Iracambi

Saving Forests: Changing Lives. Located in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, one of the worlds top five biodiversity hotspots, Iracambi's tagline is "Saving Forests, Changing Lives."
Feb 21, 2017

February News!

Belisarios Landscape - Lots of places to reforest
Belisarios Landscape - Lots of places to reforest

Hello Dear Friends of Forest for Water!

Three more months have passed since our last report. Time flies when you're having a good time and working really hard! So it's time to let you guys know what's going on our growing forest.

At the end of last year, we invited the new agriculture secretary of Muriaé, to know our community reforestation program. Together, we visited one of our model farmers, Dona Lurdinha. You have probably seen some of her pictures receiving seedlings or checking her organic gardening previously.
He was impressed with Lurdinha 's family amazing job of recovering their springs, and transforming a once degraded dry land into a ranch full of life: trees, birds, gardening, coffee and even fish farming (the lady had no water in her property).
Robin and I explained that her farm was a model, and that when we got there, most of the hard work had already been done - we merely donated and helped her plant at least 500 trees. Lurdinha is a perfect example that investing in nature pays back, and when it does, it pays double.

The most important outcome of our meeting was that the municipality knows who we are, what we do, and they are now looking forward to a partnership. We explained that reforestation works perfectly, but in the long term context - people need water right now. One of his campaign promises was that Belisário would have its own machinery to build levels, ponds and other water reservoirs on people's property at no cost. We are familiar with many good people and families that need this assistance- by working together, we can help him carry out his promises.

In addition to this good news, Muriaé is also launching a PES (Payment for Environmental Services) program focusing on water. Though they will only pay small monthly sums, the municipality has already selected 18 farmers that will receive monthly incentives to preserve their springs; that means more people will be willing to take good care of their water and plant trees!

Besides politics and partnerships, we have concluded all the planting efforts. We surpassed our "20 families goal" - Forest 4 Water worked with 22 families in 2016 and only due to the lack of rain throughout the month January were we unable to achieve our goal of planting 5000 seedlings. However, we delivered a bit more than 4600. Now, we are busy visiting many local enthusiastic farmers and preparing the list for this year's planting.

A gigantic thank you for those who believe that if you plant trees, you'll harvest healthy ecosystem services.

From Gui, Fagner, Arielle, Robin, Binka, Toni, Lurdinha and a ever growing family of Forest 4 Water Supporters

Municipalitys group checking Lurdinhas farm
Municipalitys group checking Lurdinhas farm
Trees are growing strong at Lurdinhas Paraiso
Trees are growing strong at Lurdinhas Paraiso
Having lunch with our guests
Having lunch with our guests
Gui, the secretary, Lurdinha and Robin
Gui, the secretary, Lurdinha and Robin

Links:

Dec 13, 2016

End of Year Update

Young Eco Leader at work
Young Eco Leader at work

Dear wonderful donors,

Isn´t it amazing? The year is almost over and we´re all getting ready for the holidays.  And for us, down in the rainforest, it´s time for the summer break - lots of sunshine, lots of rain, and a break after all the ups and downs of this very eventful year!  And f course it´s time for us to catch you up on what has been going at Iracambi during the last quarter. 

Our main focus this quarter has been pollution. No, it´s not something you associate with the rainforest, with our clear skies and sparkling water, but it´s still very much part of our lives - whether through atmospheric pollution, or pollution of soils and water. When we talk atmospheric pollution, our first thoughts are probably connected with carbon emissions - from industry, vehicles and even from burning the forest. Then we might consider the increasing amounts of garbage generated by  the developed and developing worlds. Yes we do have a recycling plant in the local village, and yes we do separate our garbage, but we are still generating a lot of waste. So we decided to hold a round table with the students to reflect on the subject of pollution and waste, together with their causes and consequences. At the end of this module we held a workshop where the students used their creativity to make all sorts of useful objects from recycled materials. A new take on waste.

Buoyed up by this success we then turned our attention to pollution and degradation of soils and water, and as true scientists the students started figuring out solutions. Together with staff, students and local community members they took part in our Forests 4 Water program, rolling up their sleeves and planting seedlings from our forest nursery to protect springs and stream banks. A proactive approach to protecting soils and water before they get degraded and polluted. 

Next we learned about Syntropic Agriculture, as introduced into the region by well known Swiss scientist Ernest Gotsch. This form of agriculture seeks to reintroduce native vegetation without the use of agricultural chemicals. One of the secrets is to create ground cover, covering the soil with a thick blanket of organic matter such as leaves and branches of trees that have been pruned. This reproduces the forest environment, stimulates interactions between pl.ants, and prevents soil erosion during the rainy season - which is right now. It didn´t take the students long to understand the logic behind this activity, (which is contrary to traditional practices that encourage clearing ground cover to discourage snakes and other forms of wildlife.) They were happy to share the reasons behind it with their family members who work on the farms - thereby spreading the good news and impacting ever more people.

All this inspired us with an idea. In our isolated rural area with a shortge of reliable transport and our precarious dirt roads (which can easily become impassable in the rains,) how can we reach more potential ecoleadersit? We decided to use the faithful Kombi van - bought a couple of years ago thanks to a Giving Tuesday campaign. Starting in the New Year, our doughty little Kombi, now baptised the IracaKombi, will be equipped with books, tools, games and, best of all, Iracambi staff and students, and will pay monthly visits to schools and community centers in the region, bringing environmental education to places that we haven´t yet been able to reach, and helping us discover ever more young ecoleaders.All this in conjunction with our regular programs held at Iracambi.

So that is the plan, and we couldn´t wait to share it with you. And of course thank you once again for your amazing support on our recent Giving Tuesday campaign. We don´t yet have the final figures to include matching funds raised that day, but as soon as we know we´ll be sure to update you! 

Have a wonderful holiday season, and we´ll look forward to talking again soon,

rainforest love,

Ari, Luiz, Ana Paula, Leandro, the Eco Leaders and the IraKombi

Art from waste
Art from waste
Recycled Art
Recycled Art
Nov 25, 2016

It's getting better all the time!

Arielle and 500 tree seedlings enjoying the ride
Arielle and 500 tree seedlings enjoying the ride

Hello, dear friends of Forest4Water!

Everything is running smoothly here on our side of the mountains.

We have a whole lot to share and even more to be grateful for - where should we begin?

Let’s begin with the rain J

Summer rains have finally come! With them, our intense reforestation work has begun. Time has been a priceless ally; right after we’d finished preparing all the reforestation plots the first drops started falling from the sky. In the past three weeks, we’ve delivered 2500 tree seedlings to 12 different rural properties. We are more than half way through meeting our main goal of reforesting 20 different plots by the end of December. As our tree nursery keeps expanding and curious rural farmers wish to follow the good steps of theirs neighbors, we’ll easily meet our second goal of 2016: donating a minimum of 5000 tree seedlings to at least 25 different rural families.
 

As if these were not enough good news already, our Forest4Water Project was approved for a partnership with BVSA (Bolsa de Valores Sócio-Ambiental)! This means our initiative has guaranteed one more year of activities. In addition, in 2017, we will have the chance to work with more families and plant more trees in the buffer zone of Serra do Brigadeiro State Park: home of good people, pumas and the great Wooly Spider Monkey.

Once again, we’d like to express our gratitude to all our dear friends, donors and supporters who make our dreams come true day after day. Together we are helping to protect the water, the people and Atlantic Forest’s endangered biodiversity. Not bad at all, right? ;)

 Lots of work to do and trees to plant, so let the pictures speak!

Gui, Fagner, Toni, Arielle, Luiz, Binka and all ReforesTeam!

Arielle, Fagner and Gui send them to their homes
Arielle, Fagner and Gui send them to their homes
Gui preparing the reforestation plots
Gui preparing the reforestation plots
Family farmer Lurdinha happy to see us!
Family farmer Lurdinha happy to see us!
Paty, Arielle and Ronald are always glad to help
Paty, Arielle and Ronald are always glad to help
Ari shows how it
Ari shows how it's done!
ReforesTeam in action
ReforesTeam in action
Gui on his motorcycle
Gui on his motorcycle
One more plot is ready!
One more plot is ready!
Luiz: driver, good friend and tree planter
Luiz: driver, good friend and tree planter
200 baby trees safely arrive at their new home
200 baby trees safely arrive at their new home
Rio Fumaca (now full) and Itajuru Peak on the back
Rio Fumaca (now full) and Itajuru Peak on the back
Ari loves her job!
Ari loves her job!
Gui proving trees are fun
Gui proving trees are fun

Links:

 
   

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