13 Aug 2016
Birigui enters with a wealth of sustainability action

In May this year we welcomed the municipality of Birigui from the state of São Paulo into the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme. Founded on 7 December 1911, this Brazilian city has a population of 120,000. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Birigui’s contact point, Dr Tadeau Luciano, about the city’s reasons for joining the United Nations Global Compact.

“A Prefeitura Municipal de Birigui pretende ser protagonista em sua jurisdição com ações e resultados que envolvam também as indústrias e empresas comerciais a se engajem no Pacto Global como signatárias, alterando para um propósito sustentável, empreendedor e ético a destinação da cidade para as futuras gerações.”

“The municipality of Birigui intends to align its actions and goals—involving industries and commercial enterprises—to those of the Global Compact, working towards improving sustainable practice, entrepreneurship and ethics for the benefit of future generations.”

Dr Luciano spoke to us about Birigui’s past, present and future projects, which impressively span most of the Cites Programme’s Focus Areas and address many of the global  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Environment

Birigui has the largest number of heating plants in Brazil and is home to the third largest transformer plant in Brazil. The Birigui Prefecture pioneered the creation of the Municipal Law for the production of photovoltaic energy. As for its agriculture scene, Birigui is a major producer of soybeans in the state of São Paulo.

The city is involved in the Community Agriculture Program, a social inclusion initiative that seeks to help poverty stricken families in rural areas through education, assistance in employment and food production

Partnering with the Commercial Association of Birigui, the City Hall developed the Municipal Solid Waste Plan (ECO BIRIGUI) through which 500 new ecologically friendly dumpsites were established.

Food

Birigui is also involved in the Zero Hunger program, which facilities the participation of communities in planting gardens, managing small livestock and running public fairs and markets. The food produced is intended to supply local restaurants and community kitchens. Surplus produce is contributed to local markets.

Education

In 2014, in collaboration with SEBRAE-SP, Birigui City Hall introduced a program into schools that encourages students to find independence and autonomy. The program also seeks to help parents pursue entrepreneurial endeavors (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqT9hbvpjXM). Another school-based project worth mentioning is “Sementes dos Bem”, an incentive that works with families who wish to improve their social and economic conditions through work and education

Women

In regards to women’s rights, Birigui has had successful involvement in the Specialised Reference Centre for Social Assistance (CREAS) – a protection service and specialized care unit that combats violence against women. Since its implementation in 2010, CREAS has dealt with an average of 70 cases of women victims of violence.

Business

The city is considered the most important producer of children’s shoes in Latin America and is also recognised for its furniture and metallurgy industries.

Culture

In 2014, through the Department of Culture, the Birigui Prefecture established a literary festival titled Festival Literário de Birigui (FLIBI), which encourages everyone in the city to participate in artistic activities but with a strong emphasis on youth.

As for the city’s sport culture, Birigui also stands out for Biribol – a water sport that was invented by the biriguiense and emerged as an alternative way to use swimming pools, involving a net and ball.

Social inclusion

Birigui’s valuing of public transparency is a reflection of their goal to optimise good governance. The City of Birigui sanctioned the Municipal Law of Access to Information, allowing the public to access almost all financial, payroll and administrative data through an online portal.

The priorities of Birigui City Hall is to improve health and living conditions through educating citizens that care about public affairs, such as public and private entrepreneurs who embody the principles o the Global Compact.

Health

For four consecutive years the Department of Health has awarded Birigui the state prize for best performance in the State Tuberculosis Program. Birigui has the greatest Human Development Index in the region, reflecting their high level of life expectancy, education and income per capita within greater Brazil.

Priorities

Mayor Pedro Bernabé and his government devised the Birigui Project PRO-20, which outlines the city’s vision for the next 20 years and the actions they plan on taking to achieve such goals. This incentive led Mayor Bernabé to win two stamps in the Sebrae Mayor Entrepreneur Award, which recognizes managers who have implemented projects with proven results of stimulating the development of small businesses and the modernisation of public administration.

As stated by Dr Luciano, Birigui, through its participation in the Cities Programme, hopes to broaden their horizons by learning from good practice of other municipalities, both in Brazil and abroad. Quite the ambitious city, Birigui also aims to make themselves the most livable city in São Paulo by 2036.

Birigui looks forward to receiving guidance from the Cities Programme in terms of sustainable development. Their commitment to the Ten Principles is reflected in their expressed ambition to become a Leading level city.

See the full portuguese language report Birigui submitted to us on their Global Compact commitment and sustainable development activities.

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