Fundo Vale, Energisa and Norte Energia are supporting a public tender as part of the Living Forest initiative, called “Ecological Restoration and Strengthening of Production Chains Associated with Restoration of the Xingu River Basin,” launched on September 5, Amazon Day, in Belém, Pará. 

Living Forest is an initiative run by Brazil’s national development bank, BNDES, in partnership with supporting institutions. It is implementing ecological restoration projects featuring native species and agroforestry systems in Brazilian biomes, with consequent benefits in terms of biodiversity preservation, availability of water resources, reduction of erosion, improved microclimates, removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and generation of jobs and income. 

The Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (Funbio), a nonprofit organization with extensive experience in the financial management of environmental projects, is the partner responsible for organizing and conducting the selection, hiring, follow-up and results monitoring processes for the projects that are awarded public contracts and/or structured grants. 

Fundo Vale joined the initiative with the aim of providing financial support for forest restoration projects using native species and agroforestry systems in Brazil’s different biomes. In addition to business promotion, Fundo Vale’s team is helping draw up a call for proposals and it will serve on the technical and management committees, which are responsible for defining the selection and evaluation criteria for the projects, as well as monitoring the results achieved. 

“Our involvement in this initiative represents a major milestone in our restoration and bioeconomy agenda. By adding to the actions we have already undertaken to achieve our Forest Goal of 500,000 hectares of restored and protected land, we are strengthening strategies that effectively preserve the Amazon’s rich biodiversity. The impact is considerably magnified when we have all these actors working together. We see immense value in partnerships of this kind, involving various sectors. It’s crucial for us to get to know the initiatives that are being implemented in the field and to leverage these efforts,” says Patrícia Daros, Vale’s Director of Nature-Based Solutions.  

Region’s importance 

The Xingu River stretches for approximately 1,870 km, starting in the Cerrado savanna biome and crossing a long portion of the Amazon region until discharging into the Amazon River. Its basin covers an area of approximately 53 million hectares, encompassing around 50 municipalities in the states of Mato Grosso and Pará. 

The Xingu River crosses several indigenous lands and conservation areas – protected areas that form a great biodiversity corridor connecting Brazil’s two largest biomes and home to many indigenous peoples and riverside communities, playing an important role in the conservation of local social and biological diversity. The region acts as a line of defense against the advance of deforestation in the eastern Amazon. 

“This region is a very vulnerable area and Vale has made a formal commitment (its 2030 Forest Goal) to contribute to local restoration and boost local communities’ income through production chains,” says Mônica Fonseca, a sustainability analyst at Fundo Vale. 

In all, R$26.6 million of resources will be allocated to up to nine projects. This money was raised through match funding – a financing model in which BNDES invests half of the amount and the rest is divided equally between the three partners. 

The objective is to select projects for ecological restoration and the strengthening of production chains associated with restoration in the Xingu River Basin, divided into three regions: the upper, middle and lower Xingu. Projects run by nonprofit institutions such as civil associations, private foundations and cooperatives are eligible.