“There’s nothing more terrifying than a wall of fire advancing across your backyard,” says Ronnie Gibson, a volunteer firefighter in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. “I was completely caught off guard by a fire in my neighborhood 12 years ago. The fire approached at an alarming rate and razed my house. That was my call to action. I realized the community was totally unprepared to deal with such forces of nature.”
Today, Gibson is at the forefront of firefighting activities in a subtropical place where the summers are typically long, hot, and humid. In this part of Brazil, fires have been increasing in frequency and intensity due to changes to the climate and in agricultural practices. Gibson is a member of Brigada Carcará, a volunteer organization working in alignment with the local municipal firefighting agencies to protect the environment through the prevention and control of forest fires.
“A lot of our work revolves around educating people about the need for an ecologically balanced environment,” he explains. “We also provide support to communities and wildlife affected by natural and environmental disasters.”
- Prevent forest fires through improved monitoring capabilities and relevant data analysis.
- Salvage and reestablish apiaries in partnership with Cresan, a local NGO dedicated to preserving and protecting the 130 species of native bees throughout the region.
- Revive and replant forests impacted by fires – tasks include analysis of charred lands and tree remnants and the management of nurseries for growing native species for reforestation.
Whereas some of the analytical tasks may have taken several days to complete, now they are done in a matter of minutes.
Pif Paf, a leading Brazilian producer of meat and poultry, and Grupo LPJ, the SAP implementation partner that got the application up and running, were keen to help SAP develop the application.
Like SAP, whose purpose is to run better and improve people’s lives, these companies are equally focused on improving life for people and the planet. Pif Paf has its own recipe for maintaining continuous sustenance in the world’s fifth largest country. A member of the Global Compact, with over 1,000 food products for national and international consumption, the company has been a leader in the humane handling of animals on farms and their journey to slaughter.
At the forefront of the fight against forest fires since 2014, Brigada Carcará was called out a total of 310 times since 2020, playing a prominent role in protecting the region’s natural and cultural heritage.
“Thanks to the SAP application, we are much better prepared,” says Gibson. “We’re also able to exchange data and best practices with other parts of the country and even other countries like Portugal that are suffering from extreme conditions conducive to forest fires.”
For nature and communities, whichever way you look at it, it’s a win-win for all.