ISEAL’s Global Sustainability Standards Conference kicked off with a field trip to Parque das Neblinas, an environmental reserve on top of Serra do Mar, in São Paulo, Brazil.
The park is a conservation area run by Suzano Pulp and Paper and managed by Instituto Ecofuturo. It plays an important role in the conservation of Serra do Mar’s natural resources, contributing to the protection of the largest continuous extension of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil.
On the trip the group heard about Suzano and Ecofuturo’s restoration and conservation developments for Parque das Neblinas as well as their environmental education projects.
Once they were out on the forest trail the group stopped at observation points, where some of Ecofuturo’s work was explained, such as the vegetation regeneration process and the management of water resources. And, they got the opportunity to see up close threatened species, such as the juçara palm.
“The park intends to be considered a model by environmental organizations. Before Suzano acquired the area, large extensions of the Atlantic Forest were damaged by the coal production in the 40s and 50s. Today, from the six thousand hectares of the reserve, five thousand are undergoing a restoration process,” said Paulo Groke, Sustainability Director at Instituto Ecofuturo.
As the day progressed, the group shared their experiences of responsible management practices and discussed the challenges and opportunities related to voluntary forest certification. Then, to complete the local experience, the trip was closed with a meal prepared by local communities, using native ingredients, like cambuci (fruit).
The trip allowed participants to understand the companies’ motivations towards conservation and certification, what they are doing in terms of restoration in the area, the challenges of environmental protection and examples of how Suzano and Ecofuturo are addressing them.
The Global Sustainability Standards Conference took place 22 to 24 May in São Paulo, Brazil.