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IBGE boards in the VI Low São Francisco Scientific Expedition, takes citizenship to riverside communities

Section: IBGE | Heitor Montes e Nathalia Leal

November 22, 2023 04h13 PM | Last Updated: November 24, 2023 03h06 PM

For the first time ever, the IBGE takes part in the Low São Francisco Scientific Expedition, which will cross the stretch of São Francisco River between the states of Alagoas and Sergipe. Picture: Heitor Montes/IBGE

Sailing round the São Francisco River, the Magnífica vessel represents an unprecedented milestone in the IBGE history: it is the first time that the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics takes part in the Low São Francisco Scientific Expedition. Currently in its sixth edition, the Expedition, organized by the Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL), is the biggest event in this category in Brazil. It comprises 100 researchers and support personnel, either in river or in land, and nearly 30 institutions that deal with several research lines, from archeology to ichthyofauna. Involving six vessels, the expedition will cross the stretch of the São Francisco River between the states of Alagoas and Sergipe.

Between November 21 and 30, the Expedition will begin in the municipality of Piranhas (AL) and will pass through the municipalities of Pão de Açúcar, Traipu, São Brás, Propriá (SE), Igreja Nova, Penedo, Piranhas and Piaçabuçu, and will be the temporary home of two IBGE officers along the next ten days: Silvânia Vila Nova and Vinicius Andrade, of the IBGE Superintendencies of Alagoas and Sergipe. Resulting from an intense inter-institutional articulation, the journey also involves the efforts of a number of officers in land, related to the Superintendencies of Alagoas, Bahia and Sergipe.

“I am happy to host the IBGE,” stated environmentalist Jackson Borges, popularly known as “River Master” for more than 50 years dedicated to the “Old Chico”, during the preparation of the journey. The warm reception to the IBGE is replicated by professor Emerson Soares, one of the creators of the Expedition, who considered the IBGE as a “top-notch partner,” during the ceremony that opened the Expedition this Tuesday (21) in Piranhas.

The IBGE team that participated in the opening with the flags of the IBGE, Alagoas and Sergipe. Picture: Divulgação/IBGE
The opening session counted with the IBGE Superintendent of the SES-AL, Alcides Tenorio Jr., at left. Picture: Heitor Montes/IBGE
Neison Freire and Silvânia Vila Nova with the Municipal Secretary of Education of Piranhas (AL), after receiveing their kits. Picture: Heitor Montes/IBGE
Alcides Tenorio Jr, Neison Freire and Rose Mary Gomes speaking in the opening session. Picture: Heitor Montes/IBGE
Audience watching the opening session. Picture: Heitor Montes/IBGE
Teachers and students with the IBGE team after the presentation of IBGEeduca. Picture: Heitor Montes/IBGE
Piranhas student checks the folder-map distributed in the presentation of IBGEduca. Picture: Heitor Montes
Landscape of São Francisco River in Piranhas. Picture: Heitor Montes/IBGE

The warmest reception, however, comes from schools, and it is not only originated by the hinterland or by the low humidity that involves the semiarid atmosphere of Piranhas, the first one of ten cities to be visited. It is human warmth, represented by children and teenagers who participate in the presentation of the IBGEduca project.

“By means of the actions of the SDIs involved in this Expedition, the IBGE is reaching schools in the municipalities of the Low São Francisco River, counting on printed IBGEduca material especially produced for these places. These actions and material are twice as important: they are tools to disseminate our information, including maps and Census results, as well as provide students and educators with the institutional image of the IBGE as the official source of information about Brazil,” stated Renata Corrêa, manager of Educational Affairs.

The work of geographic and statistical literacy, represented by the educational presentations, is the flagship of the participation of the IBGE in the VI Low São Francisco Scientific Expedition. The Expedition has been a chance to field test a pilot project, which involves off-line presentations of IBGEduca, with data adapted to the local reality of the places visited, without the use of the Internet.

IBGEduca Off-Line

Fanfare and marching band marked the beginning of the first day of IBGEduca Off-Line, held in the City Counselor Demócrito Damasceno Ventura Multi-Sport Gymnasium. On-board officers Vila Nova and Andrade carried out the presentations for kids, who also received the folder-map of the Low São Francisco, another unprecedented product, produced with the support of the national IBGE. Teachers received copies of the Fueller Icosahedron, available on the project website, for activities with students and the municipal secretariats of education also received an educational material, with IBGE publications.

Concentrated faces, raised hands and excitement of kids marked the round of presentations. The project version is split into two moments: in the first one, an overview of the IBGE activities and major data, including the places; in the second one, a more playful moment, with plays available on the website, though off-line.

The reach of these activities is multiple. Although mainly targeted to kids, a flagship presentation was made to those assisted by the Service of Conviviality and Strengthening of Bonds, which fosters socio-education activities after hours in which children and teenagers up to 16 years of age in situation of social vulnerability are not inside the classroom.

“This moment was very rich, full of knowledge, and kids returning with a lot of learning to their homes. It was great being here, participating in this moment,” stated Marileide Ventura, officer of the Service of Conviviality.

Beginning in the morning, the presentations extended along the entire afternoon until right before sunset. Júlia Fortes, one of the teachers in charge of Arco Íris School, the last one to watch the presentations, highlighted that the activities bring “a content aimed at the Northeast, with information transmitted dynamically and clearly.”

Finally, the sun sets in the caatinga and closes the first day of the IBGE in this unprecedented journey. Officers return either to the boat or to the land. Nine more cities will be visited until November 30 in the mouth of São Francisco River, closing in Penedo (AL).

Besides the presentation of IBGEduca Off-Line, the IBGE Supervision of Information Dissemination of SES-AL also launched the Geospatial Database of the Low São Francisco, the thematic map of the region, and the book Municipal Socioeconomic Profile and Geo-environmental Aspects of Low São Francisco, the latter produced in partnership with the Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL).

Authorities and representatives from several offices present in the opening ceremony

“To take part in the expedition is a way for the IBGE to fulfill its institutional mission. After collecting the surveys, we manage to return to the population, especially the poorer one, the information required to guarantee their citizenship,” stated Alcides Tenorio Jr., the IBGE Superintendent in Alagoas, in the opening ceremony of the VI Low São Francisco Scientific Expedition, at the Miguel Arcanjo Cultural Center, on the banks of São Francisco River, in the municipality of Piranhas (AL).

The ceremony also gathered professor Emerson Soares, Coordinator of the Expedition, Eliane Cavalcanti, UFAL´s Vice-Dean, Sônia da Costa, Director of Social Technology, Solidarity Economy and Assistive Technology of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Paulo Faria, Director of Development and Innovation of the Ministry of Fishing and Aquaculture, Leonéa Santiago, Advisor of the National Secretariat of Amateur Sports, Education, Leisure and Social Inclusion of the Ministry of Sports, Tiago Freitas, Mayor of Piranhas, Valter Joviniano, Dean of the Federal University of Sergipe (UFS), Maciel Oliveira, President of the Commitee of the Hydrographic Basin of the São Francisco River, Lieutenant Commander Alexandre Azevedo, representative from the Brazilian Navy and State Representative Inácio Loiola.

Alcides Tenorio presented the book Municipal Socioeconomic Profile and Geo-environmental Aspects of Low São Francisco, organized by Neison Cabral, researcher and supervisor of the IBGE Information Dissemination Section in Alagoas (SDI), and Rose Mary Gomes, UFAL´s Communication Advisor. Launched by Edufal, the book brings IBGE data on the 93 municipalities of the region of the Low São Francisco. “Besides returning the result of the surveys to their informants, we aim at strengthening the perception of territory in order to shape future citizens,” highlighted Tenorio. UFAL´s professor Emerson Soares celebrated the participation of the IBGE: “It is a top-notch partner, producing up-to-date material that will help the environmental and social policies of the Low São Francisco.”

Distribution of books and event of IBGEduca: the participation of the IBGE in the Expedition

During the Expedition, the IBGE will donate 24 kits to school libraries of the Municipal Secretariats of Education. The first donation of two kits of IBGE publications was to the municipality of Piranhas, received by secretary Pablo da Conceição. The kits include nearly 720 institutional books, among IBGE school atlases and 500 editions of the Municipal Socioeconomic Profile and Geo-environmental Aspects of Low São Francisco, with 500 detailed maps of the region.

In Piranhas, four presentations were carried out to children and teenagers of its schools, at the City Counselor Demócrito Damasceno Ventura Gymnasium. In these presentations, kids learned a little about the IBGE production, especially about the Population Census. Using playful plays and a lot of interactions, students also learned selected data of the 2022 Census, Municipal Agricultural Production (PAM) and Municipal Livestock Survey (PPM) of the cities where they live. All the students and teachers who participated in these presentations gained icosahedrons and folder-maps. “They are going home taking a little of the IBGE,” explained Neison Freire.

On November 28, the IBGE will carry out a presentation on the Geospatial Database of the Low São Francisco at the Development Company of the Valleys of São Francisco and Parnaíba (CODEVASF), in the municipality of Penedo, as well as several other channels to access IBGE data about the region.

Know the Expedition

The biggest scientific expedition in Brazil counts with nearly 100 persons among researchers and support personnel, and 35 research lines, being supported by 27 institutions.

In its five first editions, the expedition collected 1,200 biological samples per year and repopulated 100 thousand fingerlings, provided 5 thousand health exams to the riverside, indigenous and quilombola population and 1,500 buccal exams in children of the region.

The current edition donated nearly 30 notebooks, 20 data shows and eight tractors to schools and communities of the Low São Francisco region.

Professor Soares closed his speech stating: “We will fight for this river, we will make something to this population forgotten by public authorities. Let´s believe that we can change that reality. Hurrah the expedition!”

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