Apr 12, 2021

Lets give Earth a present on her special day!

Happy Earth Day!
Happy Earth Day!

Hey there, friends, donors and supporters wherever you are on this beautiful earth! 

We hope you are doing well and that you can finally see light at the end of the covid tunnel? 

And we want to give you a special vote of thanks for your amazing support to our reforestry program. And to remind you that next week is Earth Day. It´s not just Earth Day, it´s Climate Action Week (April 19-23) so let´s get busy! 

Because the climate crisis won´t wait.   

And because the Earth does so much for us every minute of every day, we´d like to invite you to join us in giving her a big, beautiful present on her special day.  

Can you guess what it is?

No, it´s not the sort of present that comes gift wrapped with a big bow. It´s more like the gift that keeps on giving.

Here´s the scoop. We´re going to plant, not 10,000, not 20,000, not 30,000 but 55,000 rainforest trees by the end of next year. All part of restoring the majestic Atlantic Forest.

Fifty acres of rainforest. Storing carbon, providing clean air and fresh water, restoring habitat for forest animals and helping keep zoonotic dieases where they belong. Because when we destroy habitat, we increase the likelihood of these diseases spreading to humans. And causing a catastrophic pandemic like covid19 that spreads around the world like wildfire.

Together we can restore the forest, mitigate the effects of global warming and help avoid the next pandemic. How cool is that?  

One important headsup. The project that was selected to feature in this year´s Climate Action Campaign is  Forests4Water   and donations to that link will attract matching funding.

So will you join us in saying a big thank you to this beautiful planet? Here´s how you can help. Would you be on for spreading the word in your networks of friends, family and colleagues, and asking them to join you in donating to the big birthday present for Planet Earth? All donations, whether one off or monthly, are matched at 100% for the first $100 - how about that for an easy way to double your impact?

Thank you so much, dear donors, please take care and we´ll talk soon,

with rainforest love from the Iracambi Tree Planting Team 

PS Don´t forget to tell everyone about the 100% matching funds! (Thank you, GlobalGiving!) 

Apr 7, 2021

Trees, trees and more trees!

Forest nursery
Forest nursery

Dear wonderful donors,

First and foremost, we want to send you a big thank you for your unfailingly generous support for this forestry project. Thanks to you we raised over $65,000 in fifteen months, and reached a whole new level of excellence.

Which means that we´re now in a position to do more – far more, and, hopefully, far better. 

Backing up a little. When we started planting trees, twenty-something years ago, we did it because we understood that it was the most important thing that we could do.

That was before most people were even dimly aware of climate change.

Now it’s very different and it’s increasingly obvious that there is no time to waste. And as a member of a coalition of Brazilian organizations dedicated to restoring the Atlantic Forest (Pact for the Restoration of the Atlantic Forest), we take our joint commitment very seriously indeed.

So, since the beginning of 2021, the Iracambi team is pledged to focus exclusively on planting trees and on the education that is an inseparable part of ecosystem restoration. So here is a snapshot of what is going on in preparation for the next planting season, later in the year.

Our forestry coordinator Alfredo is monitoring and maintaining all the young trees that we planted this season. The first few months after planting are crucial to their survival, and Alfredo is determined to ensure that they make it.

Back in the forest nursery, coordinator Deivid is working flat out to expand our capacity, initially from 10,000 to 15,000 seedlings and then to double that. He and his team are building new seedling tables, setting up shade and irrigation, making a new greenhouse cum seed storage area, collecting seeds from the forest and making seedlings for next season´s planting. 

In a few weeks time, we´ll be expanding the team with the addition of a new forest technician cum data manager, whose job it will be to collect all the planting data and upload it to our GIS mapping site, (so that our donors can see where the trees are planted, and that we can improve our quality control.) And, in the meantime, the finance team is busy crunching the numbers and completing the budgeting forecast for 2020-2022 planting seasons.

And that´s not to mention the backroom girls and boys who document the planting, write the reports, and make sure that we´re in touch with local community members and responsive to their forestry needs.

So, when the rainy season rolls around in October/November, we´ll be ready to burst into action and start planting 55000 trees. Thirty hectares. Fifty acres. It´s going to involve a lot of people, but we´ll be ready.

Thank you, thank you for supporting us!

with much love and gratitude from the Iracambi Forestry Team 

Critical care for baby trees
Critical care for baby trees
Nursery irrigation
Nursery irrigation
Water engineering!
Water engineering!
Apr 6, 2021

Generating online solutions to local problems!

Project Based Learning (PBL)
Project Based Learning (PBL)

Good morning, dear donors, and we hope you are well!

And we can't wait to tell you about our latest course for Environmental Leaders Online. We just finished our second course yesterday evening, and we are thrilled with the results! 

We are all learning a lot, and it's wonderful to be in touch with people of all ages and backgrounds from across Brazil. Our network is growing by leaps and bounds. and students in this cohort came from the public and private sectors as well as from civil society. 

During this second iteration of the course, we wanted the students to have more ownership of what they learn, and we decided to base our teaching style on that of Portuguese-born educator José Pacheco who now lives in Brazil, and is one of the pioneers of project-based learning in Brazil. This style of teaching (which is unusual in Brazil) provides space for reflection, and encourages students to research collaboratively, develop habits of critical thinking, identify problems and come up with solutions which they can apply to their surroundings. All of which is the opposite of the traditional top-down approach used in most public schools in this country. 

In our course we adapted our methodology to allow more space for discussion, and the results have been amazing. We provided pre-recorded materials (e book, recorded lessons, videos and supplementary material) and met up for “live” weekly sessions online, during which the students went into breakout groups where they analyzed, discussed and developed collaborative solutions to specific problems of concern to the group.

Interestingly, the most commonly recurring concern was the question of waste disposal, in relation to pollution and eventual contamination of water resources. And the different solutions ranged from informal programs of environmental education for children and youth, to income generation schemes through recycling, to community composting schemes, community gardens, working with garbage pickers and awareness-raising campaigns using social media.

After the success of this course, we´re now turning our attention to next steps. One possibility is to work with a school a few hours from here that works with project based learning, to see if we can create an online course for some of their students. And there´s already significant interest in running more online leadership courses for the general public. We´ve even had requests to do the course in English!

So thank you, thank you, dear donors, for your support. This past year has certainly been challenging. But it´s also been a time of tremendous opportunity.  We'll keep you posted, and please look after yourselves! 

with rainforest love from  

Yasmin and the Iracambi team 

Lightbulbs light up
Lightbulbs light up
Collaboration!
Collaboration!
One solution: trash for veggies
One solution: trash for veggies

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