Oversight of Ecological Restoration for the Samarco Dam Failure in Minas Gerais, Brazil

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Randy H. Mandel, Romulo Arantes

Publication Date:

The Samarco Dam Failure in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil (also known as the Fundão Dam Disaster) is considered to be the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history, directly affecting approximately 45 municipalities and costing 19 lives. As result of dam rupture on November 5, 2015, the released sediment was transported over 670 km (circa 416 miles) of river flowing from dam breach into the Atlantic Ocean. In total, approximately 44 million cubic meters of iron ore waste was released into the Rio Doce Basin. The damaged watershed is largely dominated by Mata Atlantica Forest, which is one of the most imperiled ecosystems in the world, having lost over 93% of its functional biome, despite being home to an incredible array of biodiversity. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the ongoing efforts to provide technical quality control and oversight of ecological revegetation by Ramboll on behalf of the Brazilian Federal Public Prosecutors Office (MPF) and its Rio Doce Taskforce including successes and challenges. In addition, the presentation will summarize field survival to date for planted and naturally regenerated species for riverine and compensatory wetland projects, as well as monitoring criteria considered for such purpose.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program