This year 2022, the CSP Reforestation Program completes 10 years. Find out how this work was carried out and what the results have been so far
We returned to the reforested area of 206 hectares (ha) at the Estação Ecológica do Pecém, in São Gonçalo do Amarante, after 10 years of carrying out the Reforestation Program of Companhia Siderúrgica do Pecém (CSP). It was the largest space reforested by the company, in addition to 15 ha in Lagoa do Bolso and 191 ha in the company’s internal area, totaling 412 ha, with 320 thousand seedlings of 90 native species, including the Gonçalo-alves, threatened with extinction. But how was this program made and what were the results?
Ramyro Batista joined CSP in 2012 as an Environmental Analyst to monitor this reforestation. “The program was innovative since the removal of vegetation in the plant’s construction area. Genetic collection of each identified plant was performed. We mapped 90 species of flora in the CSP area and cutting was not authorized without first collecting fruit to benefit the seed and generate seedlings, keeping the same genetics and preserving the local biodiversity”, remembers Ramyro.
The steelmaker created its own forest nursery, taking the surplus to storage in a germplasm base, a laboratory specializing in seed storage for other reforestation programs that was donated to the Parque Botânico do Ceará (Ceará Botanical Park), in Caucaia.
As a result of monitoring reforestation for two years, CSP was the first company in the state to receive the environmental reforestation certification from SEMACE (Superintendência Estadual do Meio Ambiente – State Superintendence for the Environment). In addition, the book “Fazendo o certo, da maneira certa” was produced, with a detailed account of the project.
Partnership for environmental education
Aline Parente Oliveira, who worked for seven years as the manager of the Unidade de Conservação de Proteção Integral Estação Ecológica do Pecém, managed by the Secretariat for the Environment (SEMA), reported on the importance and objectives of creating the UC (conducting scientific research and preserving of the ecosystem) and emphasized on social-environmental activities carried out at the administrative headquarters, such as lectures, workshops, training and environmental experiences. The headquarters has an auditorium, library, meeting rooms, a seed bank display and two ecological trails.
“With the emergence of CSP, which was very involved, not only with the issue of reforestation, but with the concern of taking care of the conservation unit for the people who are living around it, we developed several actions for the local communities. There is always a link between the company, the Secretariat for the Environment and the local communities. We have several partners and CSP is one of them”, says Aline.
Nertan Bento Bandeira is the guide for the two trails marked at the Estação Ecológica do Pecém. He is proud of his work. “We take care of the place as if it were our own home and show it to visitors as a form of environmental education”, emphasizes the Caucaia citizen who took us to the point where images were recorded for a mini webdoc about reforestation.
The area recovered by CSP is equivalent to 412 soccer fields. José Gildo Bezerra Correia, from Gonçalves, was part of this story and learned the job he still works with today. He has a business of landscaping, gardening, planting seedling production.
“I worked at the company that did plant suppression at CSP. After 10 months, I moved to the reforestation role, planting native seedlings at the Estação Ecológica do Pecém. I learned to work with plants. I continued to serve CSP until 2021 and today I have my own business”, says Gildo, looking proudly at the flora he helped to develop.
The 10th anniversary of the CSP Reforestation Program is one of the topics to be celebrated and debated at CSP’S Environment Week 2022, which takes place from June 6 to 11, with lectures, tree planting, tours and giveaways.
Preservation of Gonçalo-alves
In the entire area of the CSP, during the process of plant suppression, only three large specimens of the native species Gonçalo-alves were found, widely used in furniture making. This fact, added to the literature on this tree, turned on the warning signal for the species’ potential for extinction. Thus, it became the flagship of CSP’S reforestation, as Ramyro Batista remembers.
The tree can reach heights between 8 and 12 meters. The plant has medicinal uses and is also cultivated for landscaping and urban forestry. To cooperate with the preservation of Gonçalo-alves, CSP collected seeds and used seedlings of the species in forest replacement actions.
The wood of the species is suitable for civil and naval construction, carpentry, making sleepers, handrails, balusters, bearings, supports, hydraulic wheels and doors with a fine finish. The tree, due to its medium size and graceful canopy, is very useful for landscaping in general.
The curiosity about the plant also made the species be remembered for composing Brazilian scientific experiments in a microgravity environment at the Centenary Mission, in March 2006, on the International Space Station (ISS). “Aboard the Russian spacecraft Soyuz TMA-8, the seeds were taken by Lieutenant Colonel Marcos Cesar Pontes, the first Brazilian astronaut to go into space”, informs Embrapa. During the experiment in space, the seeds of Gonçalo-alves germinated with greater speed, compared to the terrestrial environment.
Green barrier “embraces” the plant
Internally, CSP continues to advance in the expansion of the Green Barrier that “embraces” the plant, an action designed as an environmental protection device in 2012. Since then, it has been adding several benefits to those who work at CSP and live nearby. The expansion of CSP’S green barriers received 1,308 new seedlings in 2021. Throughout 2022, more than 8,000 seedlings should be planted.
“The goal is to densify as much as possible, bringing more green to the steel mill and reducing the arrival of winds in these areas that have piles of materials with the potential to generate particulates. Our goal is to close some areas. Currently, we are closing the raw material yard”, reinforces the environmental analyst.