In November 2015, the failure of the Fundão tailings dam at the Samarco's ore mining site in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, released 39,2 million m3 of tailings, resulting in severe environmental, economic and social damage, as well as 19 deaths. The tailings spill ran approximately 650 km, from the dam through the Doce River to eventually reach the Atlantic Ocean.
The emergency actions performed by Samarco were consolidated in the Framework Agreement, which prescribes 42 short, medium and long-term socio-environmental and socioeconomic repair programs that include a range of remediation measures designed to return the river system to the pre-existing conditions and compensatory programs designed to leave a lasting positive legacy.
The companies, in close coordination with government agencies, established the Renova Foundation, a private, non-profit organization that receives endowments to develop and implement the programs.
In 2016, IUCN was asked by the Renova Foundation to create an Independent Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (ISTAP) in order to provide technical guidance for the major restoration underway in the Rio Doce watershed. IUCN sought input on the development and design of the panel from relevant stakeholders, including representatives from the local communities, NGOs, government and academia in Brazil and elsewhere.
Find out more about the Renova Foundation.