Skip to main content
All Posts By

Julia Silveira

The Importance of Biodiversity

By Invisible on news page

At Black Jaguar Foundation we are realising one of the world’s longest biodiversity corridors, connecting the Amazon Rainforest and Cerrado Savanna.

But what is biodiversity and why is it so important?

From the plankton in our seas to the jaguars skulking through our forests, biodiversity is the varied and distinct totality of all life forms on earth. For any ecosystem to remain healthy and alive, it must maintain its biodiversity. This is because different species perform different tasks within an ecosystem, and it is the culmination of all these tasks that keep the ecosystem functioning and alive. Just like how a multinational business wouldn’t be able to run without a combination of CEO’s, managers and interns – an ecosystem can’t survive without a synergetic mix of predators and prey, herbivores and omnivores, flora and fauna.

Healthy ecosystems provide us with critical services and natural products necessary for international human survival.  For instance, our rainforests provide us with clean water, oxygen, food and medicine. The Amazon and Cerrado Savanna alone, produce 20% of the world’s oxygen, 30% of the world’s clean water and 25% of the ingredients for all modern medicine.

These critical services and products are necessary for our global development and contribute towards the UN’s seventeen sustainable development goals (see below). These goals were set by the United Nations general assembly in 2015 and are the seventeen key initiatives that need to be maintained if we are to transform our world and begin to develop sustainably, ensuring our survival as a species. Examples of these goals are: eradicating poverty, abolishing food insecurity, maintaining clean water and sanitation for everybody living worldwide. Find out more about the sustainable development goals and how the BJF mission will promote each of them here.

Subsequently, biodiversity is a source of significant public benefit because it directly allows us to achieve these goals. We are currently living through a UN declared ‘decade of biodiversity’. This began in 2011 after the United Nations recognized how crucial biodiversity is for the livelihood of the human species and future generations.

How does the BJF project promote biodiversity? 

We have invested a huge portion of our time and resources into ensuring that we have the best technical partners, forest engineers and team in Brazil to realize biodiversity in the corridor. Our goal is not just to reforest but also to ecologically restore the Araguaia. With each hectare of land, we aim to methodically map out the area and plant an extensive mix of seeds, bringing back the rich and varied expanse of nature that once reigned.

We need nature now more than ever, and with the decade of restoration and eyes on biodiversity, we are taking action on the frontlines in Brazil. Restoring vital ecosystems that we, and our future generations need. Our forests are our life source. They are vital for all, for our future, for our climate and for the livelihoods of our local community and beyond. Covid-19 has made it all the clearer that the large-scale destruction of nature and its biodiversity comes at a huge cost. As habitat and biodiversity loss increase globally, it is time to act now and join our mission of hope and action.

Last year has seen an astonishing increase in attention for biodiversity, with the hosting of the COP15, the release of the 7th report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) IPCC, and increased support for the UN Decade of Restoration, among others. We are a proud official actor for the Decade of Restoration, and that we thrilled to see what this decade will bring for biodiversity and restoration.

Nature has already shown its power in the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor. What was barren land five years ago is now a forest bursting with life. The right mix of native trees encourages other plants to grow, birds to scatter seeds and small animals to find a home, leading other plants to grow and even more animals to thrive. Planting trees is the first step to encourage nature to take over and biodiversity to flourish again.

At Black Jaguar Foundation we have just one, but ambitious goal: restoring biodiversity together!

Continuing operations in 12 partner farms!

By News Home

We are continuing our restoration efforts at full speed in 12 partner farms!  

At the start of the month, we started operations in one of our largest restoration sites so far. The restoration area is located a bit further from the centre of Santana do Araguaia than our other registration sites and our field team has done their best to improve logistical operations and facilitate access to the farm. Despite the challenges, we are planting as much as possible during this rainy season.  

Given the distance of this recently operational site from our other areas, we built lodging facilities to keep our team from having to travel for extended periods of time after their workday. After the team settled down in their new temporary home, we started the ecological restoration!   

 During the first few weeks, we already improved access to the farm and prepared the soil in the first restoration site – which consists of 8 polygons! This involved removing invasive grasses to allow for natural regeneration and will soon start making holes in the ground for direct seeding! 

Have a look at our team starting operations in one of our largest restoration sites so far:

Direct seeding is the restoration technique that will be used in the restoration site pictured above. Together with our team of analysts and nursery workers, our seed production analyst, Laís D’Isep, mixed the seeds that will be planted, and these will soon be transported to the site.

As you can see, our ecological restoration activities require a lot of planning and logistics. This is yet another reason as to why we need your support more than ever!

Contribute to the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor by donating trees HERE or joining the First 600 Sponsors HERE

The BJF Nursery at high capacity!

By News Home

First and foremost, a big round of applause to our nursery team, who successfully produced more than the expected 500,000 seedlings for our current planting season! Impressive, right? In spite of all the challenges we had to overcome, we exceeded expectations.

We are very happy with what the BJF Nursery has become. It motivates us to see that our nursery is already providing many local job opportunities, and successfully producing healthy seedlings.

This is a huge milestone that has only been possible with your support! The nursery also includes space for workshops and environmental education, and is already becoming a central hub for ecological restoration along the Araguaia biodiversity corridor.

Have a look at our fully operational tree nursery:
Have a look at how our nursery area looked prior to construction two years ago: 

Thanks to your support, we surpassed expectations last year! Keep reading to have a better understanding of how our nursery works.

Inside nursery and outside nursery

It all starts with a seed, many of which are bought from the Araguaia Seed Network! This seed is then cleaned to prevent any pathogens from affecting the seedling. Simultaneously, the substrate which will receive the seed is prepared and added to tubes that will hold the seedling. 

We have two nurseries: an inside nursery and an outside nursery. Once the tubes are ready and full of substrate, they are taken to our inside nursery, a covered space that protects the seedling from excessive sunlight. Here, they are able to grow in more controlled conditions. After developing in the inside nursery, the seedlings are taken to the outside nursery. This is an open area where the seedling is exposed to conditions similar to those of the field and can become resilient.

In the video below, seedling production analyst, Norivania Diniz, explains the structure of our inside and outside nurseries:

Thank you for your continued support, enabling us to reach such incredible milestones! Contribute to the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor by donating trees HERE or joining the First 600 Sponsors HERE

Get to know the faces behind the Araguaia Seed Network!

By News Home

We are incredibly proud of the Black Jaguar Foundation’s Araguaia Seed Network. What started as a means of providing seeds for our project of ecological restoration is now making a real difference for communities living in the Araguaia region!

Last year, our field team started training sessions for communities living in settlements in the Araguaia region. They have visited many different settlements, providing training sessions and technical equipment, to incentivise individuals to become a part of our project. Each time they visit a community, they bring back new stories. So today, we thought to share some of these stories with you – starting with Mrs. Eunice and Mr. Pedro.

Mrs. Eunice and Mr. Pedro belong to a river community in the Araguaia region and grow casava in their plantation to produce mandioca flour. Nevertheless, as Ms. Eunice put it in the video above, she believes that:

 “planting casava and Building plantations is not the future. For our future it would be better to plant and collect the seeds so we can reforest this whole world”.  

She explains that producing casava flour takes a lot of work and does not generate as much income as collecting seeds does. Further, Eunice expresses a real desire to restore the ecosystems around her: 

For a long time, I have wanted to reforest and did not manage. But now with the support of these people – we will get there – together!”

We are very happy to have such dedicated individuals working with us to realize the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor. The Araguaia Seed Network’s goal is not just to purchase seeds and use them for planting – it is also to value and positively influence the lives of our community of seed collectors!

Collecting seeds is a continuous activity that forces people to interact with each other and with nature. Every encounter brings with it something new, and we are grateful for the opportunity to engage in these wonderful exchanges!

Expanding the list of seeds we purchase

The BJF team is currently working to expand the list of seeds we are purchasing for ecological restoration. We do this by speaking to our seed collectors, seeing which native seeds they can find most easily, and checking whether these are adaptable for flooded areas and other harsh conditions that categorize our restoration sites.

One of the new species that we have recently started collecting is Cafezinho. The picture below shows Dona Izabel e Dioclessio, two members of the Araguaia Seed Network who live in a settlement in Ipiracema, Caseara. They own a plot of land in the region where they grow casava and herd cattle and have been collecting seeds for five months. In their hands, you can see a bag of Cafezinho seeds! They explained to us that though collecting seeds can take up to a whole afternoon, it is worth it – for themselves and our planet.

We are incredibly proud of the community of seed collectors that has formed under the Araguaia Seed Network. A big round of applause for all their achievements so far! Have a look at one of these below – their graduation for our training sessions on seed collection, taught by BJF Seed production analyst Lais D’Ísep.

Thank you for your continued support, enabling us to develop our Araguaia Seed Collective! Contribute to the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor by donating trees HERE or joining the First 600 Sponsors HERE

Presenting the BJF to the Federal Institute of Para’s students!

By News Home

The young generation is our future! A few weeks ago, we to presented our project to the Federal Institute of Pará’s (IFPA),  future environmental and agricultural, in Santana do Araguaia!

Our field team organized two sessions for the students to get to know the Black Jaguar Foundation, including a practical experience producing seedlings in the BJF nursery! Prior to this, our team visited students at the university and provided a general introduction to the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor and how we are realizing it – from rural partnerships to our processes of ecological restoration.

During the first session, students also had the opportunity to speak to our human resources sector, clarify any doubts, and receive a general overview of job opportunities at the Black Jaguar Foundation.

The second session took place in the following day, where we organized a practical overview of seed production in the BJF Nursery. Out Seedling production analyst, Norivania Diniz, welcomed the students in our nursery, showed them all the main activities of the BJF nursery, and put everyone to work!

Throughout all activities involving seeds and seedlings, the future environmental and agricultural engineers showed great interest in becoming a part of our project. It makes us very happy to see this and we hope to work with some of these wonderful minds in the future.

 Contribute to the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor by donating trees HERE or joining the First 600 Sponsors HERE

Meet BJF partner and friend: Mijn Steen!

By Invisible on news page

Are you in need of a new office or home in Amsterdam, Utrecht, or Zwolle?

Jetze Steensma is expert in real estate, which includes selling and leasing back Offices, investing in and developing offices, and creating building plans that are good for you and the Earth. Jetze sees sustainability as one with real estate. His policy is to connect every project with the question – is this sustainable or not? If not, he can’t stand behind it!

As Jetze puts it:

“Contributing to Sustainable and Circular building development is what makes our heart tick“

By focusing on sustainable projects that are both price competitive and circular, Jetze’s company, Mijn Steen, is shaping the world of real estate.

How is Mijn Steen shaping real estate?

The Real Estate market is focussing increasingly on wood and stone. As real estate consultant and developer, Mijn Steen has often been asked to assess the possibilities of wood and stone as sustainable building components. After speaking about this with various experts in the field, they came to the conclusion that both materials can be used responsibly.

The advantage of wood is that wood exists as a result of photosynthesis; converting carbon dioxide into oxygen and (growth) sugars. This is one of the oldest and most sustainable processes of our world. is a specialist in sustainable development and is committed to sustainable housing. Our motto for timber construction is to provide a solid replanting program to protect forests, forestry and landowners.

Partnership with the Black Jaguar Foundation

Besides ensuring more sustainable design of the buildings they develop, Mijn Steen also supports the Black Jaguar Foundation in realizing the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor!

The Black Jaguar Foundation is very grateful to have Mijn Steen as a sponsor partner and BJF friend. A few years ago, we were in need of a new office and Jetze very kindly procured a location which is now partially sponsored by Scalehub! Have a look at our lovely office space below:

Our new office even has a special Black Jaguar Foundation promotional stand at its entrance – so that anyone entering the building can immediately get to know us!

Find out more about HERE! 

Have a look at the BJF planting season!

By News Home

With 2023 now fully in motion, we would like to share with you some of the planting action that is happening on the ground.

Watch the video below to meet our field team and have a brief overview of the Black Jaguar Foundation’s planting season!

Over the years, we have significantly expanded our team, which now includes over 135 people directly employed and another 35 indirectly employed by the BJF. We have also improved our ecological restoration techniques, created our very own Araguaia Seed Network, and built a BJF nursery that produces over 500,000 seedlings every year.

Together, we are creating a healthier planet for our future generations. 

Get involved to Preserve our Planet!

We are at the peak of the 22/23 planting season!

By News Home

After preparing the soil in most of our partner farms, the time has come to intensify planting in our restoration sites!

Since October, our team has been working hard to reach this moment. Soil preparation is a very important stage in the BJF cycle of ecological restoration. Invasive grasses in the restoration sites must be removed to prevent these from competing with the seedling and enable healthy trees to grow.

It is vital for the soil to be in ideal conditions for the planting of seedlings and direct seeding – which will be the focus of our operations for the next few months!

A closer look at what is happening on the ground…

The pictures above show semi-mechanized tree planting, a technique used to facilitate and speed up the process of ecological restoration. This is a technique that we have recently started using in our restoration sites at the Anaja farm.

Ecological restoration in our other partner farms

In all of our other active restoration sites, the BJF team has been very busy preparing the soil and digging many different holes, spaced at 2 meters apart on all sides, that are eagerly waiting for trees to be planted!

Given the rainy season, many of our restoration sites have flooded and the BJF team is focusing on carrying out ecological restoration in areas that are still dry first. The reason for this is that these areas will still receive rain, so we can save flooded areas for when we are closer to the dry season.

Watch our Field Operations Coordinator Tainan Balestrin explain the work being done on the ground in the video below:

Direct seeding is often used by our field team. The process consists of placing seeds of different species directly in the soil. Have a look at direct seeding in one of our partner farms below. You can already see some growing jatobá seedlings after just four weeks of sowing!

Before direct seeding can take place, the seeds have to be mixed. This mixture is what we call muvuca. Recently, our team prepared over 3 tons of muvuca – with more than 50 species of native seeds! Have a look at them below:

As we often say here at the BJF, ecological restoration is a lot more than planting trees. At the same time, we are also carrying out maintenance activities in our restored restored areas and already planning for the next planting season!