forest lost the equivalent to the area of 12 cities the size of São Paulo. The deforestation annual rate is the greatest since 2008. Presently there are only 8.5% forest remnants that measure over 100 hectares.

The OCT is part of the Odebrecht Foundation’s Governance Pact, through the Development and Integrated Growth Program with Sustainability (PDCIS), which operates in the Environmental Protection Area Mosaic located in the Southern Bahia Lowlands - A region with 11 municipalities, home to 285,000 people.

The PDCIS, coordinated by the Odebrecht Foundation, promotes education, generation of work and income, with citizenship and respect for the environment. Unites the efforts of Federal, State and Municipal Governments, the private sector and the civil society. The objective is to make the above-mentioned region prosperous, in a socio-economic and environmentally sustainable manner.

The PDCIS aims at building opportunities for the youth and their families, enabling them to develop their agricultural crops in the communities they live, everything performed in harmony with environmental conservation. Because of this OCT technically guides farmers empowering them to conduct an appropriate management of their cultures and the conservation of water supplies. Since 2012, more than 8.300 hectares of area have been preserved, 1.000 families cared for and 68 springs recovered.

About the Odebrecht Foundation

The Odebrecht Foundation, a private, nonprofit institution, established by the Odebrecht Group, turns 50 in 2015. Since its inception, the Odebrecht Foundation focus on contributing to the formation of a structured population in family units, responsible for their own sustainable development. Its mission is to educate for life, through work, for values and the overcoming limits.

The Foundation focuses its efforts on the development of adolescents and their families, based on their abilities and needs, in order to create solutions in conjunction with local communities. The essence of the chosen actions is based on the principles, concepts and criteria of the Odebrecht Entrepreneurial Technology, focusing on education and on work, which enhances human capabilities, such as the willingness to serve and the desire to evolve.

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