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Commitment made to the Bahia Southern Lowlands

Brazilian Army and Odebrecht Foundation sign the Memorandum of Understanding to requalify Parque Road

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Several different communities are located along the path of Parque Road. It is estimated that 90,000 people live and circulate throughout the region using the street that connects the BR-101 and BA-001 Highways, arriving to Pratigi Beach, which is located in the Pratigi Environmental Protection Area (EPA) in the Bahia Southern Lowlands. The requalification and paving of this road are designed to facilitate transport and the installation of profit units associated with the region's agricultural and fish farming production chains, constituting an efficient channel for access and the generation of income while also helping consolidate Agroecotourism - an agricultural, ecological and sustainable tourism model.

The project will be executed by the Brazilian Army (EB), which is currently expanding its partnership with the Bahia Southern Lowlands Environmental Protection Area Mosaic Program for Development and Growth Integrated with Sustainability (PDCIS), supported by the Odebrecht Foundation and public and private partners.

On October 18, General Joaquim Maia Brandão Júnior, Head of the Engineering and Construction Department (DEC) at EB, and Norberto Odebrecht, Chair of the Odebrecht Foundation Board of Trustees, signed the Memorandum of Understanding that will make the construction work possible. For General Brandão, this is an opportunity for the institution to fulfill its role. “There is a lot of work to do and we are aware of the challenge involved,” said Brandão.

The document was signed during the Pratigi Workshop, held in Serra da Papuã - located in Ibirapitanga, Bahia -, from October 14-18. The event addressed the necessary activities and the work schedule for building Parque Road. For five days, participants interacted through technical visits, lectures, debates and workshops featuring topics such as experiences building ecological roads, paving, law and environmental policing. On the occasion, there was also a demonstration of “Valente” – a Specialized Unmanned Engineering Lightweight Aerial Vehicle –, a project being completed with the participation of the Real Estate and Environmental Heritage Board (DPIMA), which is associated with DEC.

“We can not only collaborate, but also earn new experiences,” said General Lauro Luís Pires da Silva, Director of DPIMA. “As military personnel, we seek to instill basic values and those focused on citizenship, and here we see an opportunity to apply these concepts to their fullest,” he said. “It is extraordinary to have so many different minds working to resolve the difficulty of those who commute along these roads,” said Mauricio Medeiros, Executive Chair of the Odebrecht Foundation. “It is my hope that we can work together to promote a generation that develops and grows dignifiedly in the region,” said Medeiros.

Initially, of the total 125 kilometers (km) of Parque Road, the Brazilian Army will work to requalify and build 41 km of the BA-250/Pratigi Highway (coastal road). The stretch unites the community of Colônia, crossing the BA-001 Highway until reaching Pratigi Beach in the municipality of Ituberá. The resources for this project are the result of a partnership established with the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism (MTur) and the Bahia State Government through the country's Department of Infrastructure. “The investment is of major importance because it adds value to Bahia as a destination,” emphasized Fábio Mota, National Secretary of Tourism Development Programs at MTur.

Heráclito Menezes, Mayor of Piraí do Norte and President of the Pratigi EPA Inter-Municipal Consortium (CIAPRA) pointed out that the main objective is the benefit offered to the population. “The focus is on improving the lives of those that most need it, with sustainable solutions,” said Menezes. For Josevaldo Santos, President of the Pratigi EPA Guardian Association (AGIR) and resident of Piraí do Norte, the project will directly benefit small farmers like him. “I represent thousands of people who dreamed of development,” he said. Entrepreneur Arthur Bahia emphasized the growth of the region as a whole. “Despite the fact that my work is focused on the coast, if things are good here, the rural region will also become a focus,” said Bahia. “This event and the army's presence give the project that seal of quality and commitment.”

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