Vale protects more than 40,000 hectares in the “Iron Quadrangle” region, an area 2.7 times larger than its operations, in 15 of the region’s 35 municipalities. Among these protected areas, Vale maintains 18 private nature reserves, covering around 13,200 hectares – roughly half as large as the Minas Gerais state capital.
Created in 1998, Jambreiro Forest Private Nature Reserve is one of the first 10 Conservation Units created in the state of Minas Gerais. Located on the southern part of the Curral Hills in the municipality of Nova Lima, 23 km from Belo Horizonte, it covers 912 hectares, equivalent to 1,000 soccer fields.
Situated between two important Brazilian biomes, the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado, it is considered a hotspot, meaning a high-priority area for global conservation, with a high diversity of species, including some highly endangered endemic ones.
Besides being home to important specimens of Brazilian fauna and flora, Jambreiro Forest contributes to climate balance, the preservation of watercourses and the formation of ecological corridors to permit the continuity of existing biodiversity. Because of these characteristics, the area is certified by UNESCO as being of extremely high conservation value.
Hotspots are areas that constitute a high priority for conservation, i.e. with high biodiversity and extremely threatened. An area is considered a hotspot if it has at least 1,500 endemic species (not found anywhere else) of plants and has lost more than three-quarters of its original vegetation. Biodiversity hotspots are identified by Conservation International and targeted for its conservation activities. In Brazil, only the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes are considered to be hotspots.