Environmental services for restoring watercourse margins

Recovery of the banks of the Arroio Andreas watercourse, in the city of Vera Cruz (RS). Philip Morris Brasil makes Payment for Environmental Services – PES to farmers, who receive an annual fee for carrying out the work.

The “Protetor da Águas” project started from an effort by the Rio Pardo River Basin Management Committee to restore the banks of degraded watercourses of the main source of water supply for the city of Vera Cruz, Arroio Andreas, region where the Philip Morris Brazil operation is located.

The project aims to protect springs and riparian areas, seeking to encourage rural producers to adhere to good water and soil conservation practices and, with this, remunerate them. The adhesion of the producers was voluntary and they cooperate throughout the entire process.

The amounts paid to farmers who joined the project were calculated based on technical criteria, taking into account their crops and the size of the protected area. As a result, diagnoses were prepared based on the identification of the springs and the collection of data for each property, thus establishing action plans for protection and recovery. Since its implementation, there has been a significant improvement in water quality, with 87% of its volume considered suitable for consumption (classes 1 and 2).

Philip Morris Brasil is responsible for the Payment for Environmental Services – PES, where farmers receive an annual amount for their work in recovering springs and watercourse margins.
Currently, 63 farmers are enrolled in the project, who were originally identified by the Watershed Committee as directly influencing the water quality of Arroio Andreas. Since its implementation, the initiative has positively impacted more than 18 thousand people in the urban area of Vera Cruz, being recognized by the National Water Agency (ANA) as part of the national Water Producer program.

The objective of Philip Morris Brasil is to continue providing support and assistance to the project in the coming years, following the evolution of its results, in addition to identifying other points of degradation in the same basin and applying methodology inspired by the initiative already implemented for the recovery of these areas. , engaging new local stakeholders.

Maintenance of the existing model and expansion of the model to one more degradation point to be identified in the basin by 2025.

Annual water quality monitoring reports produced by the University of Santa Cruz do Sul (UNISC) in the areas covered by the projects.

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