April: children’s literature month

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In April, children’s literature is being celebrated by honoring authors Hans Christian Andersen and Monteiro Lobato. In different times and locations, these authors left a cultural heritage that has withstood time and crossed generations, opening the doors of the world of reading to thousands of children.

In addition to celebrating the importance of these writers, these two dates also promote initiatives encouraging kids and teens to read.

International Children’s Book Day: April 2

shutterstock_313165946Created in 1967 by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), “International Children’s Book Day” pays homage to the birth of Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen. He became famous for his adaptations of internationally-recognized fables and stories like “The Ugly Duckling,” “The Little Mermaid,” “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and “The Snow Queen,” which inspired the Disney film “Frozen.”

Every year, a national section of the IBBY is chosen to represent the date with a local author writing a message to kids to encourage them to read and a local illustrator creating a poster to publicize the celebration and promote reading among kids around the world.

In 2017, “International Children’s Book Day” is celebrating its 50th anniversary, with Russia serving as the representative and author Sergey Makhotin as spokesperson. In his message, he recalls his childhood, the joy of holding a book in one hand and of smelling the new book smell when flipping through the pages.

National Children’s Book Day: April 18

Cultural_1885.qxdCreated in 2002, based on Law no. 10.402, “National Children’s Book Day” celebrates the birth of Monteiro Lobato, the father of Narizinho, Pedrinho and the whole gang from the Sítio do Picapau Amarelo.  Although he also wrote books for adults, he is usually best remembered for his works of children’s literature, where he preserves elements of caipira culture and characters from Brazilian folklore.

Lobato is also considered a pioneer in the area of paradidactic books, used to supplement learning by playfully joining concepts from different knowledge areas with literary narratives.  Titles such as “Aritmética da Emília” (Emília’s Arithmetic), “Emília no país da Gramática” (Emília in the Land of Grammar) and Serões de Dona Benta (Ms. Benta’s Evening Chats) are just a few examples of his legacy in childhood education.

In addition to writing, Lobato translated and adapted various works for the Portuguese language, such as “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll and a compilation of short stories by Hans Christian Andersen, among others. His famous phrase “A country is made with men and books” shows his concern with educational and national culture.

IIP and encouraging reading

DSC_6265Contributing to the social and environmental education of kids and young people is one of the missions of the International Paper Institute. Encouraging reading is one of the cornerstones of IIP, through its Travelling Book City project, which has already visited over 50,000 kids in nine cities in Brazil over the last seven years. The project fosters reading among Primary School students by joining theater and storytelling.

UN wants less plastic in oceans

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The United Nations (UN) launched a global campaign in late February to reduce the amount of plastic in oceans by 2020. The “Clean Seas” initiative is aimed at mobilizing governments, companies and civil society to work towards this goal.

Launched at the World Ocean Summit, the campaign is aimed at different areas of action. Government authorities are responsible for implementing public policies to reduce the plastic use. For companies, the aim is to use less plastic packaging while also encouraging end consumers to change their behavior.

In numbers – According to UN data, 80% of all of the trash in the oceans is made of plastic. This means that nature has an estimated loss of USD 8 billion. If this situation remains unchanged, there is expected to be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.

As a result of this scenario requiring urgent changes, some countries, like Indonesia, which hosted the Oceans Summit in February, and Uruguay have already committed to the goal. Seven other countries have also undertaken this commitment along with them.

Goal – Of all of the types of plastic that reach the oceans, today the two types with the biggest impact on the marine ecosystem are: microplastics contained in cosmetics and disposable packaging. The goal is to eliminate them from the seas by 2020.

New perspective – Aware of the damage that can be caused by improper disposal of plastics, a Mexican startup, EcoDomum, sees an opportunity: turn trash into social housing. In addition to manufacturing paneling used in construction, the company takes part earlier in the chain, with collection and separation of the material.

In 2016 alone, over 500 homes were built. The average cost per 40 m² project is USD 280. The initiative shows that there are viable approaches for plastic to be used differently.

In addition to calling on governments and companies, the UN campaign brings up an important issue: how does changing habits positively affect less harm to the environment? This is where schools and families play an important role in educating future generations, spreading more sustainable practices to reduce plastic waste in nature.

At International Paper, activities coordinated by the IP Institute are aimed at spreading good practices in sustainability and the environment in the communities where the company operates. To do this, the Institute is working in partnership with local schools, offering the EEP (Environmental Education Program), SEE (Social and Environmental Education) and Guardians of the Water projects.

Each reflects the importance of adopting more sustainable habits to recycle, reduce and reuse.

Gardening by mail

Project encourages a mail-based seed exchange

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With e-mail, people now rarely mail letters. But Anaísa Catucci, an executive from Florianópolis, had an original idea that gained over 2,000 followers in just 24 hours: exchanging seeds by mail. That was how the “Seeds around the World” (Sementes pelo Mundo) project started.

The idea began when Anaísa and her boyfriend decided to plant a garden at home. They gave away leftover seeds through social media, drawing thousands of people they did not know and many more than the amount of seeds they had. By joining her love of correspondence and gardening, the executive formed a seed exchange that works by sending letters in the mail with planting instructions.

The project is currently looking for partners to continue to grow and gather stories. Those interested come from different walks of life, ranging from parents that want to show their kids how a seed germinates to those that have lost loved ones and find gardening to be therapeutic.

Plants in education – International Paper Institute has had the “Nature and Body” project at the Três Lagoas (MS) units since 2013. The goal of the initiative is to spread regional culture by growing herbs and planting community gardens at public schools.

By 2015, “Nature and Body” had brought back the tradition, with plants used by our grandparents in teas and cooking, showing how they benefit our health. Last year, the project entered a new phase and brought the garden to school. In a multidisciplinary proposal, the initiative brought together teachers from various subject areas, who used the garden beds to explain content from the traditional curriculum, connecting theory and practice.

“World Water Day” turns 25

Instituted by the UN in 1992, the date encourages reflection on ration use of water resources

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A quarter of a century ago, the United Nations declared March 22 to be “World Water Day,” raising awareness among government authorities and the population about the use of this vital resource for survival on the planet.

With this date, the UN also announced the Universal Declaration of Water Rights, a document highlighting the value of water and of environmental preservation for life in ten items, recalling the finite nature of natural resources, which is worsened by Man’s predatory behavior.

Although 2/3 of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, less than 1% is suitable for human consumption. Added to this is insufficiency in distribution and treatment to supply water to all of the people in the world. According to information from the United Nations, over 80% of sewage produced by humans returns to nature without being treated in any way. And outlooks show that the demand for potable water will increase 50% by 2030.

In light of this scenario, it is fundamental that everyone participate so that environmental awareness is spread to all sectors of society, through sustainable actions that fully use the potential of water.

Universal Declaration of Water Rights

1-Water is part of the planet’s patrimony;

2-Water is the vital fluid of our planet;

3-The natural resources that turn water into drinking water are slow, fragile and very limited;

4-The balance and future of our planet depends on preserving water and its cycles;

5-Water is not just the heritage of our predecessors; it is, more than anything, a loan to our successors;

6-Water is not freely donated by nature; it has an economic value: it must be recognized that it is, at times, rare and costly and that it could very well become scarce in any region of the world;

7-Water should not be wasted, polluted or poised;

8-Using water means respecting the law;

9-Water management places a balances between the imperatives of its protection and needs of an economic, sanitary and social order;

10-Water management planning should consider solidarity and consensus based on its unequal distribution on Earth.

The role of the industry

In addition to changing habits among the population, “World Water Day” reinforces the importance of industries adopting good practices for sustainable production, developing solutions and applications to reuse water that is not fit for consumption, but that is fundamental in production processes and in factory operations.

At IP, 95% of water used in the paper manufacturing process is treated before returning to nature or is reused. The company is not only committed to sustainable production, but also understands its social role of contributing to the social and environmental education of kids and young people through International Paper Institute projects.

Take part in the Guardians of the Water 2017 Award

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Activities held this year in the Luiz Antônio (SP) region

 After visiting Rio Verde (GO) in 2016, the next edition of the Guardians of the Water project will be held in the heartland of the state of São Paulo, covering the public Primary Schools in the municipalities of Luiz Antônio, Guatapará, São Simão and Altinópolis.

The International Paper Institute (IIP) team responsible for the initiative has already concluded the announcement stages and now the schools should get ready to submit their projects.

The Guardians of the Water takes place in stages during the entire school year and aims to get the academic community to reflect on conscientious use of water resources. More than discussing the theory, students and their teachers are encouraged to develop water-saving proposals that can be put into practice. The winning learning institutions will each win a BRL 7,000 prize to make their ideas a reality and turn them into improvements for everyone.

Participating schools should complete the registration form and submit it by e-mail to sabrina.tenello@ipaper.com by April 28.

Below are links to information on the call for projects:

1 – Opening Call for Projects

2 –Registration Form

3 – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

4 – Guide for completion of the registration form

If you have any questions, please contact:

Sabrina Tenello: (16) 3986-9073 / sabrina.tenello@ipaper.com
Julia Valadares: (16) 3986-9076 / julia.valadares@ipaper.com