The meeting was requested by the Dutch Consulate and happened last Wednesday (20), in the Rectory building, in Ouro Preto. At the meeting, topics about mining and sustainability were discussed, especially in reference to Samarco’s dam burst, which occurred in November, 2015.
The Netherlands has significant experience in water management, and the Dutch companies mission, headed by the country's consulate, is in Brazil to attend the International Mining Exhibition (Exposibram) and the Brazilian Mining Congress, which take place in Belo Horizonte, and to convey knowledge in the areas damaged by mud. Therefore, UFOP, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES) were chosen to receive them with the purpose of seeking partnership possibilities and implementing discussions in biological, social, geological and mining areas.
Maarten Rusch, Deputy Head of Mission of the Netherlands, who works in Rio de Janeiro, affirms the importance of the meeting in order to assist in environmental issues in mining areas, combining technology and academic knowledge. "It's very interesting because we know that the universities in the region have a lot of knowledge in local situations and in technology, and we want to connect that knowledge," he points out.
Dirk-Jan Koch, the Dutch government's Natural Resources Special Envoy, also leads the mission and was present at the meeting. Koch is attached to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and holds a position equivalent to a sustainability ambassador. In addition, he is a mining specialist, diplomat, writer, social scientist and professor of Economic Development and International Trade at Radboud University. At Exposibram, Koch will give a lecture on Thursday (21), whose theme is "The Role of Mining in Water Governance."
"I believe that it can be very positive to maintain these contacts, in order to collaborate researchers from UFOP with researchers and companies that have technology abroad. This can result not only in scientific products but also in solutions in the area affected by the dam burst", says UFOP vice-rector Hermínio Arias Nalini Júnior, who also raised the possibility of working in other regions, focusing on social and environmental issues.
The meeting was also attended by professors Sérgio Francisco de Aquino, pro-rector of research and graduate studies, Hermani Mota Lima, deputy director of the School of Mines and Yasmine Antonini, from the Department of Biodiversity, Evolution and Environment. After the meeting in Ouro Preto, the consulate team went to Mariana for a meeting with Mayor Duarte Gonçalves Junior.
EXPOSIBRAM - It is the biggest event of the mining sector in Brazil. In its 17th edition, Dutch companies present their experiences to develop joint solutions in Brazilian reality. Four main themes are part of the mission's program: dam management, water resource monitoring and efficiency, potable water and liquid wastes treatment.