Samarco, Vale and BHP Billiton signed on March 2 an agreement with the federal governments of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo for the social, environmental and economic recovery of the regions affected by the burst of the Fundão dam, occurred on November 5.
What the agreement provides?
The agreement foresees the creation of a private foundation that will be responsible for implementing about 40 repair programs.
The programs will be gathered into two main work fronts, being one socio-economic and the other socio-environmental.
The Foundation will be maintained with funds from Samarco and it should be established within 120 days. During this period, Samarco will continue applying all emergency actions for the social and environmental recovery that has been taking since the first day of the accident.
All projects will be followed by the affected populations.There will be external audits and an ombudsman will be created to serve the community.
Samarco will transfer R$ 4.4 billion to the Foundation, in the first three years, to fund the projects. From 2019, the company’s annual contribution will be defined according to the forecast of annual implementation of the projects. In 2019, 2020 and 2021, the annual values for these contributions will be between R $ 800 million and R $ 1.6 billion. Besides that, it has been defined that R$ 240 million will be applied per year for compensatory actions in the next 15 years, from 2016. These annual values for compensatory actions are already included in the total of the first six years mentioned above. Another R$ 500 million will be made available by the company for projects of sanitation, which will be performed by the City Halls impacted, until the end of 2018.
What are the projects proposed by the Foundation?
- Availability of resources, as compensation and in the amount of R $ 500 million, for certain affected municipalities to use in the preparation and execution of funding plans and sewage and landfills treatment.
Recovery of Permanent Protection Areas (PPAs) of the Doce River and its tributaries by the reforestation of 10 hectares and by the conduction of natural regeneration of 30,000 hectares over ten years, as compensation and in the amount of R $ 1.1 billion .
- Recovery, as compensation, of 5000 headwaters to be defined by the Watershed Committee of Rio Doce.
- Reconstruction of the affected areas, as Bento Rodrigues, Paracatu de Baixo (Mariana) and Gesteira (Barra Longa), ensuring their participation in the dialogue process with the affected communities to define measures for the recovery or relocation.
- Execution of a compensation and reparation program through coordinated negotiation, designed to repair and compensate the people affected, with optional membership.
- Creation of permanent channels of communication and dialogue with the community, as well as carrying out agendas to present the progress and results of the programs to be implemented.
- Implementation and maintenance of support measures for affected indigenous peoples.
- Recovery of cultural goods of material nature and preservation of cultural heritage that has been impacted
- Implementation of actions for the recovery of economic and productive activities affected, such as agriculture, fisheries, services and trade.
- Health, social protection and education programs for the restoration of impacted public services and monitoring of affected individuals and families.
“This day is a milestone for everyone involved, since an agreement is always better than a legal dispute. It will accelerate the measures of remediation of the environment and the compensation of those affected, complementing all actions initiated by Samarco from the first moment.”
Murilo Ferreira, CEO of Vale.
Find out more about the Foundation
The Foundation will be headquartered in Belo Horizonte and it should be established within 120 days. It will have a Board of Trustees, an Executive Board, a Consulting Board and a Fiscal Council, with autonomy to manage and perform all actions to recover and compensate the damage caused by the burst of the Fundão dam. Furthermore, it will hire technical experts and independent audits. It will also set up one Interfederative Committee, an external and independent body of the Foundation made up of 12 government representatives, which will monitor, validate the proposed plans and verify the results.