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About

Sustainable Humanitarian Infrastructure and Development Project in Southwest Bahia, Brazil

Background

The human population on earth needs increasing amounts of energy; thereby consuming more and more natural resources which will subsequently lead to a great ecological imbalance. Considering that this model of economic growth is harmful and dangerous for the future of humanity and our planet, many scholars and activists have advocated in favor of new sustainable economic models. In 1987 the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development introduced to the world a report (called Brundland Report) on the subject of development. This report introduced the concept of sustainable development, stating that development without improving life quality of societies could not be considered development. The Brundland Report defines sustainable development as one that meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. One can therefore consider sustainable development as interconnected and interdependent with the variables of economic, social and environmental issues, and is balanced and stable by ensuring best possible quality of life for present and future generations.

The Region of the City of Licínio de Almeida therefore needs to change the current development model based on excessive consumption of natural resources, with little income distribution and without concern for future generations to a sustainable development model. Adding to this need of change the fact of the world being in search of alternatives for a sustainable life, and at the same time having institutions such as the BW group, interested in and in the position to funding innovative solutions; Licínio de Almeida in this scenario is as a ground ready for this development project, seeking to pay justice to the issue of sustainability.

Given the above, it is possible to think of the present as a large project with multiple areas and all of them aiming to provide the region of the Municipality of Licínio de Almeida a model of sustainable development with clear benefits for the whole region, both for the present and for future generations. However, to make the project a reality, it is necessary as to the effective integration and participation of the City of Licínio de Almeida, the Government of the State of Bahia and other partners and funding institutions, thus altering the natural route of many lives making them fairer, happier and more sustainable.
(Alan Lacerda Leite - Mayor of Licinio de Almeida/BA, Brazil)

About the Project Region:

The Municipality Licínio de Almeida is located in the Serra Geral mountain range in the Southwest Region of the state of Bahia in the Northeast Region of Brazil, with an area of 785 km ², and a population of 13,205 inhabitants (estimated by IBGE, 2009), and with the neighbouring Municipalities of Pindaí, Urandi, Jacaraci, and Caculé. Its history begins with the early explorers of the territory, the Portuguese, coming in search of gold and precious stones. The first settlement was formed around the farm Gado Bravo by the Soares family in the early nineteenth century. With the arrival of the railway of the East Brazil Federal Railway in the 1940s, the village Gado Bravo was formed. This town was elevated to district in 1953, now under the name Licínio de Almeida, named after a Federal Railway engineer who resided and died there. It was finally emancipated from the municipalities of Urandi and Jacaraci in 1962, as a separate territory.

Currently the municipality’s main economy is based on the production of sugar cane and its derivatives, dairy, cattle and cassava. The trade has little regional representation and the industry is underdeveloped.

Licínio de Almeida was a major producer of manganese in the recent past. Under the old mining, some areas of the city suffered great impact of this activity with severe environmental damages. Added to this, the grand removal of native woods for charcoal production had profound impacts on the local ecosystem, as the destruction of vegetation in headwaters of rivers and riparian areas, reducing water flow in rivers and thus exacerbating the lack of water which is a serious problem common to the entire region.

Mission and Goals

The project’s basic mission is to satisfy fundamental humanitarian needs of the local population, suffering from a lack of sufficient water and energy supply, sanitation, health care, food, shelter, safety, mobility, education, livelihood schemes, and other socio economic and socio cultural aspects. Subsequently a regionally leading eco-economic center shall be established with focused economic growth in the field of sound production and consumption, environmental and green technologies, regenerative energy, sustainable agriculture and forestry, organic food production, holistic health care and education, as well as sustainable innovative research in these fields.