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Part of the Natural Resources & Ecosystems Programs

Forests 4 Water

Protecting Water Sources

through reforestation

We all know that the current state of the environment is nothing less than critical. Issues such as climate change, deforestation, and generation of huge amounts of waste are ever present in the media, and many of us are working on ways of dealing with them before it’s too late.

The issue is so urgent that what used to be called global warming is now considered as a climate crisis. And if nations don’t honor their commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 45% before 2030, global warming will exceed 1.5 degrees Centigrade by the end of the century (IPCC – 2018). If this happens there will be irreversible damage to the environment, with dire consequences to our lifestyles.

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Fortunately, there is still time to reverse this trend, and one of the most efficient and cost effective ways of doing so is through ecological restoration, or reforestation. If we are to diminish the level of carbon emissions which are so dangerous to life on earth, we need to plant 900 million trees by 2050. It has been amply proven that reforestation is the most efficient and quickest way of rebalancing our environment – trees sequester and store carbon, provide wildlife habitat, regulate hydrology, and many more ecosystem services. With all these benefits trees provide, it’s vital that we get to work, the sooner the better.

In Brazil, as in other countries, one of the effects of the climate crisis is shortage of water, directly affecting the lives of 46 million people. Continued deforestation along with this water shortage will result in an ever deteriorating situation. Research reveals the loss of vegetation cover in 2020: 20% of the Amazon forest, 45% of the dry forest, 50% of the savanna and 93% of the Atlantic Forest – along with the extraordinary biodiversity in each biome. 

We need to take action immediately.

The Challenge

Part of the remaining 7% of Atlantic Forest is in the Serra do Brigadeiro State Park, located at the northern end of the Mantiqueira mountain range in the state of Minas Gerais. It’s an area of extraordinary biodiversity that shelters large numbers of endemic and endangered species and is one of the most important conservation areas of the state. It also acts as a water pump which feeds into the river basins of the Paraiba do Sul and the Rio Doce.

The river basin of the Muriaé river – which flows into the Paraiba do Sul – covers an area of 8.200 km², including 26 counties, (19 in the state of Minas Gerais and 7 in Rio de Janeiro). Yet only 4.3% of this area is under forest cover, leading to rapid rainwater runoff which, instead of infiltrating the soil and feeding into the water table, causes floods and reinforces draughts.

The challenge is to reverse the impacts caused by the loss of vegetation cover in this river basin, in order to put a stop to the problem of water shortage and springs that fail during the dry season. This affects the lives of everything that relies on water: plants, animals and people.

What can we do?

Without trees there is no water, and without water there is no life. So if we plant trees, we plant water. It’s a joint effort, Iracambi and local communities, working together to attack the problem at its root. At the Iracambi Forest Nursery we grow tree seedlings to be planted above the springs and along the river banks on family farms in the region. In this way, rainwater runoff is minimized, vegetation cover is increased, and water resources are protected and restored.

The Project

Here’s where Forests4Water comes in. Our flagship project consists of ecological restoration of the forest in the buffer zone of the Serra do Brigadeiro State Park. It is 100% directed at reforesting on family farms in the watershed. We offer tree seedlings, advice on organic fertilizers, a small stipend for participating families and help with planting and monitoring the tree for the first 2 years. As environmental awareness grows and demand for forest restoration increases, we at Iracambi are stepping up our efforts to plant more trees in fulfilment of our mission of Saving Forests and Changing Lives. So far, we’ve planted over 140,000, but that’s not nearly enough. If we’re to save the planet we need to do a lot better.

Our Partners

Forests4Water has worked with a number of wonderful corporate partners over the years. Our most recent support has come from partners in Hong Kong, UK and Brazil, as well as the Brazil Foundation, the São Paulo Stock Exchange Socio-Environmental Fund, and the crowdfunding platform GlobalGiving.

If your company is interested in partnering with us on this program, please get in touch.

embaixadora-arielle

Arielle Canedo

Coordinator

Program: Natural Resource Management

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FAQs on the project

Most frequent questions and answers and some tech info

Planting trees and planting water: what’s the connection?

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What are our plans for the future?

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Where does the money go?

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Who is involved?

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words

How can I help?

The standard chunk of Lorem Ipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by English versions from the 1914 translation

Forests 4 Water - Monitoring & Reforestation GIS Data

If you and your company are interested in sponsoring our programs, please read more about our exciting corporate partnership opportunities.