Last month, several hectares of land at SINAL were burned after a human caused forest fire broke out. This project will reforest the area through planting native Mata Atlantica and fruit trees, as well as providing jobs for local people. The land is in the buffer zone of the Serra Estrela Wildlife Refuge, so restoring the forest is critical for conserving the habitats for fauna, such as the endangered Golden Lion Tamarin or black-billed Tucan.
Human-caused forest fires are unfortunately very common in the region and one of the largest challenges for restoring land. Areas with pasture grasses catch fire easily - both from intentional and accidental human actions - and then spread into the borders of existing forests, releasing CO2, destroying the homes of animals, and burning the native trees. Locally, there is a lack of awareness of the environmental impacts of burning grasses and trash, which are main causes the lead to forest fires
By reforesting these two hectares of land, we will be able to recuperate native forest and critical animal habitats on SINAL property. The area that was burned is very close to the main SINAL buildings, so the reforestation site will become an educational area to teach people - especially children - about the importance of forest restoration and the risks of fire. The hiring of local people to restore the area will also contribute to the educational aspect of the project.
The local area around Santo Antonio has been severely affected by landslides and floods recently and water resources are threatened. Our reforestation project will plant trees strategically to protect the community from disasters and degradation of water sources. SINAL also employs local community members of Santo Antonio, many of which live below the poverty line, to help with reforestation efforts. As a global community we benefit from more forests capturing carbon to prevent climate change.