Copa Verde 2021 champions take home trophies that promote Responsible Forest Management

BVRio’s Design & Sustainable Wood Initiative has played a key part in reinforcing the role of small-scale producers in the Amazon by facilitating the production of wooden trophies for the final of the Brazilian Copa Verde Football tournament, which took place this weekend. BVRio worked with FSC® Brazil and The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) who joined efforts to implement sustainable actions related to the football championship with support of Brazil’s Environment Ministry.

The finalist teams were ‘Remo’ from the State of Para, in the North region and ‘Vila Nova’ from Goias, a State in Brazil’s mid-western region. At home, Remo made history by winning the Copa Verde for the first time. To take the title, the team overcame Vila Nova by 4-2 in the penalty shootout, at the Baenão stadium, in Belém, the capital of Para.

Image: Silvio GarridoThe Amazon forest also joined the celebration as the champion team and the best player of the final match, Ronald from Remo, won trophies made of FSC-certified native wood, produced by craftsmen from Movelaria Anambé, a community-led furniture manufacturer associate of Coomflona (Cooperativa Mista da Floresta Nacional do Tapajós), and conceived by designers Guido Guedes and Alessandra Delgado.

Coomflona has held the 100% community forest management seal by FSC since 2013 and proves the importance of small producers in forest conservation. Today, they are partners of the Design & Sustainable Wood Initiative, run by BVRio in partnership with the FSC to bring renowned designers to the community and enable workshops, knowledge exchanges and connections of Amazon’s community entrepreneurs to the market. “Producing this award is very important to us, because we were able to show everything that can be done within a cooperative run by people from the countryside, such as riverside people,” says Arimar Feitosa Rodrigues, coordinator of the community-led furniture manufacturer.

Currently, about 200 people work at Coomflona on forest management. “Since 2005, the year of our foundation, living conditions have improved a lot”, says Arimar. “With the FSC certification, we are able to show high-end clients all the work we do and find fairer prices”, he adds. Among the advancements, Arimar reports the decrease in deforestation, the increase in income and access to education. “These are all visible when we go to the communities, and each year we reap better results”.

 

The story behind the trophies

The champion trophy, created by the renowned Brazilian designer Guido Guedes, was made of itaúba, garapeira, ipê and muiracatiara woods. The contrasting colours of the different timber species highlight the diversity of the Brazilian flora and the multifaceted blades invite you to compose trilogies, such as ‘Defence, Midfield and Attack’, ‘Personal, Family and Social’ or even ‘Team, Opponent and Competition’. “The entire piece is made from solid wood responsibly managed and FSC-certified,” states Guido.

To design the trophy of the best player of the final match, the artist Alessandra Delgado was inspired by the importance of nature and its connection with man. “The sphere symbolises a large tree top embraced by the majestic tree’s trunk, as a nature’s hug, at the same time refers to the ball at stake, to the union of the team in play,” she explains. Itaúba, muiracatiara and piquiarana woods were used to produce this trophy.

The logos were engraved at the Tramontina factory in Belém, where it is the production of wooden furniture for indoor and outdoor areas and domestic utilities. Tramontina, a large and traditional Brazilian company that manufactures home appliances in different materials, has FSC chain of custody certification for its wood products, which enables the traceability of forest origin products and guarantees the consumer the use of raw materials from managed forests, according to strict rules and criteria that take into consideration social, environmental and economic aspects.

Image: Silvio Garrido

Football and sustainability

Copa Verde became, in 2016, the first zero carbon football competition in Brazil and has already offset more than 1,000 tonnes of carbon by planting, in the Xingu region alone, 5,000 trees in an agroforestry regime. In this edition, 210 more tons of CO2 will be offset and 914 trees will be planted in the city of Altamira, in the state of Para. Furthermore, the tournament held the initiative to remove more than five tonnes of PET bottles from the environment, the equivalent of 200,000 little bottles. “Football is a powerful tool for sustainability education”, says Carlos Henrique Rodrigues Alves, sustainability consultant for the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), adding that “more than a hundred pickers were involved in this operation, generating income for their families”.

Apart from promoting an environmentally friendly economy, Copa Verde also supported social inclusion of the communities involved by BVRio’s Design & Sustainable Wood initiative. Beto Mesquita, Director of Forestry and Public Policy at BVRio, explains that the Initiative aims to add value to the wood coming from community-based sustainable forest management in the Brazilian Amazon. “We believe that everyone should benefit from the green economy and we seek to support the most vulnerable social groups in the sectors in which we operate,” he highlights.

Copa Verde’s champion won R$150,000 Reais and a spot in the third round of the Brazil’s Federal Cup. This season, the total value of CBF’s awards in the championship was worth R$ 1.5 million. All participating teams received financial incentives from the first phase, which for many of them is extremely significant.

 

Union for responsible forest management

In 2017, with support from Brazil’s Environment Ministry, CBF and FSC Brazil joined forces to implement sustainable actions regarding the Copa Verde tournament towards promoting responsible management of Brazilian forests. “By bringing together two national passions, football and the Amazon, we proved that a championship focused on socio-environmental practices can exist,” says Daniela Vilela, executive director of FSC Brazil. The following year, BVRio’s Design & Sustainable Wood Initiative was invited to reinforce the partnership, valuing community management.

 

Photo credits: Silvio Garrido, 2021.