The Amazon

The Amazon accounts for 50% of the world’s tropical forests, and it houses the world’s largest drainage basin, a fifth of the planet’s fresh water, 400 billion trees and 20% of the Earth’s total biodiversity. In addition, it also stores 150 to 200 billion tons of carbon.

Vale has been in the Amazon for more than 30 years helping to protect approximately 800 thousand hectares of rainforest in partnership with Brazil’s ICMBio. The area is five times the size of São Paulo’s capital city and represents a total of 490 million tons of carbon equivalent.

Imagem de um homem com uma águia

For decades, human activity has disturbed the balance between fauna and flora. A tour into the Amazon forest guided by those who are reconstructing this history is the best way to connect with nature and meet real Forest Rangers.

In a documentary series designed by Vale, we will explore the Amazon through the meticulous eyes of those dedicated to keeping the native forest standing, and learn about the projects, the research studies and the people who work full time in the conservation of the Amazon rainforest. The series is divided into four episodes with different themes: “Conservation”, “Science and Research”, “Institutional Partnerships” and “Recovery”, and can be watched on Vale’s channels and on YouTube. The initiative also resulted in a 47-minute documentary to be aired on the Discovery channels.

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The rainforest has been dwindling at an alarming rate for years on end—a direct consequence of fires, land grabs and illegal logging.

All this has a huge impact on biodiversity. Right now, approximately 25.5 million people live within the Amazon, including 325 thousand native Brazilians whose communities have lived in the area for thousands of years.

It is urgent to preserve our forest and to promote the sustainable development of local populations, by encouraging bioeconomic initiatives and creating a favourable business environment for conserving the rainforest.

Satellite images show the development of the region’s land use and occupation, and show that only the protected area remains preserved Satellite images show the development of the region’s land use and occupation, and show that only the protected area remains preserved

Conservation Units

The Chico Mendes Institute of Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio, Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade) and Vale are working together to protect the largest area of continuous forest in the south and southeast regions of Pará. The importance of the initiatives in this partnership can be seen in a timeline that shows the development of the region’s land use and occupation, as well as the landscape of forested areas that are restricted to indigenous lands and conservation units maintained by Vale and the environmental agency.

The conservation of this area contributes to the fight against global warming as it maintains the forest carbon stock, thus preventing gas emissions that cause the greenhouse effect due to deforestation and forest degradation.

These conservation units comprise an area of over one million hectares of forest that Vale protects, helps protect and maintain in partnership with ICMBio, with a carbon stock of approximately 600 million tons of CO2e.

Horizontes (Horizons) Project

This partnership for environmental conservation was reinforced in 2020 with the Horizontes (Horizons) project, which should contribute to the recovery and sustainable use of areas surrounding these conservation units in Pará, forming important corridors. This will be implemented through agroforestry systems, by which shrub and tree planting is intercropped with agricultural crops or livestock,generating income for the communities and forming ecological corridors that protect biodiversity.

Therefore, the project combines conservation with generation of income and preservation of rivers, in addition to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions through carbon capture.

To implement the Horizontes project, Vale is working on five interconnected subprojects:

Ilustração de mão segurando planta

Environmental Licensing

The enhanced management of environmental licensing knowledge will add speed, assertiveness, and effectiveness to specific conditions.

Ilustração de pá com terra e uma planta nascendo nele

Diversification of land use

Expansion of the region's economic matrix with a focus on agroforestry and agricultural and extractive activities. This will generate income for small farmers, for example, through plantations of agricultural crops intercropped with forests.

Ilustração de gotas de água

Conservation of water resources

In order to work with the Itacaiúnas Riverbasin, the main one in the region, it is important to take a sustainable approach to various land uses.

Ilustração de um caderno estilo agenda com uma caneta ao lado

Land regularization

It is necessary to manage land use to solve possible barriers related to the occupation of areas.

Ilustração de uma arara em cima de um galho

Biodiversity monitoring

It deals with the expansion of knowledge about the Conservation Units, encouraging research.

Learn About Other Environmental Conservation Initiatives in the Region

Recovery of Degraded Areas in Canaã dos Carajás (Pará)
Illustration of a forest

We are promoting reforestation of pasture areas acquired in Serra Sul by creating true ecological corridors and restoring the region's fauna and flora. Since the project was created, 1,045 hectares have been planted and 3,853 are being recovered.

Seedling Production to Recover Permanent Preservation Areas (APP, Áreas de Preservação Permanentes)
Illustration of plants

The revegetation process is carried out with plantations of native species of Flonade Carajás. Vale's Forest Nursery in Carajás produces approximately 200,000 seedlings a year, covering an average of 120 species.

Research by Vale Institute of Technology (ITV, Instituto Tecnológico Vale)
Illustration of a microscope

ITV conducts research with a focus on sustainable development and mining. Natural Capital, one of the projects developed, is an initiative that deals directly with the carbon stock in the Carajás National Forest. The research seeks to establish a relationship between microclimate regulation in the forest areas and the possible implications in case of loss of vegetation. These studies help understand future scenarios according to climate change, forecast which forests are at risk to beextinguished, and understand the types of native vegetation in a region.

Partnerships and Investment

In the last decade, through our Fundo Vale, we supported more than 70 initiatives led by research institutions, governmental agencies, NGOs and startups. These partnerships have enabled us to protect more than 23 million hectares of rainforest.

Through the Vale Foundation, we invest in social projects in the states of Pará and Maranhão, in areas such as health, education, culture and income generation.

And through the Vale Technological Institute, we invest in biodiversity, genome and climate change research. All these initiatives combined represent a total of R$792 million in investments made.

Goals and Next Steps

In addition to the initiatives mentioned earlier, the company has announced new measures to mitigate global warming in compliance with the Paris Agreement. Vale is going to invest at least US$2 billion in emission reduction initiatives over the next ten years. The purpose is to reduce direct and indirect absolute emissions (scopes 1 and 2) by 33% until 2030. The company is also committed to protect and recover 500,000 hectares of forests and self-generate 100% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025 and globally by 2030.

Read Vale’s Amazon Day manifesto

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