Ahead of its time, the Curitiba law firm was a pioneer in including biodiversity as part of its business and obtaining this recognition. Aiming to expand their efforts in the search for sustainability, Gaia Silva Gaede Advogados committed to enhance and qualify its performance, focusing on biodiversity conservation, by understanding the effects that its lack can cause.
For them, being the first organization to achieve LIFE Certification has always been a source of great pride. “I remember that when asked why a law firm would be concerned about this, I immediately replied: without taking care of the environment, we will no longer be able to provide our services”, recalls Henrique Gaede, partner and one of those responsible for the Curitiba office. “Of course, committing to good practices must begin with our own organization, but more needs to be done. Finding a way to offset the impacts of our activities on nature is the starting point for all of this”, he emphasized.
Gaede and his partners understood the essential role of the private sector in protecting natural resources and the environment and felt the need to act, implementing pragmatic and effective actions. To obtain the LIFE Certification on Business and Biodiversity, the biodiversity positive performance must be greater than the pressure exerted by the organization. “With this understanding, effective measures were taken to compensate for our impacts”, adds Gaede, among them, “Our office adopted a preserved protected area of the Atlantic Forest”.
The area in question is a “natural heritage private reserve” which, by private decision, is protected by Brazilian law. The Airumã reserve represents one of the 21 areas with Atlantic Forest remnants in the Municipality of Curitiba, in Paraná, South of Brazil. With an area of 30 thousand m², it is part of an ecological corridor that promotes the flow of species and the preservation of the region’s biodiversity. This area is highly threatened by fragmentation, amid great urban expansion and intense real estate speculation. The Airumã reserve is home to a spring and river courses that directly contribute to the supply of the Barigui River, which runs through the city. In addition to playing a fundamental role in the region’s thermal regulation and flood prevention, the reserve is home to 160 species of native plants, including two species endemic to the Araucaria forests and three species of threatened flora, known as Paraná pine (Araucaria angustifolia), howler fern (Dicksonia sellowiana) and sassafras cinnamon (Ocotea odorifera). In the reserve area, more than 60 species of birds and mammals that are rarely found in urban environments had been recorded, such as the hedgehog (Sphiggurus villosus), the armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) and the ferret (Galictis whose). Research, visitation, raising awareness and environmental education activities are carried out in its area.
The established institutional-financial arrangement – which brought together an organization that wanted to offset its impacts with another that carried out biodiversity conservation actions – configured, ten years ago, what is currently called a Biodiversity Credits transaction. The LIFE Methodology and Certification system are pioneers in the Biodiversity Credits market and are available and ready to support the emission of new credits.