Our successful forest restoration model has already planted 100,000 trees in the Atlantic Forest, and since the end of 2015 we’ve been focusing our efforts on reforestry in water catchment areas – Forests4Water. This pilot project is more than just planting trees, it includes education, advocacy and growing community involvement. By actively involving local farmers and schoolchildren in planting trees to protect their water sources, Forests4Water is mobilizing a movement of environmentally-conscious farmers and catalyzing further sustainable green practices.We plan to scale it up and use it as one of the cornerstones of our program of ecological restoration in the Serra do Brigadeiro region.

What’s the issue?

Rainforests are one of the largest natural carbon sinks that regulate global climate. And the evidence is clear: our rainforests are in trouble.

This means trouble for all of us. Whether you live in a Brazilian farming community whose agriculture-based livelihood is dependent on the rapidly drying water springs or in California where mandatory water use restrictions are being imposed due to record breaking droughts, the evidence is clear: our water supplies are in crisis.

Rainforests and water go hand-in-hand. Restoring our rainforest is vital both at local level – as dense forest absorbs moisture and regenerate springs – and at international level where forests act as a carbon sink, stabilizing the rise in global temperatures and attacking the water crisis at its root.

What are we doing about it?

  1. Expanding our forest nursery to produce more native tree seedlings
  2. Working with local farming communities to reforest near springs and along stream banks
  3. Selecting productive tree species that can be sustainably managed to bring economic gains to local farmers, making the conservation of the forest more attractive than its destruction
  4. Extending our unorthodox education program to raise awareness about the issue
  5. Assembling a team of young environmental activists to spread the word and plant the trees

Our plan is to get everyone involved in restoring the forest! By involving the community in planting native trees alongside fruit-producing trees in strategic areas to protect water sources, we are demonstrating that reforesting degraded areas brings short-term benefits for the community and long-term benefits for the environment. Using reforestation as a tool for education and advocacy, we are encouraging new ways of thinking about sustainable agriculture and forest care, catalyzing the growing movement of environmentally conscious citizens to protect our most precious asset: fresh water. We’re focusing on schoolchildren and college students and their families, and together we’re mobilizing the community to move from thinking to action. This is more than a simple reforestation program – it’s a challenge to change our collective consciousness.

This program is supported by Brazil Foundation, GlobalGiving and BOVESPA