Want to learn more about what we have planned for ‘Forests for Water’ in 2018?
Continue reading, we have great news!
A few improvements
We have made changes to the type of data we collect. Until recently we only collected data on local families, springs, fences and proposed reforestation areas using Geographical Information Systems (ArcGIS) with the support of our great friend and partner Cliff.
This year, in order to be more effective, we added new fields to document planting (germination, delivery, planting, species of seedlings planted, fertilizers used, etc.) and monitoring (observing ant attacks, crowning seedlings, mortality, etc.). By adding these fields we hope to produce reliable qualitative and quantitative data to help make more informed decisions and measure the success of the plantings, allowing us to address any problems effectively.
In 2018 we plan to produce 6,000 seedlings to plant in 30 properties in 3 municipalities surrounding the Serra do Brigadeiro.
Fagner has been hard at work, collecting seedlings and seeds, preparing bags for planting and irrigating the nursery. Fagner has been supported by some fantastic volunteers from abroad and young people from Rosário da Limeira; Scott, Anthony, Remco, Celle, Karolainy, Anderson, Flay and Ronald!
It was an incredible experience interacting with the young people from the local community, who were enthusiastic and engaged throughout! After all the hard work, we made a beautiful bonfire to celebrate our increasing appreciation of our amazing surroundings.
More great news! After 1 year of our project being listed on the BVSA platform, we have managed to raise $ 30,000 that will be invested in the project during a period of one year, beginning 03/28/2018.
Thanks to this new funding, along with the donations from each one of YOU, we have made even more progress:
- Soil analysis will be carried out on each property where reforestation will take place in order to analyze soil types, their characteristics and deficiencies.
- Purchase of agroecological fertilizers, such as: Bioisca, Caldas, Limestone, Earthworm humus, Efficient Microorganisms, ashes, etc. Together with the soil analysis, we will know the quantity and type of agro-ecological fertilizers that each property will need, improving the chances of successful reforestation and reviving springs!
Partnership with DEMSUR
We are always looking to improve our projects and have recently identified water analysis as a great way to achieve this. Iracambi has some equipment that measures PH, turbidity, flow among other measurements, enabling us to analyze if the reforestation affects the quality of the water over time and increase our project outcomes.
Unfortunately, most of the equipment is not in good condition.
We are looking to partner with DEMSUR (Municipal Department of Urban Sanitation) who are are also working with reforestation in Muriaé. We proposed to support them by providing them with access to ArcGIS to collect and analyze information, and they in return have offered to support us with water analysis
The initial idea is conduct a water analysis of each spring that we recover. We will conduct an analysis before planting, and then once a year for a period of 3 years using the following parameters:
- Total coliforms
- E. Coli
Total coliforms (also used to analyze the presence of domestic sewage) and E. Coli are to verify the quality of water. Turbidity is the measurement of the resistance of water to the passage of light and color refers exactly to the color of water.
We have seen that surface erosive processes affect two parameters in a more specific way: color and turbidity, being able to demonstrate changes in the hydro sedimentary dynamics of a basin as a consequence of the accelerated erosion.
Thus, turbidity is a very useful environmental indicator when analyzing watersheds, since it is possible to associate soil use and erosion, for the purpose of identifying damages in water courses related to human activities.
From 05/28/2018 to 05/30/2018 Iracambi hosted a course on Protection and Recovery of springs led by SENAR (National Rural Apprenticeship Service). There were 11 participants, 2 of which were Iracambistas - (myself Arielle and Fagner) always aiming to acquire more knowledge.
We had a theoretical class in the morning of the 28th on spring definition, the types of springs, soil formation, among other subjects, such as silting, erosion, water basins, methodologies to increase water flow, like nitrates and terraces and went to the field to identify and choose a spring to start working on.
The spring we chose is located in a degraded area of pasture, without a fence and silted, due, mainly, to a road just above the pasture.
We identified it to be a sloped spring with an initial flow of 925 liters per day. After we cleared the área we increased the flow to more than 2500 liters per day!!
After having a clearer view of the paths where the water was flowing, we used marlua stones so as not to cover the waterways, these stones help in the filtration of the water, in addition we we put in a pipe for sewage, 3 pipes for water capture and a further 3 for surplus..
After organizing the stones, we covered the área with tarpaulin (serving as an insulator, not letting the cement fall into the water) and mixing tundish earth with cement to fix it
With this methodology, the silting of the source is avoided and protected.
It was great to learn a different methodology, we hope to use our new-found knowledge and apply it to Iracambi’s projects.
Initial Visits to Landowners and Properties
We started the visits armed with new methods of monitoring of planting, soil and water analysis which has been fantastic!
Initial visits allow us to better understand the reality of the families and their properties, as well as to explain about the project.
The landowners accompanied us during the visits, where together we chose the best place for reforestation, counted and identified the source of the springs, collected samples for analysis, spoke about the issue of water scarcity and reflected on the importance of water for agriculture, animals, humanity and our world.
We assess each property and try to ascertain the following information: number of residents, length of time at property, size of area, crops produced, main water source, water usage, how many springs they have, how many have dried out, what surrounds the springs, if they have trees near the spring, if they have small dams, dry boxes, terraces or any other structures for water retention, if not, we scope their interest. We also enquire about how they deal with domestic sewage.
We use this information to make a thorough assessment of each property to decide the best approach according to the individual needs of each family/property.
PUBLIC HEARING IN R. DA LIMEIRA ON MINING
Since the end of last year, the Commission for Combating Mining in the Surroundings Areas of the Serra do Brigadeiro (of which Iracambi is a member) has held hearings in several municipalities such as Muriaé, Miradouro and most recently in Rosário da Limeira on 04/04 / 2018.
More than 300 people attended including the Deputy Mayor and local Council who lent their support.
We made positive progress in many areas such as: the demarcation of the territory to be free from mining, highlighting the importance of family agriculture, motion of repudiation of the Council against mining in the municipality of Rosário da Limeira and a future audience at the Legislative Assembly of the State of Minas Gerais
After the hearing, on May 2, there was a meeting in the Chamber of Rosário da Limeira, where the local Councillors voted unanimously on the motion of repudiation against mining in Rosário da Limeira, a fantastic result!!
In the words of Sigmund Freud: "One day, when you look back, you will see that the most beautiful days were those that you fought for."
Seizing Wild Birds from Illegal Capturers
On World Environment Day (05/06) we were given a mission by our dear friend Kamilo, partner and member of the project Forests for Water. Kamilio brought to our attention a very serious and sad matter where 46 birds native to the Atlantic Forest were seized, some of which are threatened with extinction!! Kamilio brought the birds to us to care for and release.
After cleaning the cages, we fed and watered the birds and released the birds as soon as they were strong enough.
The existence of vegetation cover and biodiversity of the flora depend directly on the action of the birds, considered the "planters of the forest", because they feed on the native fruits and disperse the seeds in all areas in their range.
You Make the Difference!
Well, dear friends, many things have happened here in the Tropical Forest, and YOU are doing your part for a better world! Be it donating, volunteering, spreading the word about our work, or encouraging people in the cause!!
THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
We are eternally grateful to each of you for every contribution and all your support, as without you none of this would be happening!
You are planting water, saving lives, birds, agriculture, supporting several towns in a big fight against a huge mining company, and you are making a DIFFERENCE in the WORLD !!
The Atlantic Rainforest is the world’s most endangered biome, who knows, if it was not for you and so many other institutions, it would not exist anymore! But we still NEED YOU!
The Atlantic Rainforest continues in its fight for survival, help us save it!
Getting ready for planting
Restoring the seed-beds
Irrigation process with the help of volunteers
The spring in the beginning!
The necessary tools and team!
Springs silted and waterways!
The Process (pipes, rocks)
The finished product!
D. Maria talking about the scarcity of water
Visit with reforestation in mind
Public court hearing R. da Limeira
Residents filling up the Chamber
Bird seizure by environmental police
Feeding the birds
Cleaning the cages