Junior Scientists at Iracambi transforms schoolkids in Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest into forest guardians. Through hands-on education they learn real science, collecting and monitoring data on soils and water, making, planting and caring for forest seedlings, and sharing their discoveries with their families. Our weekly education program is helping raise a new generation to understand and care for the rainforests that shelter biodiversity, protect water resources and help regulate our climate.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
One of the world's top five biodiversity hotspots, the Atlantic Rainforest is a place of extraordinary beauty and a treasure house of endangered and endemic species. The traditional view of forests as a resource to be exploited has led to a severe reduction in forest cover, pushing some species such as the rare and beautiful wooly spider monkey, to the brink of extinction, while unsustainable farming has led to soil erosion, pressure on water resources and a vicious cycle of rural poverty.
How will this project solve this problem?
Iracambi's Junior Scientists make tree seedlings, plant and care for young trees, track changes in forest cover and water quality, share the results with their families, and promote new ways of conservation farming that bring money to poor farmers. The schoolkids collect data for the Iracambi Geographical Information System which produces maps featuring forest cover, water resources and land use in a way that is instantly attractive and understandable to students and their families
Potential Long Term Impact
While the fate of the rainforest affects everyone, its survival depends largely on those who live in it. Our Junior Scientists program inspires and equips 150 schoolchildren with the tools they need to understand the connection between restoring forests, protecting soils and water and living better. Through developing knowledge, skills and ability among the younger generation we are raising a new breed of forest guardians to value and care for the rainforests on which our future depends.
Total Funding Received to Date: $65,200
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $4,800
Total Funding Goal: $70,000