For the iGiveTrees team, Solutions Activism is restoring the degraded landscape where we were born, in the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil. 97% was deforested during our lifetimes for coffee, sugar and cattle. As a result there has been a decline in our bio-diversity, pollinator population and water supply. We now have many eucalyptus plantations nearby that have contributed to draining the aquifer in a once water-rich area. So our solution is to replant our native species trees in a truly organic and regenerative manner. We care for the soil, the plants and the people involved, every step of the way because "they" are "us."
What We Do Now
Since partnering with Pretaterra, a team of Brazilian Forest Engineers, we have been able to scale our plantings due to their incredible dedication and energy to regenerate the Atlantic Forest. Since October 2019, 16,000 trees have been sponsored and given to smallholders for planting, with a waiting list for the next 10,000 trees!
Pretaterra buys trees from local nurseries and gives them to smallholders who understand the basic principles of organic soil rejuvenation, and are willing to care for the trees that will restore their pastures and aquifer.
While our efforts have been mainly been focused in the state of Sāo Paulo, our field partners from Pretaterra have also been working on agroforestry projects in the state of Pára, in Amazonia. There people are hoping to expand their plantings by both restoring the native species trees, and growing food crops for sustenance and income. The Federal University of Western Pará has offered space for a nursery if we can raise the funds to build it. Trees would then be given to people who want to replant the forest instead of slash and burn.
Our Past Results
This video zooms into one of the many planting sites that received trees from iGiveTrees in 2010. The landowners had fenced off the former pasture to allow the native species of wild plants to return (a practice now known as "rewilding"), and into that fertile ground, planted trees we donated.
Having gone back 9 years later to see the results, we were all thrilled to see the forest had returned, bringing with it the natural springs.
In 2020 neighboring properties requested and are receiving trees to restore their pastures, following this example of permaculture success surrounding the town of Cunha, in the state of Sāo Paulo.