23 Aug 2016
Municipalities in Paraná and São Paulo come together for sustainable tourism

Municipalities are gathering together across the interior of Brazilian states of São Paulo and Paraná to collectively advance their economies and communities. This is being supported by both state governments and is developing to be a major, multi-city Innovating project of the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme. Commitments are being sought for the creation of a special area of touristic interest, called Angra Doce or ‘Sweet Creek’. Creation of new jobs, leisure, wellness, environmental preservation and culture are all desired outcomes of this sizeable endeavour. Multi-sectoral dialogue is underway in the hope of achieving a regional sustainable development plan that preserves the environment and delivers benefits to the community.

Several municipalities and private enterprises are making the commitment to the United Nations Global Compact as part of the collaboration. They include the municipalities of Barão de Antonina, Bernardino de Campos, Canitar, Carlópolis, Chavantes, Fartura, Ipaussu, Itaporanga, Jacarezinho, Ourinhos, Piraju, Ribeirão Claro, Salto do Itararé , Siqueira Campos and Timburi. All these municipalities are placed around the lake of the Chavantes Hydropowerplant, part of Duke Energy Brazil. This lake, with clear and blue waters, is formed out of the convergence of two large rivers: Paranapanema and Itararé.

There are aims for the tourism development to be sustainable. Plans include clean energy, recycling and reuse of materials, inclusive and redistributive public policies, creative economy, new means of public transport, respect for human rights and environmental protection.

The proposed infrastructure and facilities will include campsites, hostels, hotels, restaurants and shops. It is envisaged that Angra Doce will result in an increased take up of a variety of nature-based sports across these areas such as rafting, canoeing, trekking, hang gliding, paragliding, boat trips, horseback riding, sport fishing which will have a flow on positive impact on the economy throughout the region.

Promoting sustainability, culture, recreation and appreciation of the heritage will be the focus of several locations. Another initiative runs alongside Angra Doce, (in the State of São Paulo), called Rota Angra Doce: De volta aos trilhos (Sweet Creek Route: Back on track). Through this the municipalities of Salto Grande, Ourinhos, Canitar, Chavantes and Ipaussu the goal is to offer train rides that will open historic routes, assist these municipalities to revitalise their old railway areas and bringing new life and vitality to these environments (museums, cultural centres, spaces memory, snack bars, restaurants, art galleries, gardens, etc.

On the side of the state of Paraná there are lake beaches that attract the local population and also regional tourists. Due to its great scenic beauty and the existence of ecotourism, sports tourism and adventure activities, there already are resorts and upscale condominiums to receive foreign tourists. In anticipation of this, some companies are already investing in the construction of other establishments of this scale.

With support from the Cities Programme, all these initiatives and ideas are being widely discussed, since the local community has great concern for environmental preservation. Ongoing is the institutionalisation of a multi-sectorial and interstate governance, with active participation of state governments.
Two Universities from the region – State University “Julio de Mesquita Filho” – Campus Ourinhos and the State University of Pioneer North – became signatories of the Global Compact and are establishing, with the Cities Programme support, a Technical Cooperation Agreement to participate in the project, expanding the proposal to a Regional Development Plan based on Sustainable Tourism.

This action is being supported by the Cities Programme through our focal point in Brazil, Rosane de Souza.

“It is a complex and challenging initiative, involving many stakeholders, businesses, municipalities and governments of two large Brazilian states. We have to exercise a lot of dialogue, much negotiation and enormous goodwill from all. But the enthusiasm and commitment of both the governments and the regional community, are so great that we have been managing to move quickly and with surprising results”, celebrates Rosane.

Media Coverage

See article in Jornal Contratempo.