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The Council today assesses the fate of the threatened Atlantic forest area in São Paulo – 06/12/2020 – Environment

“After decades of controversial projects, a 63,000 m² plot of land in Alto da Boa Vista south of São Paulo seems to finally be reaching its final destination,” read a report from November 2004 in this Folha. One part would be “a condominium made up of high-end houses worth R $ 3.8 million each”. The other would be a park.

Neither has happened in the area known as Jardim Alfomares. Another decade and a half has passed, and it remains locked at the gate to its neighbors while it is controversial in court and in overturning bodies.

The site is the headquarters of a project by Viver Incorporadora e Construtora that has now been consulted with the STJ (Superior Court of Justice) to threaten the remaining vegetation of the Atlantic forest there. In the area, in the middle of the city of São Paulo, fauna and flora are threatened with extinction.

The developer says that “the removal of trees on the site, although approved by all relevant authorities, was voluntarily suspended by the developer on November 16” and that “in the last week the movement was suspended by administrative determination with no defined term”. .

At the same time as the ongoing campaign, Conpresp, a communal institution for the protection of historical, cultural and ecological heritage, is made aware of the topic. At the meeting this Monday (7) the Council will discuss whether or not to open the process of listing the area.

When a flip is opened, property is protected until a decision is made whether to keep it or not. Folha noted that the Department of Historical Heritage, the technical body responsible for providing opinions supporting the Board’s debates, is in favor of opening the process.

When the first advance of the Picks destroyed the architectural heritage there – a house designed by the architect Oswaldo Bratke (1907-97) for the original owner of the huge farm Alfonso Martín Escudero with gardens by the landscaper Roberto Burle Marx (1909-94)) – Much remains of the environmental heritage.

Viver argues that the area does not appear as preserved vegetation in the GeoSampa, a digital map of the town hall, and that more than 20,000 m² of green space has been donated to the community, with “a project to open a public park” and the “largest” one Part of the compensation projects led by Viver Incorporadora have already been completed and the rest will be completed by the end of the project. “

However, a technical report from the Municipal Secretariat for Green and Environment (SVMA) received from Folha explains the rich and specific character of the fauna and flora present there.

“The registration of endemic species of the Atlantic forest, ie only in the Atlantic forest biome, endangered species and migratory species, shows the ecological importance and conservation of the area,” the statement said.

The report was prepared after a site visit in November. Butterflies, birds, and even amphibians were documented in the survey.

The document documents, for example, the large number of rat frogs (Adenomera marmorata). The report emphasizes that “species are rare in urban parks”.

In Jardim Alfomares, 104 bird species were also sighted by the town hall team, which is 22% of the species registered in the municipality. “This number is indicative
of the importance that this green district must ensure high biodiversity in the zone
urban, ”says the report.

The document highlights the araponga (Procnias nudicollis), the tyrant with a red front (Pyrrhura frontalis), the thrush (Turdus flavipes), the guaracava (Elaenia sp.) And the pogo stick (Basileuterus culicivorus). “Remarkable species that normally live in forest areas”.

“Changes in land use and occupation with reduction in lot size and removal of vegetation,” emphasizes the document, “have a quantitative as well as a qualitative effect on the flora of green neighborhoods and, as a result, local extinction of more sensitive fauna species”.

Jardim Alfomares is considered significant vegetation (under Decree 30.443 of 1989) and is therefore immune to pruning, according to the report.

A single visit, which leads to so many animal observations, shows the importance of the heterogeneous forests in the neighborhood, which, according to the text, fulfill “important ecological functions” and are “able to maintain animal communities typical of forest environments”.

“The conservation of significant vegetation would be an important guideline for the conservation of biodiversity in the city of São Paulo,” concludes the document, dated 25th.

A 2006 technical report by the Fundação Florestal, an organ of the São Paulo government, came to a similar conclusion, pointing to endangered flora species such as Trichilia hirta, a tree known as catiguá-arco-de-sieve is known, and Euterpe edulis or Palm Heart Juçara.

The report indicates that the presence of trees over 20 meters high shows the antiquity of this forest remnant. “Given the conservation status of the threatened flora and the rarity of such a lush fragment of the Atlantic forest, it is recommended that the rest of this remnant be completely preserved by reformulating the project.

The controversy over conservation has been going on for two decades

The dispute over Jardim Alfomares, an abbreviation for the name of the former landowner, the Spanish businessman Alfonso Martín Escudero, is old.

After Escudero’s death in March 1990 at the age of 88, he was found in his office on Av. Paulista, an unsolved crime – the land was eventually sold by a daughter adopted in Spain whose existence in Brazil was unknown.

On the site was the Bratke-designed house, surrounded by Burle Marx gardens, a reflective pool, and statues. According to inspection documents, such structures no longer existed at the site in the past ten years. The impact took place in 2002, according to SOS Jardim Alfomares, an association that arose in the battle for the park.

By that point, the construction company had already taken action on the land, including clearing some of the vegetation. As of 2008, deforestation has been linked to invasions by monkeys in search of food, homes in the area, and the Swiss-Brazilian School of São Paulo attached to the property. At least one common marmoset even scratched a student. As a solution, the school began to provide the animals with fruit.

In 2008, the project was brought to a standstill by a public civil lawsuit with several questions from the MP-SP (São Paulo Public Prosecutor’s Office) – regarding the division of the property into smaller plots, which, according to the MP, could make it easier to obtain the building permit ;; the lack of environmental impact assessments; and, consequently, about the legality of the licenses envisaged for construction in the region.

Initially, the MP’s arguments were accepted.

In 2017, the 1st chamber of the TJ-SP (Court of Justice of São Paulo), reserved for the environment, ruled on appeal against the construction company.

On November 18, residents of the area claimed to have struck axes against the vegetation.

Then the movement of the neighbors was resumed by SOS Jardim Alfomares and the Association of Friends of Alto da Boa Vista to try to preserve the green space. The NGO SOS Mata Atlântica also supports the movement.

“Our warning goes to the mayor, the city councilors. It has to be seen as a public utility in the city, ”says Guilherme Rodrigues Alves, president of the neighborhood association. “The construction company is behind schedule. Why are you making it easier for a company like this to destroy the forest? “

Viver is in the process of judicial restructuring.

According to Rodrigues Alves, the solution could be an agreement in which the company gains constructive potential in another area of ​​the city and avoids spending public money on the area. Something similar was done in the construction contract for Parque Augusta.

“The construction company does not deserve to be at a loss, but in order not to be at a loss, it cannot do any harm to the city,” he says, referring to a possible environmental loss in the region.

Another option is to preserve Jardim Alfomares as inheritance, a process that will take shape in the Conpresp audience on Monday.

On two other occasions, residents have tried unsuccessfully to register with the Condephaat, the state agency for cultural heritage.

Another possible outcome for the case could result from a decision by the STJ in which the case is currently pending.

Wanted, the Municipal Secretariat for Green and Environment (SVMA) stated that the TJ “rejected the prosecution’s requests because all the municipal acts in question were considered valid” and that there is therefore no “legal obstacle to the continuation of administrative activities” .

According to the SVMA, the environmental compensation conditions for the area “establish the conservation, transplantation and conversion of seedlings into the community and still allow the suppression of tree samples”.

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