written by Gabriela Vasconcellos
Like musicians in an orchestra, they share the same stage, harmoniously combining their skills and expertise to make a rural area with vast environmental potential a dynamic and prosperous place to help keep youth in the countryside. Several institutional partners of the Program for the Integrated and Sustainable Development of the Mosaic of Environmental Protection Areas in the Southern Bahia Lowlands (PDIS) are helping build a rural middle class structured around family units, the protagonists of their own sustainable development. They are all driven by the high and noble goal they share in common.
Established by the Odebrecht Foundation, the PDIS’s new brand is based on the concept of a mosaic: a combination of elements that form a greater and unique whole. Focusing on the belief that there is no shortage of talented people, but what is lacking is opportunities to realize their potential, civil society organizations, the federal, state and local governments and the private sector are working together as they follow the path of sustainability. Their mission is to ensure that the Eight Millennium Development Goals proposed by the United Nations and endorsed by 192 countries, including Brazil, are achieved in the Southern Bahia Lowlands.
Through Participatory Governance, through which the first, second and third sectors work in an integrated and synergistic fashion, the PDIS promotes job creation and the fair distribution of income, high-quality rural education and environmental conservation. According to Maurício Medeiros, the Executive President of the Odebrecht Foundation, this is what sets the Program apart. “Its innovative governance system creates a collaborative space for the construction of social initiatives and benefits all the parties involved,” he observes.
Partners of PDI's:
“We are already reaping the rewards of the partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and the Odebrecht Foundation. The PDIS has been instrumental in the qualication and training of families seeking productive social inclusion. The performance of the Odebrecht Foundation in this area can serve as a model for other companies to become partners and fulll their social responsibility.” Márcia Lopes, Minister of Social Development and the Fight Against Hunger.
“State, Federal and local governments, hand in hand with the private sector, must encourage initiatives aimed at technological development and income generation while valuing the environment so that young people can live in the countryside with dignity.” Jaques Wagner, Governor of Bahia.
“The Program for the Integrated and Sustainable Development of the Mosaic of Environmental Protection Areas in the Southern Bahia Lowlands is a concrete model for achieving a regional project for everyone, a basic tool of sustainability, guaranteed by the Eight Millennium Development Goals.” André Lisboa Filho, Mayor of Ituberá, Bahia, and President of Ciapra.
“The PDIS is fully aligned with the Brazilian Army. It has the social purpose of educating citizens and transmitting values and virtues. We are contributing to the cultural and personal growth of young people who envision a prosperous future for their community and are guided by principles that are important in the here and now: environmental conservation and a vision of sustainability.” João Francisco Ferreira, Division General and Commander of the 6th Military Region.
“The BNDES seeks to work with institutions that demonstrate great executive and investment capacity, thorough local knowledge and strong identication with a model of growth and development that addresses the community and individuals, as well as economic and social aspects, and can be reproduced for generations. The Odebrecht Foundation has been our partner from the outset.” Elvio Gaspar, Director of the Credit and Social Inclusion Area.
“The aim of the work being done in the Southern Bahia Lowlands is to build a new model of sustainable development. Producers who were once unable to make a living are no longer experiencing social exclusion. The children and grandchildren of many of them, who had migrated to the cities in search of opportunities, are returning to the region and living in dignity.” Alessandro Teixeira, President of Apex-Brazil.
“The Bank of Brazil is joining forces with the PDIS because it believes in and values partnerships that seek sustainable development for the Southern Bahia Lowlands. We support productive activities aimed at generating employment and income, improving quality of life and environmental conservation, and keeping people in the countryside.” Edson Pascoal, CEO of the Bank of Brazil in Bahia.
“We always seek to produce a measurable impact for our beneciaries, and we believe that the only way to expand our work is through projects like the one being implemented by the Odebrecht Foundation. The PDIS has helped improve many people’s quality of life. The challenge now is to mobilize partners to replicate this model in other communities in Brazil, Latin America and the Caribbean.” Luciana Botafogo, Sector Specialist at the IADB's Multilateral Investment Fund.