Claudia Picone, a staff member with The Nature Conservancy, plants seedlings in the Extrema municipality of Brazil. The Nature ConservancyÕs Atlantic Forest program began a Water Producer Program to compensate landowners who protect and reforest
Extrema municipality of Brazil Claudia Picone, a staff member with The Nature Conservancy, plants seedlings in the Extrema municipality of Brazil. © Adriano Gambarini

Stories in Brazil

Restoring Native Forests One Tree at a Time

TNC is working to save the Atlantic Forest; more than 29 million new native trees are now growing in the region.

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in the Atlantic Forest.


Brazil´s Atlantic Forest is one of the most diverse forests on Earth and also one of the most threatened. A remarkable array of wildlife and plants inhabit what was once an area twice the size of Texas. Today only 12 percent remains and can be found in isolated fragments, often too small to support the forest’s extraordinary biodiversity that includes one of every twenty vertebrate species on Earth and more than 20,000 species of plants. The Atlantic Forest faces constant threats from urban development, agriculture, cattle ranching and illegal logging, yet it is still one of the largest remaining tropical forests in the world.

To help restore and reconstitute this magnificent forest, The Nature Conservancy launched the Plant a Billion Trees (PBT) campaign in Brazil in 2008. Since then, more than 29 million new native trees are growing in the Atlantic Forest and 28,000 acres of degraded areas have been restored. It takes several years for these regions to mature into a forest and the process is just beginning. Planting seedlings or enabling natural regeneration are just the first steps; the monitoring of areas and adaptive management are needed stages to ensure that the forest is healthy and diverse, and will endure in the long-term.

Partners in Conservation

The Nature Conservancy is proud to work with a wide range of partners to restore the Atlantic Forest, including many local conservation organizations, private companies, local communities, landowners, and government agencies. And we are proud to have the support of thousands of individual donors every year. One of our long-term supporters is the Alcoa Foundation, which has supported the Plant a Billion Trees campaign in Brazil since 2010, and other important work in several countries around the world since 1998.

The Nature Conservancy uses the best available science to ensure that the forests we establish are healthy ecosystems. We act in priority areas for water and food security.

In many locations, we plant native trees in degraded abandoned pastures. These trees attract birds and small mammals, which carry native seeds from nearby forest patches. In less degraded areas, we can catalyze regrowth by improving growing conditions and removing threats like fire and cattle. We monitor forest growth for at least four years to ensure that the forest will continue to develop successfully

The Nature Conservancy also provides technical and financial support to the Atlantic Forest Reforestation Pact, a coalition of 266 diverse organizations. In 2015, we started new strategic partnerships that have led to Conservancy restoration projects in 11 Brazilian states.

The Plant a Billion Trees Campaign in Brazil allows The Nature Conservancy to develop long-term strategies for large-scale restoration of native flora, protecting Earth’s diverse ecosystems, water quality and global climate.

Healthy forests are the key to healthy lives.

Help Us Plant a Billion Trees! Through The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees campaign, we aim to plant 1 billion trees by 2025. This will restore over 1.6 million acres of forests around the world - the equivalent of 1.6 million football fields.