By Writing Team
Posted in July 7, 2023
12 million native trees (148 species) will be planted in an area of 6 thousand hectares, equivalent to 6 thousand soccer fields
AstraZeneca has announced an investment of over R$ 350 million in the forest restoration of the Atlantic Forest through the AR Corridors of Life Project, which was voted the world’s best carbon credits project by Environmental Finance 2022. To achieve this feat, AstraZeneca has partnered with Biofílica Ambipar and IPÊ (Institute for Ecological Research), and through this initiative, 12 million trees will be planted across more than 6 thousand hectares, equivalent to 6 thousand soccer fields. This project will generate 400 direct jobs and provide greater security for endangered fauna and flora.
The global biopharmaceutical company’s initiative is aligned with the Environmental State Plan of the Government of São Paulo, which plans to invest over R$ 2.1 billion in sustainability actions over the next four years.
The Environmental State Plan includes 21 actions across six axes by the end of 2026: Biodiversity; Bioeconomy and Green Finance; State Parks; Education and Environmental Awareness; Institutional Strengthening; and Resilience and Climate Adaptation. The initiative was launched by Governor Tarcísio de Freitas on June 5th, International Day of the Environment.
The largest investment in the State Plan is expected to be in the Biodiversity axis, with an estimated R$ 1 billion. By 2026, 37,500 hectares of vegetation will be restored through six ongoing programs such as Refloresta São Paulo and Conexão Mata Atlântica, as well as private sector initiatives like the one announced on Thursday.
The project aims to create ecological corridors by restoring native vegetation of the Atlantic Forest and promoting connectivity between the remaining forest fragments located in the Pontal do Paranapanema region, in the far west of the state of São Paulo. Initially, this reforestation will focus on private areas, but it may expand to public areas in the future. This initiative aligns with the proposal of the Government of São Paulo, which also prioritizes the formation of ecosystems that connect fragmented forest areas, facilitate native vegetation coverage, and enhance wildlife protection.
The official announcement ceremony of the partnership between AstraZeneca, Biofílica Ambipar, and IPÊ in the AR Corridors of Life Project took place on Thursday (6) at the Palácio dos Bandeirantes, the headquarters of the Government of the State of São Paulo. It was attended by Vice-Governor of the State of São Paulo Felício Ramuth, state secretaries Natália Resende (Environment, Infrastructure, and Logistics) and Jorge Lima (Economic Development), as well as executives from the pharmaceutical company Carlos Sánchez (Vice President, AstraZeneca Latin America), Olavo Corrêa (General Director, AstraZeneca Brazil), Jorge Mazzei (Executive Director of Corporate Relations at AstraZenica Brazil), Plínio Ribeiro (founder of Biofílica Ambipar), and Eduardo Ditt (Executive Director of IPÊ).
The local initiative is part of the global AZ Forest project, which aims to plant over 200 million trees worldwide by the end of 2030 to help combat climate change, which affects the entire global ecosystem.
Here’s what the representatives of the companies involved in the project said:
Olavo Corrêa (General Director, AstraZeneca Brazil): “AstraZeneca’s investment in AR Corridors of Life aims to contribute to the fight against climate change, improving the health of people, communities, and the planet, which we believe are intrinsically connected. More than Corridors of Life, we are contributing to Health Corridors.”
Plínio Ribeiro (CEO of Biofílica Ambipar): “The restoration project in Pontal do Paranapanema has been in existence for over 20 years, but it is an expensive process that requires continuous investment to be viable and, most importantly, to scale up. Private sector funding through carbon is currently the best alternative because it allows large companies like AstraZeneca to contribute to this process. The investment will be used to plant 6 thousand hectares of forest in the Atlantic Forest by 2025.”
Eduardo Ditt (Executive Director of IPÊ): “IPÊ has been operating in Pontal do Paranapanema for over 30 years, and we started implementing corridors as a landscape and conservation strategy for threatened species like the black lion tamarin. Throughout the process, several partners have joined us to leverage this forest restoration of the Atlantic Forest, including the private sector. The new partnership will further contribute to this project and the landscape connectivity in a biome that is one of the most deforested in Brazil.”
Currently, São Paulo has experienced an 82% reduction in deforestation for destroyed vegetation between 2021 and 2022, according to the Green Panel – a platform of the state government that combines satellite data and penalties imposed by the Environmental Military Police.