As you can see, over the course of these 18 years, we have been working hard, but there is still much to do and we need to expand our impact. . The fable of the hummingbird and the fire in the forest shows the reality of daily life at Iracambi.
Once there was a fire in the forest, and while all the animals were fleeing in terror, a small hummingbird was flying from the river to the fire, carrying drops of water in his beak.
The eagle, seeing that, asked the hummingbird: “Hummingbird, do you think you’ll be able to put out the fire by yourself?” And the hummingbird answered;
“I can’t do it alone, but I’m doing my part.”
And so we at Iracambi have been doing our part for eighteen years, using all the tools at our disposal, fighting, to protect the Atlantic Forest and preserve the biodiversity, the soils and water for future generations to enjoy.
And now we have reached 2017, here are some of the things Iracambi has achieved:
- 500 hectares of forests under permanent protection.
- 4,500 hectares of Environmental Protection Areas established.
- 100,000 native species trees raised in our forest nursery and planted.
- 600 farm families passed through our training programs.
- 1,700 researchers, students and volunteers from 64 countries welcomed to share their skills with Iracambi.
- 150,000 people impacted in the nine counties bordering the State Park.
Today, Iracambi remains firm and strong in its transition to new leadership. Enthusiastic. Excited. Confident.
Our team is growing in numbers and experience. This year we were joined by:
– Marina Ferreira, biologist, environmental educator, bird watcher and yogi, came to give new life to our EcoLeaders program.
– José Luiz Barbalho, biologist from Brazil’s northeast, enthusiastic team member, joined us to coordinate our program of volunteers from Brazil and beyond.
– Joao Lúcio Donnard, an experienced engineer and manager, who loves challenges (and has found plenty here) is our new executive director, working with the team to take Iracambi to new heights.
We also welcomed some wonderful volunteers: Lisa worked in the Nursery and Agroforestry Coffee Project; ne with water monitoring, Paulina with fauna monitoring and camera traps, Rachel who worked with Marina to improve the EcoLeaders program. Miriam updated our health procedures and worked on the forest trails, Erik coordinated the ecosystem monitoring, and volunteer GIS coordinator Cliff paid us his annual visit to continue placing much of our GIS data online, aided by Daniel. We also continued our research (in partnership with the Federal University of Viçosa) into the healing properties of Adrago (Croton urucurana), popularly known as “dragon’s blood”.
Iracambi continues to serve on both the Advisory Committee of the Serra do Brigadeiro State Park and the State Council for Environmental Policy, as well as the Rosario da Limeira Councils on Sustainable Development and Environmental Defense, Iracambi was the catalyst for the creation of the Mining Commission (founded in 2003 to alert the local community on the potential impacts of a proposed large scale bauxite mining project) and still plays an active role.
As part of our community outreach, Iracambi holds occasional showings of “Cinema in the Square”, in Rosario da Limeira, which usually attract a public 120 people, reaching entire families. This year, for the third time, we hosted a well- attended meeting of the Serra do Brigadeiro State Park Council, which included several regional authorities. We were also honored to be invited onto the jury of Belizário School Science Fair for the third consecutive year.
So this is how we use the money we raise: fighting to protect the Atlantic Forest, creating forests for water, raising a new generation of young forest champions through our EcoLeaders program, and working with local communities on policy and best practice conservation and agroecology issues. Thank you for partnering in our work – we couldn’t do it without you,! Your donations are our lifeblood!