The Odebrecht Foundation in 2003 focused on establishing the innovative Program for the Regional Integrated and Sustainable Development of the Southern Bahia Lowlands. The objective of this program is to develop the local economy through integrated projects that create work and income opportunities for the population (productive capital), access to good-quality education (human capital), environmental conservation (environmental capital) and the construction of a more just and compassionate society (social capital).
In one year, the projects carried out in partnership with the Institute for the Sustainable Development of the Southern Lowlands (IDES) and the Association of Southern Lowlands Municipalities (AMUBS) garnered the following results:
Youth House – 511 students, including children, adolescents and adults, had access to free, qualified rural education.
Rural Family House – this professional education program mobilized 90 adolescents from farm families with a view to grooming future rural entrepreneurs.
Human Rights Counter – local communities found it easier to enjoy their civil rights by obtaining essential documents, legal counseling, dispute mediation services, and land deeds. Over 20,000 people were assisted free of charge.
Land Conservation Organization (OCT) – a project was launched to create ecological corridors in the Pratigi Environmental Protection Area, one of the most important surviving areas of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest.
Tancredo Neves Farmers’ Cooperative (Coopatan) - the approximately 400 farmers who joined the cooperative improved their professional skills and learned modern farming methods. They planted 300 hectares (about 740 acres) with manioc, and expect to harvest at least 20 tonnes/hectare.
Cooperative of Fishers, Shellfish Gatherers and Aquafarmers (Coopemar) – 46 families learned how to farm tilapias and oysters.
Top photo, farming tilapias;
above, teenagers from the
Rural Family House project