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Maria Cláudia Almeida
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Kamilla Barboza
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Modified on 01.20.2015

Media | Releases

January 20, 2015 - Fibria’s social work featured in New Generation Plantations (NGP)

Created by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as a platform for discussing better plantation management practices, NGP has published a case study demonstrating the Brazilian example for community relations

São Paulo (SP) - Fibria, a Brazilian forestry company and world leader in the production of eucalyptus pulp, has been featured in a publication by the New Generation Plantation (NGP) project created by the NGO World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The case study shows how the Company was able to overcome conflicts with neighboring communities in the Brazilian states of Espírito Santo and Bahia to bring about a situation marked by respect and joint effort.

In understanding that healthy business development depends as much on social and environmental aspects as on economic and financial aspects, Fibria creates and implements several programs for income generation, social promotion and environmental education in communities surrounding its operations. Since 2009, the Company has invested more than US$ 50 million in its social development programs.

The case study focuses on Fibria’s main tool for engaging rural communities surrounding its operations – the Territorial Rural Development Program (PDRT) –, which teaches the community to manage sustainable agricultural and forestry programs, and offers participants the necessary equipment and technical assistance, in addition to providing incentives, support and guidance to access public policies. The PDRT covered 1,062 families from 40 communities in Bahia and Espírito Santo states. The average monthly income resulting from the project's activities increased by 44% in Bahia and Espírito Santo, representing an average increase of R$1,155 in the monthly household income.

Other examples cited by the NGP report include indigenous communities and the MST movement. In 2012, Fibria launched a program of activities, in partnership with the organization Kambôas Socioambiental, to support the Tupininquim and Guarani indigenous communities by allocating to them reserves on land previously owned by the company. The plan includes developing methods of sustenance of these communities, which total 200 families, while always respecting their ethnic identities.

At the same time, an area of approximately 11,000 hectares in the city of Prado (BA), covering 5 farms, occupied by members of the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) since 2000, has transformed from a point of social tension to a pioneering experiment in sustainable rural production. In partnership with the state government of Bahia and the University of São Paulo (USP) Luiz de Queiroz School of Agriculture, Fibria developed a project for agricultural and forestry production of a variety of crops while maximizing soil use, on lots distributed to families registered with the program.

In addition to celebrating improvements to surrounding communities, these actions have generated benefits for Fibria’s business. The theft of wood for illegal production of wood charcoal – the main point of conflict and the problem generating the greatest negative impact on the Company’s business – was reduced to nearly zero. Conflict resolution paved the way for certification of nearly all of Fibria's production areas by the FSC and CERFLOR / PEFC, the two main certifying authorities on sustainable forestry management.

The Fibria case study published by NGP can be found online at NEW NGP Fibria Social Case Study - From conflict to cooperation. Created by the WWF to disseminate plantation management best practices, the NGP project aims to create an environment for exchanging knowledge for a new generation of plantations operating in harmony with people and nature.