Gerdau Creates Permanent Environmental Reserve

Private environmental reserve covers 1,247 hectares (3,081.40 acres) and houses rare species of wild animals and plants

The Gerdau Group has just created another permanent environmental reserve in Brazil. The 1,247 hectare area – equivalent to 1,100 official soccer fields – is located in the Ouro Branco Mountains, Minas Gerais and is home to endangered species of plants and wild animals, like the maned wolf and the Brazilian porcupine. The reserve is the product of the collaboration between Gerdau and the Minas Gerais SISEMA (State Environmental System) via the State Forest Institute. The Private Environmental Reserve (Reserva Particular do Patrimônio Natural – RPPN) Luis Carlos Jurovsky Tamassia is a voluntary initiative undertaken by Gerdau. . Furthermore, it is permanent and irrevocable in nature, according to the Brazilian System of Conservation Units (SNUC Law no. 9.985/2000). The initiative seeks to help protect and maintain the area's biological diversity, and reinforces Gerdau's commitment to the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. “The creation of this reserve is an important contribution to the conservation of the animals and plants in the Brazilian savanna, and will enable scientific research and environmental education activities to be carried out”, said André Gerdau Johannpeter, the Gerdau Group CEO. The RPPN is located at the foot of the Ouro Branco Mountains in Minas Gerais, and borders the zero mile-marker of Cadeia do Espinhaço. The reserve is covered by the typical Atlantic Forest transition vegetation. Rare species of Brazilian plants can be found in the reserve, like Vriesea minarum, a plant in the bromeliad family listed as endangered in Brazil. Dyckia ourobrancoensis was also discovered in the reserve, a plant found only on the walls of the Ouro Branco Mountains. Studies on this species are being published in the North American scientific magazine titled “Journal of the Bromeliad Society”. Additionally, Aspilia caudata was located in the reserve, a type of daisy previously found only at the Itacolomi State Park, in the outskirts of Ouro Preto. The area holds the main water springs supplying the Soledade reservoir, as well as wild animal species like the maned wolf and the Brazilian porcupine. The Reserve Management Plan is currently being carried out, the first step of which is to perform a detailed, all–encompassing ecological analysis of the area, including all plants, animals, and water resources.
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