Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action

by Iracambi
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Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Forests4Water Brazil: Community Climate Action
Beautiful forest fragment in private property
Beautiful forest fragment in private property

Hello, Dear friends of "Forest 4 Water"

The current  dry season has been surprisingly wet - it has rained every week- and though we all apreciate some unexpected water, a wet dry season unfortunately means less people bothering to plant trees for water conservation. Having this fact in mind, in order to meet our reforestation goals for 2017 - delivering 5000 seedlings - we decided to run an interview with 100 farmers in Belisário. 

In our visits, we've asked people how many springs they have in their properties, how many of them dried up, if they believed trees have any importance for water conservation, what kind of wild animals they usually see on their properties and, of course, if there was any part of their land where they'd appreciate having more trees. Our effort resulted in a list with 20 families for this years reforestation, and precious information we can work with. One of the best surprises was a farmer who asked us "at least" 1000 seedlings to help him  10 preservesprings. We could not be more happy to help!

The interviews were also a great chance to meet almost everybody who live in the rural communities closer to the State Park Serra do Brigadeiro, their ways of living, wisdom and challenges. Though only 20% of them told us they'd like to plant trees at the end of this year, most people demonstraded to be aware of the close relation between forests and water. We understand it usually takes some time between thinking and acting, specially when a decision is final like planting native trees, as the law forbids people to cut them down latter. It is a big commitment mainly for those who have small properties. The interviews were also a great  chance to tell people face to face that we are there for them. We made sure to let them now that one day,  if they need any assistance to improve or implement water conservation practices, they can always count on us. Now all we have to do is to keep up with the good work, and for that, we owe a lot to our donor and supporters, who keep our initiative running with their recurrring donations. 

Thanks to your support we know that, when people come to us, we'll be ready for them.

The Forest 4 Water Team

View to Belisario
View to Belisario
Local technology - irrigation system
Local technology - irrigation system
Rain clouds on the dry season
Rain clouds on the dry season

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Gui sharing his experience with local farmers
Gui sharing his experience with local farmers

Dear friends of Forest 4 Water!


Three months have passed since our last report, it's time for the updates!


At the end of March, we partnered with the municipality of Muriaé to organize an event dedicated to the theme of Sustainability. At the event, we had the chance to talk with small farmers, students, local media and community members (around 250 people in total) about water springs conservations and our Forest 4 Water project. In addition to learning and sharing our experience, the event was the perfect occasion to create new partnerships and secure transportation for seedlings for the next rain season.


At the beginning of May, we’ve finished the first round of water quality tests for all the main water bodies which compose the Rio Fumaça watershed – the basin where we are located and work. We believe that having information on the main characteristics of the water streams and pollutants that drain to our basin, will provide us a deeper understanding of the water issues which we are addressing. By breaking down the make-up of the water sources, we are able to better strategize and visualize possibilities we once ignored. In August, during the dry season, will begin our second and last round of tests.


Though May hasn’t ended, we are writing the final report for our partnership with Brazil Foundation. Their grant – which lasted for 12 months - enabled us to produce more seedlings, work with more families and hire specific staff for our initiative. To put it short and simple: we owe them a lot and are extremely grateful for their contribution. This is not farewell; they will always be part of our story - thanks to them we were selected for a partnership with BVSA, which will begin in 2018.

As we continue our mission to restore our water basin and support our local agriculture community, we need your assistance more than ever. We have a financing gap between July/2017 to February/2018. Although we have applied for short term grants, we are counting on our Global Giving donations to keep our nursery running. Month after month, your recurring donations tell us we are on the right track. We recognize and appreciate your support.


Words cannot express our gratitude,

Forest 4 Water Team

Everyone came for the event!
Everyone came for the event!
Beautiful hosts Faustino, Barbara, Caio & Lurdinha
Beautiful hosts Faustino, Barbara, Caio & Lurdinha
Agroecology students from Muriae
Agroecology students from Muriae

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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

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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's done!
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

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Belisario - District with 18 reforestation plots
Belisario - District with 18 reforestation plots

Hello, dear friends of Forest 4 Water!

Expectations are high for this year's reforestation, and we've been working hard on the preparations to make sure we are ready when the time comes. It's time for the news!

On last Friday, Project Coordinator Gui invited all Iracambi staff members for a meeting where he presented this year's family farmers, the strategies adopted in each property and proposed a logistic planning to make things happen. It might surprise you, dear reader, but reforestation is not only about riding motorcycles through idyllic scenarios and loosing the count of how many cups of coffee you've taken with different family farmers - though we must admit these things are an important part of the process around here. Reforestation demands a lot of hard work, team effort and a good deal of planning.

Nobody really nows when the rain season will start, especially during these Climate Change times we are living. If rain season is unpredictable, so is our planting season. Planting trees is like running against time. Baby trees must take advantage of the seasonal humidity in order to survive the most stressful moment of their lives: leaving our cozy nursery and adapting to the real world. For this reason, we must have a solid ReforesTeam prepared to take action at the first drop of water, and their work must be fast and efficient. We are beginning the reforestation plot preparation next weekend, so when the rain comes every seedling will have a place on the ground to call their own. It will save decisive time and energy of our ReforesTeam. In the last tree count at our nursery, we had more than 6000 seedlings, which will be planted in 25 properties in two different municipalities.

This year, besides planting seedlings, we shall also test different recovering techniques such as inoculating Efficient Microorganisms (EM) collected in the forest in all seedlings, spreading bromelias - famous to be natural water tanks - on the reforestation plots and also using fast growth stem cuttings to protect slower growth native trees - all cheap techniques already familiar to our local family farmers. We are all happy and excited for the chance to partner with the local community in finding a respecful way to preserve Forest and Water.

In this decisive moment we must, once again, ask for your kind generosity. We still lack the resources to hire two extra staff member for our ReforesTeam. After all, we will need all the help we can get and creating job oportunities during the planting season is an important way of valuing people from the local community, the true guardians of both Forests and Water!

With our best forest Regards,

Gui, Fagner, Toni, Arielle, Luiz, Binka, Robin and all "Forest 4 Water" ReforesTeam

View of Rosario da Limeira - 7 reforestation plots
View of Rosario da Limeira - 7 reforestation plots
Lurdinha - Family farmer at her organic gardening
Lurdinha - Family farmer at her organic gardening
Local spring totally exposed
Local spring totally exposed
Empty house because of the lack of water
Empty house because of the lack of water
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Organization Information

Iracambi

Location: Rosario da Limeira, MG - Brazil
Website:
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Project Leader:
Luiz Gusmao
Rosario da Limeira, MG Brazil
$259,769 raised of $295,000 goal
 
4,707 donations
$35,231 to go
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