The Brazilian Atlantic 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 is reversing deforestation and biodiversity loss: trees are planted in a way that forest corridors are created, which allow species to find new habitat and populations. Besides, the Atlantic Forest' high carbon sequestration rates make them a key player in the fight against global warming.
Brazil is also 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 progressive loss of biodiversity, we are planting corridors of forest between the remaining forest fragments. Local species, many of which are endangered, will be able to move between previously isolated patches. This will allow them to diversify their gene pools, which is important for the survival of endangered species, such as the native black lion tamarin. We empower the local communities to collect seeds and grow native trees as well as provide training in plant propagation.
The impact of planting 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 planted, 200 species' habitat range increased.