Prolonged droughts, harsh winters, storms and hurricanes of an intensity never seen before. Climate change observed in recent decades have led society to mobilize to mitigate harmful effects to the planet. Odebrecht Oil and Gas is doing its part in this global effort, by compensating the emissions of greenhouse gases in the company’s units located in Macaé (RJ) and Itajaí (SC) and in its headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, through the Project Neutral Carbon Pratigi Project (Projeto Pratigi Carbono Neutro).
In partnership with the Organization of Land Conservation (Organização de Conservação da Terra – OCT), the company is recovering three headsprings of the Juliana River, in the Environmental Protection Area (APA) of Pratigi – a region of great beauty and natural diversity, located in Southern Bahia. The state conservation unit has 170 hectares and covers five municipalities: Ituberá, Nilo Peçanha, Igrapiúna, Piraí do Norte and Ibirapitanga. In the Pratigi APA, the OCT maintains a nursery, with capacity to produce annually 500,000 seedlings of 37 native species such as ingá, pau-jangadat, bolera, muquiba, and rosewood.
Greenhouse gases trap some of the heat from the sunlight reflected by the earth’s surface in the atmosphere, creating a climate stabilization that enables life on the planet. According to scientists, the unprecedented emission of greenhouse gases on the planet, especially carbon dioxide, from the industrial revolution in the 18th century, is responsible for the radicalization of climatic phenomena observed currently.
The logic of compensation or carbon neutralization is simple. On average, six planted trees are able to recycle 1 ton of CO2. According to the calculation of the OCT, the restoration of an area of 2.33 hectares, with 3,876 tree seedlings, compensates for the emissions of Odebrecht Oil and Gas in 2013 – a total of 639.84 tons.
Sustainability Director of the company, Marco Aurélio Fonseca explains that the company makes a continuous effort – not just to offset their emissions. “We also seek to modernize procedures to reduce them. In early 2015, we will evaluate the 2014 emissions and, from the data collected in two years, we will observe the impact of the company’s new operations compared to total emissions,” he says.
Odebrecht Oil & Gas provides integrated and customized solutions for the upstream oil and gas industry throughout the business cycle, from engineering design, project management and service delivery to the operation of offshore drilling and production platforms, including deep waters and the pre-salt. The partner OCT, in turn, is, according to Fonseca, widely recognized for its work on the emissions control area.
“It is important that the Neutral Carbon Pratigi Project is designed based on the involvement of the community. We are broadly committed to sustainable development and prioritize actions that pursue this goal, “said Fonseca.
Coordinator for Environmental Services at the OCT, Volney Fernandes says that at the Neutral Carbon Pratigi Project members of the OCT and small farmers form a collaborative network. Trained by the OCT, residents identify in the forest the matrix trees, with “pedigree”, collect the seeds, and monitor the growth of trees, controlling the movement of cattle and the spread of fire. “The project enables the participation of the big company and also the city dweller, who can check their emissions by the OCT website and also cooperate. We are all responsible for the conservation of the planet,” said Fernandes.
The APA of the Pratigi has remnant areas of the Atlantic Forest, with salt marshes and mangroves, home to some endangered species, such as sloths and the broad-snouted caiman. The protection of its headspring is fundamental to the preservation of the watershed of the Juliana River, a complex system of rivers and tributaries, including the Pancada Grande Waterfall, an important tourist attraction in the region.
Jeovan Rocha Nascimento, from the Juliana community, lives on the edge of Lake Antônio Rocha, formed by one of the springs that are being restored. He has lived on the site for 15 years and says that, despite never having dried completely, the shaft of the river was dropping year by year. On his property were planted 1,800 trees. He receives about R$500.00 annually to maintain them. “More important than money is watching the strengthening of the river, which is our main asset,” says Jeovan.