The Amazon Reforest Alliance aims to recover degraded areas in the Amazon rainforest and generate, in addition to a positive environmental impact, an increase in food security and a sense of belonging to the communities that are part of this movement. To do this, we created a network that acts through reforestation and cultural exchanges, giving support and incentive to the spread and strengthening of the culture of the forest peoples. We will work directly with traditional communities – indigenous, riverine, and extractive –promoting a lifestyle based on the restoration of local landscape; sustained over generations and reinforced in the living and healthy forest.
Our initiative allows for the maintenance of the rich biodiversity of the largest tropical jungle on the planet. Which, along with the generation of freshwater, are the true wealth of the Amazon. In addition, the collection of seeds from hardwood trees in native matrices, some of which in extinction, supports the genetic heritage of the Amazon flora.
Our reforestation proposal aims to plant agroforestry areas in and around Indigenous Territories and Extractive Reserves (RESEX), regenerating deforested lands degraded by human action. We will do this through a pre-established partnership with forest peoples by planting agroforestry systems, which generate a rich and biodiverse forest.
We believe that encouraging, valuing, and strengthening a network of traditional communities focused on agroforestry reforestation is an investment in the future. Not only because the trees planted today will grow and bear fruit in a few years, but because, at the rate at which the Amazon is destroyed, the restoration of forest areas will become increasingly urgent and necessary. Investing in a network of local communities that sees the importance of keeping the forest standing is to plant a seed that bears fruit. The multiplication, not only of the agroforestry planting technique but also of the worldview that supports it, is the guarantee of protection and regeneration of the Amazon rainforest today and in the future.
“Every tree planted is a curative made on the Earth."
- Writer, Environmental and Indigenous Thinker and Leader
Through a solid alliance with the forest peoples, this initiative will be made possible. Communities will receive incentives such as training, cultural exchanges, and financial resources for seed collection, nurseries’ construction, planting, and monitoring of the saplings (for three years).
The agroecosystem consists of three seedlings combined (a hardwood, a fruit tree, and a faster-growing pioneer tree that protects the other seedlings) is the planting methodology we want to apply. Up to 150 different tree species can be used. Agroforestry is a technique that, when properly administered, acts as a catalyst for natural forest processes.
The Amazon Reforest Alliance differs from other environmental recovery initiatives. It follows the traditional methodology of regenerating the forest, ensuring greater food security through an agroforestry system, and proposes to create, encourage and promote a network of exchanges and support between different indigenous, rubber tappers/extractives, and riverine peoples.
We value the culture of the forest, allowing for an action that is sustainable in the long term, structured on traditional cultural practices that strengthen the governance of local communities and keep the forest standing. In this sense, we will also seek to support cultural actions that value the traditional Amazonian lifestyle, where the synergy between man and nature takes place and thrives.
"Increasingly, in addition to care and preservation, I see the importance of recovering areas that were devastated. Reforestation is needed.”
- Teacher, Brazilian Senator (1995-2011) and former Minister of Envionment of Brazil
Each community will follow a methodology to create and sustain reforestation in their territories, generating and developing an appreciation of the living forest. Overall, this methodology consists of the following activities:
1 - Mobilization and stimulus of the collective
2 - Exchange of knowledge on agroforestry and other topics
3 - Seed collection
4 - Setting up nurseries and taking care of seedlings
5 - Planting of seedlings
6 - Monitoring and maintenance of seedlings for three years
The Yawanawá people from the Nova Esperança village on the Gregório river have already started the activity of mobilization and encouragement of agroforestry reforestation through a cultural exchange encounter. The gathering was led by indigenous leaders Benki Piyãko Ashaninka and Isku Kuá Yawanawá.
The Amazon Reforest Alliance promoted this cultural exchange as part of the first reforestation activity in the Nova Esperança village.
ACTIONS IN PROGRESS
Reforestation in the Yawanawá Nova Esperança village in Acre
The maintenance of 5,722 seedlings planted between January and April 2022. Our initial goal was to plant 5,000 seedlings, but we exceeded it! It is now necessary to care for these plants to ensure the highest possible survival rate. Despite being big enough and stable when placed in the ground, the seedlings are fragile. They need watering during the dry season and clearing of the reforested area around four times a year, removing the weeds that grow around them and hinder their healthy development.
This maintenance process is necessary for three years when the seedlings become bigger and well established in their new habitat. We already have the essential equipment, such as a pump, motor, and hose to draw water, brush cutters, and other instruments to work the land. We also already support the indigenous people responsible for this ongoing work. However, we need resources for the equipment maintenance and the required gasoline, both for pumping water from the streams to the reforested areas and for the systematic process of clearing. Reforestation is more than just planting. From collecting seeds to guaranteeing the survival of a seedling, a lot of dedication is required. Join us in this ongoing work of caring for the land, ensuring the absolute success of previous efforts. Are you curious to know more about the actions we have already carried out with the Yawanawá people of the Nova Esperança village? Watch our video at the bottom of this page!
About Nova Esperança village
Bathed by the Gregório River in the municipality of Tarauacá in Acre, the Yawanawá Indigenous Land covers approximately 187 thousand hectares. The Nova Esperança village was founded there in 1992 under the leadership of Biraci Nixiwaká Yawanawá, father of Isku Kua. Nixiwaká mobilized the Yawanawá people to rescue their ancestral culture and occupy their territory after more than 40 years under the rule of rubber tappers and missionaries. Isku Kua Yawanawá, also known as Biraci Júnior Yawanawá, follows the legacy of resistance of its people, strengthening cultural traditions, caring for the land, and sharing Yawanawá wisdom around the world. Among the new initiatives within his community is the creation of the Isku Vakehu Center, under construction, to revitalize the Yawanawá culture, especially the rescue of the language among indigenous children and young people.
“We have to join efforts, unite movements, the actions of some reinforce the work of others. Let's go all together.”
– Musician, Environmentalist and former Minister of Culture of Brazil
Planting in the Puyanawa Indigenous Land
The Puyanawa Indigenous Territory (IT) has an area of 24,499 hectares, located west of the city of Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, with an estimated population of around 1,500 indigenous people. In the Amazon Reforest Alliance's next action, we plan to recover deforested areas in this territory with agroforestry plantations.
In addition to seedlings of native hardwood trees, we will work with fruit species to reinforce food security in the local villages.
Our goal is to plant between 5,000 and 10,000 seedlings, depending on the funding raised. Projects always follow our methodology, including collective mobilization, knowledge exchange, plant nurseries, and other actions that support and sustain the reforestation process itself.
About 5.8% of their land lost its native forest. This area had already been largely deforested when the territory was demarcated in 2001. Such a percentage implies 1,422 hectares of land, concentrated in the eastern sector of the IT, used for pastures, planting of manioc, swiddens, and housing areas. Since the demarcation of the Indigenous Territory, the average rate of deforestation has been reduced. In the last two years, there has been no deforestation, indicating the community's effort to value the existence of old-growth forests.
The Puyanawa already possess technical knowledge for seed collection, plant nursery structuring practice, and over six years of implementing Agroforestry Systems in their territory. They were essential partners in executing the Amazon Reforest Alliance’s 1st initiative in the Yawanawá land. They supplied seedlings, gave support for the agroforestry training, and participated in collective planting efforts. Our following action aims to directly support these very special people, who have been working for years to rescue their language and culture, besides all the efforts to implement existing agroforestry gardens. We will strengthen the work they already do, enabling it to expand and consolidate. The Puyanawa also serve as an example and reference for other peoples in the region. We want to show that with a will, organization, and dedication, an improvement in the community’s quality of life, in harmony with the living forest, is possible. Be a partner of this initiative. Donate and share!
Check out the official video of the first project carried out by Aliança Reflorestar da Amazônia
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