The Atlantic forest is one of the most biodiverse spots in the world yet deforestation has led to many small and isolated fragments and the loss of many native species. WeForest, with its partners IPE and AES Brasil, is reversing deforestation and biodiversity loss: trees are planted and grown so that forest corridors are created and the Tiete river watershed will be protected, which allow species to find new habitat and populations. In addition, a high amount of CO2 will be sequestered.
Brazil is home to a biodiversity hotspot which is far more depleted than the Amazon Rainforest: the Atlantic Forest. This forest once stretched over 130 million hectares along Brazil's southeastern coast. Intense deforestation began 500 years ago and since then 93% of the forest has disappeared; only 7% of the forest remains. Forest fragmentation leads to slow degradation of soils, landscapes and biodiversity loss.
To combat the loss of biodiversity, we are restoring corridors of forest between the remaining forest fragments and the watershed of the Tiete river. Local endangered animal species such as the native black lion tamarin will be able to move between previously isolated patches, allowing them to diversify their gene pools, which is important for their survival. We empower the local communities to collect seeds and grow native trees as well as provide training in plant propagation.
The impact of growing 1 million trees for this project: 500 ha put into restoration 158,500 tons of CO2 sequestered over a 30 year period, 240 employed full time in project implementation for 50 months, 400 people trained in plant propagation, 2,000 ha of land benefiting from improved water quality, $2,500 income per year generated by each family-run tree nursery, 10 functional community plant nurseries generated, 115 indigenous tree species grown, 200 species' habitat range increased.