All Posts By

Daisy Longden

BJF embarks on momentous partnership with Movida

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We need each other, and we need mother nature, more than ever. 

The global pandemic that has engulfed nations across the world will have consequences for all of humanity. Perhaps the only phenomenon whose global impact will surpass that of such pandemics, is the destruction of our environment. At this moment, preventative measures are being enlisted all around the world to curb the spread of Covid-19 and allow us to manage the incoming crisis before it’s too late. The same must be done for our planet! 

However, in the midst of this crisis, there is some light. The unintended climate impact of coronavirus, such as the reduced air pollution witnessed over China, provides a glimpse at how countries and corporations are equipped to deal with the climate crisis. (Read more on this)

Take this time to reflect. Consider your consumption. Muse over your mind-set. Negotiate a new normal. Acknowledge that these global challenges necessitate global AND individual change.

To bring some hope, we would like to share news of a very special milestone. In March, the Black Jaguar Foundation celebrated a new partnership, one which will see the planting of our first million native trees! Movida car rental is Brazil’s leading mobility company and part of the JSL group, Brazil’s largest logistics company. This crucial new partner will co-finance the completion of our next, momentous goal.

From left: Marina Tavares (BJF), Livia Perez Friseira, Ben Valks (BJF), Patrícia Pereira, Renato Franklin (Movida CEO), Fernando Simões Filho (JSL Head of Sustainability & Board Member), Juliana Simões & Tarcila Reis (Board members).
Marina Tavares, Ben Valks & Renato Franklin.

Focusing on innovation, Movida is the first car rental company to create a Carbon-Free programme, with a goal to offset 100% of their carbon emissions by the end of 2020. This contract with the Black Jaguar Foundation is part of this mission, offseting the emissions of Movida’s rental cars by planting trees in Brazilian territory.

On Wednesday 4th March Movida celebrated becoming a certified B-Corporation, a validation of the company’s total social and environmental impact. This accomplishment aligns Movida as the second publicly traded company in Brazil to obtain the seal.  This is a major development for Movida and represents the strides being taken towards a more sustainable future. The Black Jaguar Foundation was honoured to attend this B-corp celebration event to publicly stand with Movida and mark this important partnership. Learn more…

It was during this pioneering event that the BJF-Movida Partnership was officially announced and signed by CEO, Renato Franklin. Watch his inspiring video-testimonial.

The Black Jaguar Foundation-Movida partnership will result in one million native trees being planted, during 2020-2022, in the heart of Brazil. This is a huge step and is the culmination of years of preparation and hard work. What started as a dream of a greener future, is becoming a reality, tree by tree.

This agreement kick starts the first of many millions of natives trees to be planted by the Movida-BJF partnership in the years to come’. – Renato Franklin

Ben Valks presenting the BJF mission. “Become part of one of the largest reforestation missions on earth”.
Renato Franklin sharing Movida’s sustainable future.

This is a process; it entails countless partnerships on a local and a global level; it necessitates constant research and exploration into the best restoration techniques; it requires environmental education in local communities to ensure the increased environmental consciousness of future generations; and it relies on a huge network of volunteers and team members working tirelessly because of their passion for this mission. The completion of the Araguaia biodiversity corridor will see over approximately 1.7 billion trees planted in one of the world’s largest reforestation initiatives. This is the first of many millions of trees! 

We are committed, excited and proud to co-create a greener future with Movida.

Published 2nd April, 2020. 

Update: how the BJF are responding to Covid-19

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Considering the increasing global concern surrounding Covid-19 we have made the decision to postpone our 18th April 2020 Milestone Celebration Event at LaBiomista in Genk, Belgium.

We feel we have an obligation to help minimise the spread in any way we can and mitigate any additional risk to public health.

Our 2020 Celebration Event will therefore be postponed and will now take place on the 29th August 2020. 

We are closely following the guidelines set out by the World Health Organisation and our respective governments in Brazil, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, and will continue to take the necessary precautions. This includes restricting travel to the Araguaia Corridor region, where currently the number of reported cases is still very low.

It is because of your vital support that we have been able to accomplish so many major milestones in the past year. Our reforestation work continues, and as always, we make sure to be a sign of hope for our future. In the coming days, we will share with you exciting news of a major milestone, as we continue to keep you updated on our progress.

In times such as this, the protection of our planet’s biodiversity is more important than ever. By preserving ecosystems you also preserve a natural system of checks and balances that helps mitigate the spread of disease. Nature has implications for all aspects of human life and so we are more determined than ever to continue on our mission.

Your support is crucial and we hope you will join us to celebrate our milestones later this summer in Genk.  

This is the time to reflect and move forward with consciousness and care for yourselves and each other. Thank you as always for your continous support.

Published 18th March, 2020

Meet the latest BJF hero…

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We are extremely pleased to announce that another landowner in the corridor region has joined our grand mission. Introducing Fazenda Cedro! Also known as Fazenda H3C, the farm is located in the municipality of Santana do Araguaia, Pará State, in the heart of the Corridor.

Originally from the south and southeast of Brazil, owners, Clóvis and Regina Molke, are proud to be a traditional family of farmers who always seek to produce with respect for the environment. Regina emphasises the need to take care of natural resources, commenting that without these, agricultural activity itself becomes infeasible. At the property, special care is taken with actions such as waste disposal and they are involved in the fight against forest fires. Clóvis and Regina’s son, Luiz Eduardo Molke, is studying to become an agronomist, following the family tradition and contributing to the discussion surrounding the sustainable future of the farm.

It is natural for farmers to be concerned with conserving forests within their properties, Regina commented, “Trees are very important for the environment, it is through the forest that the groundwater is preserved, and with that both the soil and the quality of the air are improved. People who have always lived on the land are more aware of this and more willingly preserve it.”

She continued, “BJF’s initiative to reforest and assist in this process is very important and will greatly accelerate the recovery of areas of the forest. As a consequence, the fauna will also benefit, with birds, turtles, mammals, and reptiles being allowed more space and more food to survive.”

Why are landowners such an important part of our mission?

We rely on creating partnerships with farmers in the region who then allow us to reforest areas of their land which have become degraded. These landowners are obliged by Brazilian law to preserve native vegetation in at least 20% of their land. These areas are called legal reserve (RL) and permanent protection areas (APP). We provide financial and technical support to help farmers adhere to the law, meanwhile restoring biodiversity, water security, soil quality and so much more.

Find out more about our partnerships with farmers along the corridor.

Published 5th March, 2020

The art of direct seeding

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Introducing Caminhos da Semente, experts in direct seeding and new BJF technical partner. They will be a crucial partner for us in the coming years as we expand and perfect our restoration techniques. Their mission? To help reforestation initiatives, such as the BJF, succeed and maximise their efficiencies. Caminhos da Semente will be working in direct collaboration with our team in the field to improve our direct seeding techniques.

The Caminhos da Semente initiative is coordinated by Agroicone, with technical support from the Socio-Environmental Institute (ISA) and technical and financial support from the United Kingdom Partnerships For Forests (P4F) program. The initiative is part of the strategic Action Plan to promote direct seeding. This was prepared with the collaboration of more than 250 specialists, working in more than 160 organisations.

“We found that direct seeding is still a little used method in Brazil, despite its economic and socio-environmental advantages, because there are important barriers to be solved, one of which is a lack of knowledge about the method in São Paulo”, explains Laura Antoniazzi, partner Agroicone and general coordinator of the Initiative.

Direct seeding requires heavy soil preparation followed by the distribution of seeds directly onto the soil. This method is often under-utilised however when enlisted correctly can create huge economic and efficiency gains, creating a denser ecosystem quicker than other methods. Direct seeding is especially useful to restore savanna areas, as we’re able to reintroduce all forms of life at once: trees, bushes and grasses.

Published 5th March, 2020

Impact investing, venture philanthropy & the BJF

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Last month, the Black Jaguar Foundation had the honour of being invited to participate in the Converge Capital Conference, in Rio. A meeting that gathered the elite of global investors and looked to shake up the impact investment scene in Brazil.

In this forum, launched the preliminary results of the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor cost-benefit analysis. This academic study was conducted throughout 2019, measuring the numerous impacts and benefits in relation to the total costs of restoring the corridor.

Find out more and view the preliminary results:

During the event, our Partnerships Coordinator in Brazil, Marina Tavares, also took part in an inspiring panel discussion. This explored the possibilities for impact investing and venture philanthropy in relation to restoring our forests.

This event represented the future of Brazilian investing and the immense possibilities for collaboration and progress surrounding the preservation and restoration of our essential ecosystems.

Published 5th March, 2020

Scelta Mushrooms re-commits to the BJF for a sixth year

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Long-time BJF sponsor and loyal friend Scelta Mushrooms has renewed their membership for a sixth year in a row! Beyond being passionate about producing high quality, innovative food, Scelta invests heavily in the future. Jan Klerken, CEO of Scelta, shares our passion for a greener world and is increasingly gearing the company towards a more sustainable future.

Scelta celebrated their 25th Anniversary in 2018. As the number one mushroom processing company in the Netherlands, they now supply approximately 800 partners in 70 countries. Innovation is in Scelta’s DNA. It is the driving force that has shaped and continues to shape the company. Constantly developing and adapting to meet the new global demands of the food production industry, Scelta maintains their focus on three main pillars: taste, health and sustainability.

The Scelta Institute, Venlo. Location of the 2018 BJF celebration event.
Jan Klerken, Scelta CEO, speaking at the 2018 BJF celebration event.

Scelta Mushrooms has been a hugely impactful sponsor of the BJF for many years now, and we look forward to many more years working together in our shared mission for a more sustainable, more green future.

Published 5th March, 2020

WeAreBrain makes magic happen

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WeAreBrain has been a crucial partner since the beginning of our journey! As a web and IT development firm we work closely with them to make our IT dreams become a reality.

They recently helped facilitate the development of our Portuguese website and are now part of our crucial next stage. Working with us so we can engage our wider, global community and prepare to launch our “Donate Your Tree” campaign. This will allow friends and supporters to directly sponsor any chosen quantities of trees, in doing so they will become a Green Friend and become a vital part of the mission to realise one of the largest reforestation projects on the planet.

Founded in 2014, WeAreBrain is an award-winning technology partner to international organisations and innovative scale-ups. With expertise in everything from exploratory research and analysis to design, they’re able to cater to the specific needs of each organisation and have readily adapted to meet any challenges we have thrown their way. They have provided invaluable support over the past years, we thank them greatly and look forward to continuing our exciting partnership.

Planting season 2020 in full force

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In December 2019, we embarked on our second planting season in Brazil. This year we are being more ambitious than ever as we start to action plans to plant our first million trees.

Using the knowledge acquired from the last rainy season, we’re perfecting our restoration techniques. Learning from experience, research and from our technical partnerships, this year we have particularly developed our direct seeding techniques, one of 5 methods we use in our restoration work. 

We’ve also gained an even better understanding of which tree species are optimum to rebuild the forest structure. For example, this year we’re using more legume trees (Fabaceae family). These are Nitrogen fixing which will increase the health of the soil, improving its fertility and allowing future plants to flourish.

These months see the year of preparation come to fruition, as the seedlings that have been carefully grown in our nurseries are planted. Taking root in their new home and officially fulfilling their role in the restoration of the Araguaia biodiversity corridor. 

As this planting is going on, preparations have already begun for next season!

Published 30th January, 2020

Bioflora inspire & inform Landowners

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At the end of 2019, the BJF hosted an event with the landowners syndicate of Santana do Araguaia. This was led by our technical partner, Bioflora Restoration Technology, who are now working with us to increase our engagement with new landowners. During this day, André Nave, Director of Bioflora, gave a lecture about the environmental improvement of farms and rural properties, shining a light on the necessity for landowners to engage in environmental regularisation.

The day sparked many interesting discussions surrounding the move to more sustainable practices and the benefits this can create both for landowner, communities and the environment.

These educational sessions are one way we’re increasingly building strong relationship with landowners. This also served as an introduction to the Ecological Restoration course the BJF will hold in March, in partnership with Bioflora and LERF.