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Eloise Moench

The Araguaia Corridor Cost-Benefit Study has Begun!

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We are very proud to announce the start of our Araguaia Corridor Cost-Benefit Study!

This study will determine the total funds required to implement the BJF reforestation tasks for the Araguaia Corridor project, as well as the benefits that the project will generate for humankind. It will investigate the project’s impact on factors such as climate change and employment in local communities. It will show exactly how the return on investment (ROI) for this project is positive. With this study, we will be able to scientifically fact-check all benefits of re-greening the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor, for Brazil and the planet as a whole.

Renowned professors from the University of São Paulo and the University of Illinois lead the Research Team:

Prof. Andrea Lucchesi

Andrea Lucchesi is a Professor at the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities of the University of São Paulo (EACH/USP) in the area of economics and quantitative methods. Her research focus is on natural resources and environmental economics, public policy evaluation, innovation, and the labor market. Prof. Lucchesi is a member of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE). See her LinkedIn page here.

Prof. Madhu Khanna

As a distinguished Professor in Agricultural & Consumer Economics (ACES), Madhu Khanna examines the motivations for producers to adopt innovative production technologies to meet demands for food and fuel. For instance, precision farming, biofuels, and participating in conservation programs. Her work informs stakeholders and policymakers about the cost-effectiveness of various policy approaches to improve environmental quality and their implications for farm profitability, land use, food and fuel production. See her LinkedIn page here.

The Research Team will be supported by an Advisory Board. This is chaired by Bianca Nijhof and composed of highly reputed individuals from all over the world. They specialize in fields such as landscape management, green finance and corporate sustainability:

Namita Vikas

Vikas is a Global President & Global Head for Climate Strategy and Responsible Banking at the Yes Bank in India. She received global recognition as “Leading Women in Business Sustainability” by WBCSD, “Sustainability Leader of the Year” by Ethical Corporation, and “Asia’s Top Sustainability Superwomen, by CSRWorks”. An influential speaker, Vikas is often invited to speak at international platforms such as the UN General Assembly and G20. See her LinkedIn page here.

Bianca Nijhof

Managing Director at the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP). Previously, she was the global lead for the Arcadis Natural Capital business solution. She is a member of the Foundation Board at Workplace Pride, sits in the Advisory Panel to the Natural Capital Coalition, the Technical Committee of the Social & Human Capital Protocol, the Steering Committee of the Indo-Dutch CSR & Sustainability Forum and the Sustainability Commission NKBV (Dutch Mountaineering Association). See her LinkedIn page here

Helen Ding

Ding is an Environmental Economist at the World Resources Institute. Her work primarily focuses on terrestrial ecosystems and developing economic models to measure and demonstrate the socio-economic value of natural resources for better government and business decision-making. Previously, Helen worked for Deloitte France as a senior economist at Deloitte Sustainability Service and a deputy leader of Deloitte’s Natural Capital Community of Practice for Europe and Asia. See her LinkedIn page here.

Jan Willem den Besten

Senior expert in Green Finance at IUCN Netherlands. Prior to joining the IUCN Netherlands, Jan Willem has also served as Forests and Climate Knowledge Manager at IUCN USA. Jan Willem has done both his MSc and Ph.D in Forest and Nature Conservation at the University of Wageningen, world’s best in the field of Agriculture and Forestry. See his LinkedIn here.

Dr. Jörn Germer

Project Manager for Agroecology in the Tropics and Subtropics in the Institute of Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics at the University of Hohenheim in Germany. Dr. Jörn is a prominent researcher in these fields, having studies different ecosystems all around the world. See his LinkedIn here.

We are also proud to announce that the Araguaia Corridor Cost- Benefit study has been awarded a Research Award Grant from the Lemann Institute. You can find out more about the Lemann Institute here.

This important study was only possible through your support to our foundation. We are certain that this milestone will lead to many others in the near future.

No water No life: Why vegetation is important for our water supplies

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Hadassa Moreira writes a blogpost for the BJF about why we must keep the Araguaia River healthy by maintaining riparian vegetation. Hadassa studied biological science in Brazil. She then moved to the Netherlands in 2016 and refined her expertise, completing a Masters in Transnational Ecosystem-Based water management. She is originally from Brasilia but is currently working as a data specialist for IMD- a Dutch company that specializes in wastewater management.

Today is world water day! The theme of this year is Leaving no one behind, meaning that all people worldwide have the right of access to safe, clean water. Healthy river systems play a vital role in making sure that this goal can be met. In this post we seek to explain how the Araguaia Corridor project contributes to keeping the Araguaia River alive and improving its health, thus making sure that many people along the river catchment have access to clean water.

There are many ways in which riparian vegetation influences the conditions of waterbodies. A riparian zone is the place where land and a river or stream meet. Riparian vegetation are the plants and ecosystems that exist along these river margins. In this post we will focus on the impacts of riparian vegetation for water quantity and quality, both locally and regionally.

The vegetation along the river is essential for preserving the balance of processes such as erosion and sedimentation. Erosion and sedimentation are natural processes, but when disturbed, might generate serious problems for the river’s health. High sediment inputs reduce water quality, as the water becomes increasingly turbid. it can also negatively impact water quantity, as sedimentation of river beds decreases the flow capacity of rivers. How does riparian vegetation help? Trees promote bank stabilization, which reduces erosion. Trees also limit the runoff velocity, in turn limiting the amount of sediments that ends up in the river.

Another way in which riparian vegetation influences water quality and quantity is through infiltration and retention. Trees increase the water infiltration in the soil, increasing groundwater recharge and water retention for longer periods of time. These two processes maintain water available in the soil, which is necessary for microorganisms, other plants and animals. Water infiltration and retention are therefore of great importance for the ecosystem, as well as for the maintenance of local agriculture and livestock rearing.

Last but not least, riparian vegetation does not only have positive impacts locally but also on a regional scale! Through the processes of evaporation and transpiration, trees release water into the atmosphere. At a later stage in the water cycle, the water masses condensate as rain. Some of this rain will fall in the river catchment and some of it will fall in other regions! This contribution of vegetation in the water cycle is of great importance for human populations in Brazil, especially considering the water scarcity that many cities of Brazil have suffered in last years.

In conclusion, the impacts of projects such as the reforestation along the Araguaia River is linked to the idea of leaving no one behind as riparian vegetation contributes to healthy rivers systems and promotes rain events in other regions, ensuring water, food and livelihood for people along the river but also for people who live far from the river catchment. By supporting the Araguaia River (eco)system we keep the water flowing for many people!