Brazil’s Dream Project: Bringing Moribund Atlantic Rainforest Back

Brazil's onça (jaguar) threatened with extinction in Atlantic Rainforest The Atlantic rainforest known in Brazil as Mata Atlântica once spanned a million square kilometers (around 400,000 square miles). It barely covers 7% of that today. The deforestation has left farmers and wildlife with failing springs, receding groundwater and destroyed habitats.

But an ambitious project in Brazil's most crowded state, São Paulo, aims to bring the rainforest and its ecosystem back.

In an article published in Science magazine, Bernice Wuethrich reveals how the Riparian Forest Restoration Project aims to restore a million hectares of rainforest through experiments with different restoration methods in five pilot projects.

Some emphasize replanting trees alone while others aim to return a variety of plants and animals simultaneously. Their tactics include moving squares of topsoil from intact forest to deliver soil microbes, earthworms and fungi, and planting groundcover to attract butterflies.

Species diversity is seen as key to success, along with participation from locals. Farmers, for instance, volunteer land for replanting, while their children may work as environmental monitors.

The São Paulo government, looking to set up a fund for ecosystem services, says the project could become a model for all Brazil.

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  • Show Comments (2)

  • Andy Murphy

    To Bob

    The Brazilians do not have to destroy the Amazon and 95% of them are against it.Unfortunately the other 5% is greedy and do not think about the consequences.There is not a single politician who talks about the damages,the destruction is going to cause for the future generations. The Brazilians do not have some one like Al Gore defending the interest of their beautiful forests,rivers , mountains and beaches.

  • Bob Greenie

    Reforestation
    What great news to see Brazil finally taking steps to reintroduce rainforest to damaged areas.
    The World is finally waking to the fact that far too much of our ecosystem has been needlessly destroyed. I think it important that the World now assists Brazil to keep the remaining Amazon forest intact. It is so crucial to the future of us all.

    Bob
    New Zealand

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