Land Conservation. Transforming production practices to protect critical habitats.
Though Brazil is rapidly losing its natural landscapes due to an advancing agricultural frontier, we believe that increasing food production is possible without habitat loss. Working with indigenous people, local communities, companies, farmers, ranchers, and governments, we are transforming production practices and indigenous territorial management to protect critical habitats.
- Protecting and restoring critical ecosystems:
- Transforming production practices to protect critical habitats:
- Inspiring and supporting territorial and environmental management of indigenous land:
On the edge of the Amazon, São Félix do Xingu used to have one of the highest deforestation rates in Brazil. Farmers and ranchers cut down thousands of acres of trees to make room for cattle pastures and agricultural fields. To help farmers address declining soil quality and comply with Brazil's Forest Code, a law requiring landowners in the Amazon to maintain 35 to 80 percent of their property under native vegetation, TNC is assisting farmers in transitioning to agroforestry production systems. We are working with farmers like Deniston to plant sustainable agro-forests of cocoa trees, banana trees and a mix of native hardwood trees to help restore the Amazon while providing better livelihoods.
- To learn more about how cocoa can save the Amazon, watch our video, Hope in the Amazon.
- To learn about how we are scaling up our conservation efforts to global levels and fighting climate change, read our article, Reforesting the Amazon.
Brazil´s Atlantic Forest and Cerrado Forest are two of the most diverse forests on Earth. They are also two of the most threatened. Only twelve percent of the Atlantic Forest remains, and without these important habitats, 130 million people in Brazil will be without clean water and a vital climate regulator for our planet. Reforestation has unmatched potential to solve climate change and Brazil’s forests are carbon sinks of opportunity for a world at a crossroads.
- Since 2008, through our Plant a Billion Trees campaign, and as a member of the Brazilian Reforestation Commission, TNC has planted more than 35 million trees, restoring 39,600 acres in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. These accomplishments have positioned TNC as a leader in Brazil’s restoration efforts.
Transforming production practices to protect critical habitats
The success of our sustainable production work is described by Solange:
"This land has the blood, sweat and tears from both my father and mother—but especially my father’s. When he took ill, I took over the ranch.
Today I am manager of the Bituva Grande Farm, which is part of ‘Field to Table,’ a sustainable meat project coordinated by The Nature Conservancy. I am also the president of the Rural Producers Association.
When TNC first arrived, people’s view was that an ‘environmentalist’ was going to curtail our freedom inside the farm. So we weren’t very receptive.
Today, TNC is viewed in a different light, and we support and believe in the sustainable meat project. It clearly showed all of us that nowhere in the world do we need to tear down yet another tree to increase the production of grains, meat or anything else. It brought many benefits to the region—not only in environmental or production gains but also in terms of society.
The Conservancy’s arrival only increased our awareness of leaving something for future generations. Because if we continue to deforest at random, what are we leaving for tomorrow? Now we are isolating the springs, letting the forest surround them. The jungle at the mountaintops is being preserved and reforested as a way to avoid erosion. Instead of being a big villain, the cattle—and ranching as a whole—become a carbon sequestrator, which is one of our greatest world - wide concerns. You can ranch sustainably and in communion with nature.
When you work with experts, you can make your dreams come true. And this is only the beginning. There is a lot that can continue to be done. We wouldn’t be the only ones to profit. The entire world would be winning."
To learn more about our work inspiring sustainable production practices in Brazil, explore these links below:
- Farm to Table, our sustainable beef project
- Our work with sustainable soy production
- A beautiful video documenting the success of small producers that have benefited from our work
For 15 years Indigenous Peoples and The Nature Conservancy have been working together to advance indigenous-led conservation goals and land management priorities across Brazil.
- We are working with indigenous peoples to integrate traditional knowledge with modern approaches to landscape planning in order to enable greater leadership in deciding how their traditional territories will be managed and to have a stronger voice in policy decisions.
- A key component of the participatory process for developing Indigenous Environmental and Territorial Management Plans (PGTAs) is ethno-mapping. The ethno-mapping process is led by the Indigenous Peoples, and is a tool for advancing their aspirations and visions and an important step in developing the PGTAs.
- An ethno-map reflects and integrates indigenous values, land uses and significant features of the landscape into a spatial map. It also takes into consideration relevant policies and development opportunities, and it supports the Indigenous Peoples in making internal agreements about priorities for developing their territories.
- Partnering with 8 indigenous lands across 13.5 million acres, The Conservancy has developed a proven approach that is now being rolled out in 34 indigenous lands.
- To learn how and where PGTAs work in Brazil, explore our page: facilitating the development of environmental and territorial management plans.