Petrobras & BNDES Advance in the Creation of a Reforestation Fund

Source: 4/19/2022, Location: South America

The National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) and Petrobras, in partnership with 13 other companies, announced this Tuesday (04/19) that the Fund Brasileiro for Biodiversity - FUNBIO will be the managing partner of the collective financing fund of the Floresta Viva Initiative, a joint action for the restoration of Brazilian forests and biomes. FUNBIO, selected by public call, will be responsible for organizing the public notice for the selection of projects, in addition to monitoring the application of resources and monitoring the results of the actions.

The ceremony took place at the BNDES' headquarters, in Brasília, and was attended by the president of Petrobras, José Mauro Coelho, the director of Institutional Relations and Sustainability at Petrobras, Rafael Chaves, the Minister of the Environment, Joaquim Leite, and the president from BNDES, Gustavo Montezano. The first call for selection of projects is expected to be launched in the second half of this year.

Floresta Viva is an initiative, led by BNDES, for the environmental restoration of Brazilian biomes, formation of ecological corridors and recovery of hydrographic basins. The partnership between Petrobras and BNDES will total an investment of R$ 100 million by the two institutions (R$ 50 million each), in five years, to finance reforestation projects, through public selection and shared management.

The crowdfunding model adopted by BNDES as matchfunding, in which the bank injects BRL 1 for every BRL 1 raised. The forecast is to restore between 16,000 and 33,000 hectares, removing approximately 9 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere, considering a 25-year cycle of forest growth.

The notices will cover environmental and social requirements for the selection of projects, in line with international certification standards.

Reinforcement of forest conservation - “We understand that all companies in the country have a responsibility, but, without a doubt, Petrobras, as it is today the largest Brazilian company and a reference for Brazilian citizens, has a redoubled responsibility. Petrobras can contribute to the project due to its experience in reforestation and conservation of biomes”, said the president of Petrobras, José Mauro Coelho.

Petrobras supported 17 projects, which worked on the recovery or direct conservation of more than 175 thousand hectares of forests and natural areas, in addition to the strengthening of more than 25 million hectares of protected areas, covering about 3% of the national territory in the Mata biomes. Atlantic, Amazon, Caatinga and Cerrado.

Reduction of carbon emissions - “Petrobras supports reforestation initiatives and the preservation of forests and green areas. With the Floresta Viva initiative, we reinforce our work in natural solutions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, we have expanded our voluntary contribution to forest restoration in Brazil, with this great partner, the BNDES.”, commented the director of Institutional Relations and Sustainability at Petrobras, Rafael Chaves.

The president of BNDES, Gustavo Montezano, highlighted the importance of engaging the private sector for the success of the program. “It is this spirit that will change Brazil: the spirit of companies focused on social and environmental impact. The financial result comes as a consequence of that”, declared the executive. “I'm sure that we were able to do this because of all the learning that the Bank has had over the course of 30 years, respecting the institution's past, but with the certainty that it will move towards the future. It has to move forward, it has to innovate,” he concluded.

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