Port of Açu is located in the southeast coast of Brazil in an area that faces many social challenges and presents important natural habitats with irreplaceable biodiversity that needs to be restored and protected. In 2012, the Port of Açu created the Caruara Reserve, a voluntary project that protects 4.000 hectares of restinga, one of the most threatened ecosystems of Atlantic rainforest. In September 2022 the new visitor center of Caruara Reserve was open to the public, as a place of health, well-being, leisure and sustainability, integrating port and community, aiming at shared value creation to the entire society.
After 7 months of operation, the Reserve Visitor Center had more than 11.000 visitors to enjoy its space and activities and hosted over 100 scholar groups and others 3.000 participants on environmental education activities. The Reserve also serves as an open classroom and R&D laboratory, with more than 45 research projects held over the years. The conservation programs identified over 880 flora and fauna species, including 22 threatened ones. With a dedicated seedling nursery, more than 1.280 hectares of restinga flora were restored.
With its overall objective to become a community builder platform and promote sustainability to reach a net positive impact on biodiversity and people´s lives, Caruara Reserve materializes a decade of conservation of one of the most degraded ecosystems in Brazil, showing that it is possible to develop the Port Complex together with environmental awareness and protection of surrounding habitats promoting social engagement.
Through development of sustainable tourism, the Port Administration consolidates its leadership as an inducer of local sustainable development and, in partnership with port users and tenants, local authorities, and community, will continue to promote change, enhance the quality of live and contribute to biodiversity enhancing and the UN SDGs implementation.