July 17, the Forest Protection Day, is an important date for reflection and awareness on the need that all citizens work in favor of the environment, whether with the adoption of little actions in the daily life, reporting violations or demanding severe measures against those who do not comply with environmental laws. Every year, many discussions are held on this matter, but a satisfactory scenario is still very far from us. Quite to the contrary, recent data released by entities dedicated to analyze environment have shown an alarming situation in Brazil.
In July 2019, Brazil has lost an area equivalent to almost three times the city of Belo Horizonte (MG), as a result of Amazon deforestation. Over 920.21 km2 of native forest were destroyed. In July 2018, this number reached 488.4 km2. This data was released by the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (Inpe), which acknowledged a 88% increase in Amazon deforestation in July 2019 as compared to the same month in 2018.
If we take into account the cumulative data for 2019, we will verify that the country has undergone a reduction of 1.5 times the area of the city of São Paulo: 2,273.6 km2. This is the worst result since 2016, according to Inpe's system for alert monitoring, which captures satellite images of deforestation in real time.
According to Inpe, the problem is mainly seen in four states: Pará, Amazonas, Mato Grosso and Rondônia. Only in the city of Juara (MT), around 300 thousand trees are estimated to have been cut in July.
In the researchers' opinion, deforestation can be associated to the expansion of activities in the region, maybe as a result of illegal occupation of lands, mining, or agriculture expansion.
The forest destruction is the second main cause of climate change, only after the burning of fossil fuels, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The emissions generated by the forest destruction are higher than those generated by the whole transportation sector. Per year, forests are able to absorb around 2 billion tons of CO2. However, upon deforestation, the planet's vegetable covering is transformed in global warming accelerators.
At first glance, forest and deforestation may seen a distant matter for those who live in big urban centers and with litlle contact with large green areas. However, it is worth noting that the destruction of trees in Amazon may have a financial impact in the life of Brazilians from many areas of the country. According to experts, this is because the deforestation of an area as huge as was the case this year, results in impacts in the volume of rainfalls.
The explanation for this is: part of the rainfalls in Brazil is derived from a phenomenon named evapotranspiration, i.e., the process of transferring water vapor to the atmosphere through the evaporation of wet soil and plant transpiration. Thus, evapotranspiration is the result of evaporation and transpiration in the forests and occurs when the water from the earth surface is transferred to the atmosphere as a vapor, generating rain.
With less planted area due to deforestation, we will have less rain, triggering the activation of thermo power plants for energy generation. As this generation source entails a higher cost, the burden goes right over the consumers, via their energy bill, which is increased due to the tariff flags.
At Neoenergia, we use all our expertise and experience in clean and renewable energy generation in Brazil, aiming that the electric industry may increasingly move towards a sustainable future. We strengthen our commitment with eco-efficiency when we adopt a sustainable use of the natural resources and operate with efficiency in the production and use of energy, in the reduction of emissions, biodiversity protection and in the waste and water management.
In Amazon region, we operate in Teles Pires Hydro Power Plant (HPP), located in Teles Pires River, in Paraná-Mato Grosso border and in Dardanelos Hydro Power Plant (HPP) in Mato Grosso.
Teles Pires Hyrdo Power Plant enables the development of environmental projects dedicated to preservation of the local fauna, flora, water and soil, aiming at minimizing potential impacts in surrounding areas. In addition, it develops social and economic projects for leveraging a sustainable development.
Dardanelos Hydro Power Plant has the best relation between flooded area and volume of generated energy in Brazil: an installed capacity of 261 MW for a 0.24 km2-reservoir. This means that the area occupied by the power plant waters is wisely exploited for energy generation. The area of influence of Dardanelos HPP is the city of Aripuanã.
Logisverde Project is a Neoenergia initiative, aimed at promoting reverse logistics within the group distributors.
With this project, part of the rolls (reels) used in the transport of leading wires (material used in networks maintenance services) is sold back to the manufacturers, providing a financial gain to the companies, in addition to the proper disposal of this material. In eleven years of the project, over 55 thousand rolls were returned to the manufacturers, providing a gain as high as R$ 600 thousand, and 20 thousand trees that were not cut.
The project operation is as follows: after receiving the rolls containing the leads, the material is allocated for use according to the works being performed. After the end of the works, instead of just being disposed by the contractor, the roll is disassembled (for better transportation) and returned to the manufacturer, who reuses it as packaging for new leads.
The adoption of measures to the benefit of the environment by Neoenergia Group's companies is in compliance with goal number 13 of the UN Sustainable Development Goal, namely: “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts". SDGs are part of the global agenda adopted during the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development held in 2015, comprising 17 goals and 169 targets to be achieved up to 2030 by several countries.
- Using products made up of reforestation woods, usually identified with a seal or certificate;
- Not setting fire to the forests;
- Not throwing the garbage into the environment;
- Always prioritizing recycled paper;
- Not throwing cigarettes or combustible objects into the forests, for example.
- Incentivizing children to love nature and to understand the importance of biodiversity, planting trees and not throwing garbage into the environment.
- Whenever possible, going to parks, squares and places where you can be in direct contact with the ground, trees and plants. The best way for taking care is being integrated to the nature.