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Sep 4, 2019

Forest Fire, and small actions changing the world!

Dear Rainforest Guardians,

Have you ever seen the sky darken, and DAY become NIGHT?

I bet you are wondering, HOW is this even possible?

Well unfortunately it is, and it’s happening right now in Brazil.

Right now, all eyes are on Brazil and the largest rainforest and biodiversity reserve on Earth. The reason could not be worse: the Amazon is on fire.

The biome is experiencing the largest surge of wildfires in Brazil in 7 years. There is nothing new in the phenomenon itself, the Amazon has always suffered from wildfires associated with land clearing. But how did it get so out of control?

According to data from INPE (National Institute for Space Research), the number of forest fires increased by 83% between January and August 2019 compared to the same period of 2018.

In the dry season, forest is fuel. At this time of year (July to September), a large number of fire outbreaks are detected from space by INPE.

Scientific studies show that the burning of this region usually results from the type of land use. It has become common practice to slash and burn vegetation to prepare the land for planting.

The events of 2019 have come as a surprise to specialists as the dry season is not as severe as in previous years, nor have extreme weather events such as El Niño warranted a considerable increase in fire outbreaks. In addition, the dry season is usually at its peak in September. In other words, mankind has contributed heavily to the devastation this year.

In addition, the smoke from the wildfires is causing a ‘kettle-effect’ and surrounding populations are suffering from the aftermath of the outbreaks of fire in the south of the state and the metropolitan region.

With these worrying developments, we need your support more than ever! We are becoming increasingly concerned and fearful about the next actions of the Brazilian government.

One thing is certain, we must never give up, we have to unite and act. We can't just stand by and watch!!!

We need everyone to do their part, because TOGETHER we are stronger!!!

And now, some positive news of the good deeds being done to protect our environment…

This quarter we continued to monitor the trees planted in 2018, and we have more information to share!

Excited?

We have observed that a lot of seedlings are doing well, such as the Red Angico, a fast-growing, leguminous native tree that has medicinal properties. Another species doing well is Embaúba, a pioneer tree that is fast growing, attracts many birds, monkeys and bats and serves as a habitat for ants.

We always conduct an analysis of the area to be planted so we can plan the best species to plant and improve their survival rate.

Usually in pastures, we opt for pioneer species (fast growing, organic matter, etc.) to form a forest base. This prepares the area for primary and secondary species which are more demanding in terms of organic matter, fertile soil, water, shade, etc.

We also plant in places where there is natural regeneration, and / or forest fragments. However, care must be taken to ensure that the environmental conditions are adequate for the seedlings.

In recent months we have been monitoring with the help of 2 volunteers: Sien, from the Netherlands and Francesco from Italy, who are conducting research on our reforestation efforts, we are looking forward to seeing the results and sharing them with you!

We have found that some seedlings were varying greatly from producer to producer in terms of development, nutrition, growth and mortality. To address this, we donated R$100 to each producer so they can pay a third party to help with the maintenance of the seedlings.

We are currently using our findings to help us choose species and plan visits for the 2019 planting. We are now at the end of August and the wet season will soon be upon us.

In other good news, thanks to your support the nursery has been able to make some much needed improvements! The composting area has been transformed this past month, take a look at how it is doing! It is now bigger and has more partitions to allow more room for mixing and application of Effective Microorganisms (EM), the biofertilizer we talked about in the last report. We have also repaired the fence around the nursery to keep our seedlings safe and secure.

That’s it for now dear supporters, we are looking forward to the rains and to updating you soon!

With love, thanks and rainforest hugs,

Arielle, Deivid, Produtores & Mother Earth

Links:

Aug 30, 2019

BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE MAGIC OF NATURE

BUILDING PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE MAGIC OF NATURE

As we mentioned in our last report, we recently received around 40 teachers and students from a neighbouring school for a fun-filled day of discovery and hiking here in the beautiful Atlantic Rainforest.

To prepare for the long walk we did a warm up activity, mimicking the behavior of animals and plants that live in the forest. 

After setting off, the group soon came across many natural treasures which they were asked to memorize. Both the children and the teachers entered the forest with curious excitement. The hike was fantastic, full of fun facts and curiosities such as a small caterpillar hanging by an invisible thread that floated above our heads like magic!

But nature is full of magic,  just like the small seeds that grow into entire forests that delight young and old alike, enabling endless opportunities to bring people together.

Speaking of people coming together, the highlight of this quarter was marked by partnering with FOREA - Regional Forum for Environmental Education, whose forums are extremely important in the process of transformation of environmental education in the Serra do Brigadeiro region.

Through the participation of this Forum, Iracambi trained 50 teachers in using sensory, hands-on methods to generate impactful learning outcomes. In the training workshops teachers realized that it is possible to connect classroom learning to environmental education in spaces within the neighborhood, community square and even in the school yard itself, making a real TRANSFORMATION in the lives of students.

Through the magic of nature, training and activities with the children in the forest, everybody wins. So to YOU dear donor, we say a massive THANK YOU for playing an indispensable role in our mission of Saving Forests and Transforming Lives!

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Aug 9, 2019

Integrated Chicken Coop and Vegetable Garden

Integrated Chicken Coop and Vegetable Garden 

The aim of this project designed by interns and students from the IF Rio Pomba Agroecology course, is to show how the cultivation of vegetables can be integrated with the rearing of birds (chickens).

In this case, the vegetable beds are positioned next to the chicken coop.

All "waste" from cleaning the garden (fallen leaves, weeds, etc.) are offered as food to the chickens.

When cleaning the chicken coop, the waste is collected (faeces), which serve as organic fertilizer for the garden.

With this system, a family living in rural areas can have, in a small space, an organic production of vegetables and also an organic source of meat and eggs (protein), all without the use of industrialized fertilizers.

The community-built project was a great success due to the dedication and energy from the students, They proved to be both proactive and creative, building the entire structure using reused materials.
 
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