Tree Day 2021 is celebrated on September 21, and this date was chosen because it is close to the beginning of spring in Brazil. The creation of this day is due to the need to make the population aware of the importance of trees for the existence of life on the planet. Trees reduce the temperature of the environment; they provide food; their leaves and roots can be used in medicines; they guarantee the maintenance of water bodies; they generate oxygen and are habitats for several species of animals, contributing directly to the ecological balance.
The Brazilian flora is recognized as one of the most important, however, according to the National Center for Flora Conservation, there are about 2,953 plant species threatened with extinction. The increase in population, deforestation, and fires are some of the factors that cause the suppression of vegetation, resulting in the decrease of species.
Although environmental degradation is present in Brazil, there are several environmental laws that aim to protect the environment, such as the Forest Code (law no. 12,651/2012), which establishes norms for the preservation of vegetation and addresses the control of the origin of forest products and the prevention of forest fires. Through this law, forests are defined as assets of common interest to all of society. Another law we can cite is the Environmental Crimes Law (law no. 9.605/1998), which addresses the criminal and administrative sanctions resulting from activities that cause damage to the environment. The unauthorized deforestation, manufacture, sale, transport, and release of balloons are crimes that subject the offender to imprisonment.
According to the São Paulo state government Portal, 90% of the 269 forest fire occurrences were consequences of human actions that could have been avoided. The results of these fires bring damage to the environment, consequently affecting human health.
The dry weather favors forest fires, which are more intense from June to October, the period considered to be the red phase by Operation Fire-Fighting, a system composed of several state agencies, including the fire department, military police, the Forestry Institute, and Cetesb, among others, whose objective is to prevent and fight forest fires, as well as to encourage the adoption of measures and joint action. However, some simple measures can be adopted by us, in order to mitigate forest fires, such as not releasing balloons; not throwing cigarette butts on roads or in forests; not leaving cans or glass on roadsides and forests; not using fire to clear areas; not making fires near vegetation, and not burning household waste.
Among the various actions to contribute to the preservation of flora, the highlights are the Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Deforestation and Burning in the Cerrado (PPCerrado) and the Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon (PPCDAm), which are instruments aimed at reducing deforestation and degradation of native vegetation, promoting the maintenance of its ecosystem services, through the promotion of an economic development model that takes into account the conservation of biodiversity, water resources and the cultural and natural heritage of traditional populations.
EP Group promotes awareness of the importance of preservation and conservation of trees, through initiatives that minimize environmental impacts and promote the preservation of biodiversity, thus contributing to the environment being treated with respect. In order to spread this idea, the EP Group’s Sustainability Committee has developed several campaigns, one of which is “Tree Day”.
Through simple, yet transformative and meaningful attitudes, we encourage our employees to grow a plant in their home and plant a tree in their garden, or in a public place. In fact, we want to remember that, much more than words, practices are needed that make it worthwhile, because environmental preservation is everyone’s commitment.
1- CNCFLORA. National Center for Flora Conservation. Available at: <http://cncflora.jbrj.gov.br/portal/> .
2 – Law nº 12.651, of May 25, 2012. Available at: <http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_ato2011-2014/2012/lei/l12651.htm>
3 – Law nº 9.605, of February 12, 1998. Available at: <http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/leis/l9605.htm>
4 – Balloon falls and vandalism are among the reasons for forest fires in SP. Available at: <https://www.saopaulo.sp.gov.br/spnoticias/orgaos-governamentais/secretaria-de-infraestrutura-e-meio-ambiente/queda-de-balao-e-vandalismo-estao-entre-os-motivos- of-forest-fires-in-sp/> . Accessed on: 05 Sep. 2021.
5 – Forest Fires. Available at: <https://www.infraestruturameioambiente.sp.gov.br/cortafogo/> .Accessed on: 05 Sep. 2021.6 – Ministry of Environment. Available at: <http://combateaodesmatamento.mma.gov.br/>
EP Group Sustainability Committee
Beatriz Lima Miguel