New IUCN-led independent scientific panel to support recovery of Rio Doce Basin in Brazil

IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, announced today that it is establishing an Independent Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (ISTAP) to support the recovery of the Rio Doce Basin and the affected communities, following the 2015 collapse of the Fundao Dam in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Rio Doce Basin in Brazil

The Rio Doce Panel will advise the Renova Foundation, an organisation formed by the Brazilian mining company Samarco, and its shareholders BHP Billiton and Vale, to manage the remediation and compensation programmes to address impacts from the dam failure.

The Panel’s advice will help the Renova Foundation develop and implement an integrated strategy that deploys resources to secure the best possible social and environmental outcomes in the Rio Doce Basin.

IUCN is currently seeking input on the development and detailed design of the ISTAP from relevant stakeholders, including representatives from the local communities, NGOs, government and academia in Brazil and elsewhere. The Panel, which will be committed to independence, transparency, accountability and engagement, is expected to start work by mid-2017.

Nominations for the Panel Chair are now open. Panel members will include a wide range of Brazilian and international specialists, including experts in ecosystem impacts; terrestrial, riverine and coastal remediation; water and waste management; and, sustainable economic practices.

The creation of the Rio Doce Panel is intended to help build stakeholder confidence in the Renova Foundation’s scientific assessment and management responses. The Panel’s information will be based on scientific evidence, and its reports and recommendations will be publically available. Engagement with interested and affected stakeholders will be integral to this process.

IUCN has significant experience in forming and managing technical panels that provide objective, independent advice on major social and environmental challenges.

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