At Iracambi we believe that saving forests and changing lives starts with opening minds. Everything that we do is connected with education, from informal discussions with local and international volunteers and students, to conversations with visitors as they discover our forest trails, from informal chats with farm families who participate in our Forests4Water program, to our program of Young Eco Leaders.
Children in our remote rural area live in one of the world’s top biodiversity hotspots, yet their level of understanding and appreciation for the forests is very low. Traditionally, forests are considered barriers to progress, trees are cut and animals eaten or simply killed because they are “dangerous.”
Lack of knowledge is one of the principal drivers of ecosystem destruction which in the case of the Atlantic Forest is approaching the point of no return. As forest cover disappears, springs dry up, soils degrade and valuable biodiversity is lost, sometimes for ever. Healthy forests benefit everyone, regulating our climate and supplying clean air and water and leisure opportunities. If we are to save the last great forests, we must focus on the younger generation, helping them to understand their place in the web of life and learn to love and value the forest ecosystem.