Case Studies

These case studies illustrate how Alcoa is acting upon its commitment to sustainable development throughout the world. We are pleased with this progress, but look forward to achieving even more.

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Brazil - 2008

Saving the Turtles of the Amazon


With some species threatened by extinction, turtles in and around the Juruti region of Brazil have a chance to not only survive but thrive through the combined efforts of Alcoa, community members, and non-governmental organizations focused on saving these Amazonian inhabitants.

In early 2008, Alcoa and the citizens of Juruti helped release almost 7,700 baby turtles into the wild as part of Juruti’s participation in the “Turtles of the Amazon” project. Designed to help citizens in Amazonian communities conserve and manage turtles in their area, the project is a joint effort between the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) through the National Center for Conservation and Management of Reptiles and Amphibians (RAN), as well as Alcoa and the communities.

Long a source of food and other commercial products, Amazonian turtles faced increased pressure due to excessive harvesting, degradation and destruction of their natural habitat, lack of conservation programs, and more. In response, the “Turtles of the Amazon” project began in 1979 and has resulted in the release of more than 56 million baby turtles.

Alcoa became a partner in the project in 2007 after independently working with the local communities in Juruti’s lake regions to release 440 baby turtles. This effort included Alcoa-conducted training on turtle management and conservation that was attended by volunteers from three pilot communities in the Juruti region. The project contributed to a change in the values and behavior of the participants.

“In the past, I invaded nature a lot,” said volunteer Carlos Humberto da Silva Magalhães. “I’ve become aware of just what I was doing, and now I work for the benefit of other communities.”

Today, Alcoa provides financial and other support to the “Turtles of the Amazon” project, which has expanded to 11 communities in the Juruti region. In early 2008, ICMBio opened the Turtle Project Juruti Advanced Research Unit with financial and logistical support from Alcoa. The unit offers a base for nature management, as well as sustainable technologies, permanent environmental education programs, and a children’s club focusing on community schools.