In the last century, Italian immigrants settled in the region of Pedra Azul do Aracé. Having escaped the poverty of their homeland, here they found a region rich in forestation and other resources. They lived in houses made of dried mud or in hollowed out imperfections of the enormous tree trunks. They produced beans and maize for polenta. They raised hens, pigs and cattle. And they produced meats, milk and cheese. They lived in a very self sufficient and confined world and accepted life of sacrifice naturally.
But, as the culture developed, the forests began to disappear, an evident sign of the work, dedication and progress being made to support this new life. The protection or responsible management of the environment was sacrificed to make way for the needs of the community and the safety of the climate; the wild life, renewable energy sources and water resources were disregarded. Recently, the consequences of this behavior have brought serious marks to the environment.
Had this way of life continued, the region today would be ecologically poor and its future uncertain. Without the forests and its indispensable benefits, like the superficial water protection, the fruits and flowers of the vegetation, the protection from elements provided by the trees, wild animals, carbonic gas retention and without tourism, Pedra Azul do Aracé would not be the same. The native forest of the past that was replaced over time through progress and development today has to be restored, nurtured and maintained to assure the future of this region.
Edimar C. Binotti, Jr.
Agronomist Engineer/Minister of Agriculture – Pedra Azul