Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest

by WeForest
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Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Restoring Brazil's Atlantic Forest
Capybaras.  AES Brasil
Capybaras. AES Brasil

The animals of Tietê

The hidden cameras placed by AES Brasil at our new Tietê Forests project site have been capturing some amazing sights, including this adorable family of capybaras, the largest living rodent in the world. We’ve also seen a mother puma and her kittens, crab-eating foxes and an endangered giant anteater!

Check out the videos and some recent photos from the project in the Flickr album.

A princess and a scientist

As a child, Aline always wanted to be close to nature and was very curious about animals and plants. She once asked her family: “Is it possible to be a princess and a scientist?” Now graduated, Aline works with our Wildlife Corridors project partner, IPÊ, full time, focusing on environmental education and capacity building in local communities. “It is extremely motivating to look around and see all the work that already has been done, and so much that still can be done,” she says. For her, working with local communities is working with the people and the region where she was born. She sees the forest as her backyard and taking care of it is part of her routine, and knows that working with people and generating income is key for forest restoration.

Aline.  IPE
Aline. IPE
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Planting at Estrela Farm.  IPE
Planting at Estrela Farm. IPE

Adapting to change 

The 2020-2021 planting season is finalizing the almost 200 ha that had been started in the second quarter of the year, as well as preparing almost 195 ha that will be planted by April 2021. Together, these areas have a target of nearly 800,000 trees! Planting here is very dependent on climatic conditions and used to take place from October to March, but temperatures in December and January now regularly reach 42°C, which kills young seedlings. Not only that, but the rainy season – which compensated for the temperature – is less predictable than before. From now on, planting will be scheduled twice per year: for March to June when it’s cooler, and then from September to November, so when the rains finally arrive again the seedlings are better established.

Meet Claudio, a master planter

Claudio is the son of rural settlers who moved to the area in the 1960s. He has always enjoyed working directly with the land, and in the 1990s he joined IPÊ’s tree planting initiatives. In the beginning, he had very little equipment, but with the income from the activities he was able to invest in tools and hire staff. Now Claudio owns his own company that works full time on the restoration activities with a team of 11 people. He has learned a lot over the years: in the beginning, he was able to plant 2000 seedlings a day; today he plants 11,000 per day with the same number of staff. As well as providing jobs to the local community, his work has allowed him to send his four children to university, and he proudly lists their careers: veterinarian, doctor, agronomist and dentist. As if this wasn’t enough, he also manages one of the project’s community nurseries, producing around 120,000 native tree seedlings per year.

Claudio and some of his team.  IPE
Claudio and some of his team. IPE
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The Whitley Fund for Nature's Whitley Awards honour outstanding biodiversity conservation leaders in developing countries around the world. This year Gabriela Cabral Rezende, coordinator of the Black Lion Tamarin Conservation Programme at IPE and WeForest’s Wildlife Corridors project in Brazil, is one of them! The prize will allow the programme to grow even more corridors to connect all the populations of black lion tamarins in the region. These small relatives of the marmoset are only found in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, and are listed as endangered. The restoration of the forests here uses more than 100 tree species that we know the animals use for food.

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A view of one of the forest corridors (Photo: IPE)
A view of one of the forest corridors (Photo: IPE)

Since 2014, a total of 862 hectares - 1034 football fields - has been restored using a large variety of species and different restoration methods. To date, over 125 different tree species, including 100 native ones, are transforming these landscapes through ANR (Assisted Natural Regeneration), which accelerates the natural recovery of degraded forest areas through the protection and maintenance of young trees that sprout after disturbances such as fire or cattle grazing. Another technique is framework planting, which is used to recover highly degraded areas where natural regeneration is limited. A high-density planting of around 100 different species are chosen for characteristics such as fast growth, or because they are a food source for wildlife.

Community engagement

Eight nurseries provide seedlings for the project. They are owned and managed by local communities of settlers and small farmers, and a total of 11 women and 16 men are employed. 

A great carbon sink

The total restoration area to date can expect to sequester 273,254t CO2 over 30 years, assuming there’s no disturbance from fires. That’s equivalent to the carbon footprint of more than 1,000 European citizens for each and every one of those 30 years.

Thank you for making this possible!

One of the community nurseries (Photo: IPE)
One of the community nurseries (Photo: IPE)
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Spontaneous cactus
Spontaneous cactus

This project began in 2014 and since then your support has:

  • Restored and protected 862ha that will become wildlife corridors connecting remaining patches of forests. That’s over 1,000 football pitches and almost 1.8 million trees being regenerated!
  • Regenerated over 125 species of tree
  • Supported local community nurseries providing employment
  • Benefited over 840 families involved in: nurseries, planting and replanting, fencing, transportation, maintenance, weeding, training, monitoring, environmental education as well as scientific surveys.

Thank you for all your support!

Biodiversity conservation

At least 100 native species are planted across our restoration sites and we aim for at least 40 native species in each restoration site. 2018 monitoring data shows over 125 species present in the total area and the additional non-planted species are from natural regeneration.

This cactus is a spontaneous regeneration in our planting site - local nurseries didn't produce this species and we didn't plant it! It indicates that animals who consume this species' edible fruits have been visiting. This item was probably pollinated by bats, who are attracted by the strong-smelling white flowers.

Thank you!

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Organization Information

WeForest

Location: Brussels - Belgium
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @WeForest_org
Project Leader:
Louise Tideman
Overijse, Belgium
$166,017 raised of $210,000 goal
 
2,187 donations
$43,983 to go
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