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Mar 6, 2019

The Power of Partnerships for Preservation

With the generous contribution from BVSA (Bolsa de Valores Socioambiental) and 363 individual donations, 2018 was a fantastic year for the Forests for Water Project and we made great progress.

Iracambi planted 6,000 NATIVE TREES of 65 species in 30 PROPERTIES in 3 municipalities in the Muriaé River Basin and the surrounding Serra do Brigadeiro area to combat water scarcity.

In addition to involving local and international STUDENTS and VOLUNTEERS, the Forests for Water project placed 30th in the water category of the Latin America Green Award, which selects the 500 best socio-environmental projects in Latin America.

New regional partnerships have strengthened the project with the delivery of two courses; "Protection and Recovery of Springs" and  "Water Planters" provided by  SENAR and the We are Water Network, which together trained 33 people.

In local partnerships, DEMSUR (Department of Basic Sanitation of Muriaé) donated 700 fence posts to the local community involved in the project.

In addition, we analysed the water of the springs to be reforested by the project using the following parameters:

  • Total Coliforms
  • Fecal Coliforms
  • Color
  • Turbidity
  • pH
  • Aspect

Of the 30 samples, only ONE SPRING complies with all the safe levels required for human consumption.

Feedback from our project beneficiaries:

"When I was younger, my father did not care much about water, now that the farm is in my hands, I want to protect our most precious resource: water. After the crisis we experienced in 2014/2015 we can see the importance of this natural resource! Without it family farming, animals, plants would simply not exist".
Antônio - Ervália.

"in 2014/2015 our spring dried up! My brothers had to walk 3/4 miles with a wheelbarrow to collect drinking water and water to wash my crochet to sell at the market. Many of our neighbors made artesian wells, but we did not want that. We decided to plant some trees around the spring, and the spring returned and never dried up again! Since then we take as much care as possible to protect the spring, because we learnt the hard way the challenges a lack of water bring".
Maria - Ancorado, Rosário da Limeira.

The challenge for 2019 is to plant CILIARY FOREST (on the banks of the river) that work like eyelashes, preventing flooding, silting, erosion, and has the capacity to retain nutrients and contaminants.

Reducing the pollution of water sources, besides creating habitats, forms forest corridors which facilitate the movement and propagation of wild animals and flora.


Whether you are donating, partnering, volunteering, promoting our work, encouraging people to be more environmentally sustainable, YOU MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE!


With love and Iracambi hugs,

Arielle Canedo, the Iracambi team, young people from R. da Limeira, Belisário, Ervália, farming families and mother nature! (Have you noticed we’re growing?!)


Feb 11, 2019

Thank you for supporting sustainable farming!

looks good enough to eat!
looks good enough to eat!

Agroecology at Iracambi  

This exciting project at Iracambi combines three things: producing seeds for green manure, cultivating and selling organic fruits and vegetables, and creating a line of natural cosmetics.  As an added bonus, we’re reforesting stream banks with trees native to the Atlantic Forest in an area that was formerly degraded pasture.  And we’re managing the whole system sustainably.

And the result? Producing natural cosmetics and organic foodstuff with the least possible impact on the environment. Creating and sharing a sustainable model that will generate income for rural communities. Giving field days and writing academic papers in order to share our experiences with the wider public.  

The background  

The current model of conventional agriculture has not served the rural community well – either economically or environmentally. This is evidenced by degraded lands, stressed water resources, and the rural exodus.  Family agriculture urgently needs to develop alternative models that enable rural families to remain on the land and care for the environment.

History of the area

Our agroecology plot was formerly a cattle pasture. Sugar cane had also been planted for the cattle, and the areas bordering the river have occasionally been flooded – although rarely. The area is 2.5 acres.

Development of the project

The Agroecology plot has been in existence for three months.

  • While the trees are growing, we have interplanted maize, manioc, and leguminous species for green manure, in order to increase soil fertility and produce seeds.
  • Simultaneously we are developing our range of natural cosmetics, and are currently testing a range of soaps.
  • We’ve strengthened our ties with the Natural Plants Working Group of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazil’s premier research center. We are also developing partnerships with universities and technical institutes to work together on techniques of agroecological production.  
  • The next stage will be to hold field days to work with local producers on best practice organic food production and creating natural cosmetics using low impact techniques that provide an economic return for low income rural families

Your part in this!  

With your help we’re raising rural living standards and helping smallholder farm families live better and more healthily than they do under conventional agricultural systems. Producing organic food and natural cosmetics is good for people, and good for the land. It’s a way of transforming lives.  Thank you for being a part of it!

Good looking field!
Good looking field!
planting with love
planting with love
healthy growth!
healthy growth!
Feb 11, 2019

Plant Trees, Plant Water, Protect Life

Here at Iracambi, we believe that people only care for the things that they love.

That’s why we believe that awakening and engaging children’s love for nature is the solution for a more conscious and sustainable world tomorrow.

In the Serra do Brigadeiro, years and years of deforestation for the production of wood and coal have left it one of the most developed regions for milk production.

The little forest left is on hilltops or hillside areas and is increasingly under threat by ever-closer Bauxite mining.

And speaking of Bauxite Mining, did you see what happened to the tailings dam of the bauxite mine in Brumadinho in Minas Gerais?

Mining poses an enormous risk to the environment and human life and the Serra do Brigadeiro is in the sights of mining companies...

But one of the biggest environmental impacts in our region today, together with global warming is the lack of water.

Lack of water is an ever-growing problem in the region, and its solution is in reforestation.

Our reforestation project works to combat this problem by implementing strategic plantations that allow the infiltration of water and replenishment of the water table.

Each year, we involve many small family families and hundreds of local school children in projects on the theme of water shortage and other environmental challenges they face.

To see the energy of the children planting seedlings in the nursery or the eagerness of people to reforest together motivates us to involve more and more young people and farming families in the reforestation and conservation of the Serra do Brigadeiro.

In 2018, approximately 6,000 trees were planted in 30 properties in 3 municipalities around the Serra do Brigadeiro and we worked with more than 600 children and youths in Iracambi, through tree planting and activities in schools.

With your help, this year we can do even more. So donate and feel great, knowing you are doing your part for a for a fairer, greener and more prosperous world.

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