The rains have begun, and that means the seedlings we prepared back in August are ready to be planted. As we are focusing on a reforestation area that we begun last year protecting a spring that has returned, we have been monitoring its health over the past months and are enriching it with our 600 native species seedlings. Additional to last year's 800.
Designed under our permaculture zoning efforts, this process has given us insight as to low-cost and efficient ways to bring back the forest and keep the soil healthy. It has helped us understand priority setting in our interventions, use hydrogel, and the main threats to regeneration in this area.
Next year we will continue to monitor the trees and make few interventions to help them grow. This is our second low-cost reforestation prototype, along with our Natural Assisted Regeneration area, which involves minimal interventions to support an area that is regenerating on its own.
Earlier this month we began preparing seedlings to begin reforestation work when the rains come next month. We made 600 native species seedlings that are pioneer species, and will receive another 400 seedlings as donation from the State Institute of Environmental Education, a long time partner of ours.
Focusing on the periphery of our springs, we continue to enrich the 50 meter radius around one of the springs that is coming back in a previously depleted area.
Like every year, we will recruit students and volunteers that come through SINAL, from the local community, Rio and internationally, to help us plant the trees. Having done the first intervention last year, it is a good example to show our guests how the transition from a depleted soil to a restored ecosystem takes time and care!
Last month we checked in on a reforestation project that we started in November. We planted twenty types of native species and a total of eight hundred tree seedlings. This reforestation area is located around a spring and will attract more water to enrichen it. Every seedling has a pigeon pea, a type of bean that grows fast, planted next to it. This bean provides shade for the growing seedling and fixes nitrogen in the soil.
In May we did a maintenance check up on that area and the whole SINAL team came together to help. We filled up two containers with our SINAL made biofertilizer. It is organic and prepared with local flora. Combined, it provides the perfect mixture of NPK - nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium -that supports plant growth for our type of soil.
When we reached the reforestation area the team split up. One part went first and documented the growth of every tree, line by line. Some of them have already reached a height of half a meter! The rest of the team went afterwards applying the biofertilizer on every seedling. It was exciting to see the achievement of the forest slowly closing up again. Our next maintenance check will be coming soon!
This year we have a special event: we are hosting a IUCN's workshop for conservation areas around the world, sharing lessons learned, challenges and experiences in our actions to protect different biomes across the world. We will receive 30 participants from Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and North and South America.
This is an important step for us positioning the Mata Altantica as a critical environment to protect, as a primary source of fresh water and biodiversity for Brazil, get some feedback and work together to create strategies to better protect our environment.
The participants will stay with us for a week presenting their cases - key challenges and opportunities, threats and conservation strategies. We are preparing our materials to share the particularities of being a conservation site in the urban sprawl of Rio de Janeiro, the social and environmental implications. Photos to come soon!
This year, we have added a new approach to sharing the SINAL message: we have started visiting our community to open up new spaces of dialogue about incorporating sustainable values into education, entrepreneurship and daily life.
This month we participated in Colaboramerica, the biggest festival of new economies in Rio. We brough our Frutos da Floresta food line, based on a zero-waste culinary proposal that takes advantage of the abundance of the Atlantic Rainforest's roots, vegetables and fruits.
We also visited Unigranrio campus Santa Cruz to talk about sustainable entrepreneurship, talking about Frutos da Floresta, Mosuo Bamboo (a project connecting local entrepreneurs who use bamboo discards to make promotional materials), and our hospitality service.
Visiting, in addition to receiving people, has turned out to be a great way to open the conversation about our relationship with nature, and particularly our community's relationship with our surrounding environment!
We can't wait to continue expanding our community of Change Agents next year! A big thank you to all our donors who help us activate a stronger green community.
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