The Aparados da Serra and Serra Geral national parks on the border between Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul were the first parks to be auctioned this Monday by the current management of the Ministry of the Environment (MMA) (11).
Neighbors and with integrated management, they are known as the land of canyons because of the vast vertical slopes pierced by waterfalls and rivers.
According to MMA, the concession has an estimated investment value of R $ 260 million over a period of 30 years.
The auction closed with an initial bid of R $ 20.5 million, 2,700% more than the minimum bid of R $ 718,000. Five other companies also submitted proposals: Soul Parque, Parque Sul, Agro Latina, Consortium Aparados da Serra and Parques dos Cânions.
The winning group is Construcap, which also won the concession for Ibirapuera Park granted by the city of São Paulo in 2019. According to an MMA note, the group will be responsible for the revitalization, modernization, operation, maintenance and management of the parks and will provide tourist support services including food, parking, security and others.
“It’s a celebration for the industry. Construcap is sending signals that it will take this sector seriously. BNDES is modeling 36 parks. The market for the concession of nature parks is underway and the scenario is becoming robust ”, assesses Guilherme Naves, partner at Radar PPP Consultancy.
One of the priorities on Environment Minister Ricardo Salles’ agenda, the concession of national parks, has also been adopted by BNDES under the Investment Partnership Program (PPI), which includes another 13 national parks in the list of ongoing concessions on the website of the program in collaboration with the Chico Mendes -Institute for the Conservation of Biodiversity (ICMBio), an MMA facility that is responsible for managing conservation units.
“Given the concerns I expressed at the beginning of the government when the announcement was that the child was yours, today I rate the concession communication positively, which includes complementary capabilities from MMA, BNDES and ICMBio. This is good for balancing contracts that were also kept through the Federal Accounts Court, which is another example of validation, ”says Fernando Pieroni, President and Director of Instituto Semeia, an NGO that promotes partnerships to improve access to parks .
The park concessions are aimed at services for the public, so that the management of the protection of biological diversity remains the responsibility of the ICMBio (Chico Mendes Institute for the Conservation of Biological Diversity), a federal authority.
However, environmental managers are concerned about the possible reduction in ICMBio’s autonomy in managing nature reserves. In addition to the BNDES joining the park concession program, the MMA set up a Biodiversity Secretariat last year, the goals of which are similar to those of the ICMBio.
“As far as we are concerned, the tendency to prefer only concession companies, without the same concern for nature conservation, is to strengthen the governing body, in this case ICMBio, and especially local and traditional communities,” says Cláudio Maretti, former President of ICMBio. “For example, in the case of the Aparados da Serra and Serra Geral national parks, we have at least one quilombola community that should be given the conditions to use community-based tourism, even if this is linked to the concession of services,” he emphasizes.
The benefits for the entrepreneur pointed out by the environmental managers in the report include the exemptions from the payment of the grant for future projects and payment by percentage of the collection, the reduction of fees and counterparts as support for research and environmental education, and the withdrawal of bonuses that support community activities.
The concession of the parks Aparados da Serra and Serra Geral also faces the challenge of land regulation. According to ICMBio, the Union has yet to acquire private land, equivalent to 82.5% of Serra Geral’s parking area and 29.7% in the case of Aparados da Serra. The concessionaire would have the option to pay the compensation, as the areas correspond to those identified in the basic design of the concession as potential tourist attractions.
Construcap said in a note to Folha that “it will be enthusiastically evaluating the park concession segment and waiting for the other stages of the bidding process to manifest”.
Wanted, the Environment Minister did not return to contact the report. We are a family business.