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Julia Silveira

BJF participates in training to take better care of our seedlings!

By News Home

Our seedling production analyst, Norivânia Diniz, was invited to participate in the second Integrated Academic Week organized by the Federal University of Tocantins!

During the event, Norivânia participated in several courses related to seed collection, recovery of degraded areas, legal aspects of Permanent Preservation Areas (APP) and forest seed pathology.

Course 1: Collecting, processing and storing native seeds from the Cerrado Savanna.

The following topics were explored in the course:

  • Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs) and Legal Reserves (RLs): the importance of ecologically restoring degraded areas how this relates to Brazilian law.
  • Ecological restoration techniques, including the following three methods which are used by the Black Jaguar Foundation: Natural regeneration, planting seedlings and direct seeding (muvuca).
  • Seed collection techniques: locating parent trees, collection methods, types of seed processing, breaking dormancy of seeds, and seed storage.

At the end of the course, Norivânia and the other participants visited one of the University’s tree nurseries. There, the class was able to get to know the space, equipment used, how it operates, and Exchange experiences.

The course was taught by students from the The Federal University of Tocantins’ nursery research group. It was made possible by the university’s agricultural residency program in partnership with Santana do Araguaia’s Ministry of Environment. A big thank you for the wonderful opportunity!

The nursery research group is currently starting a seed network in the South of Tocantins to meet the demand for seeds in the region and produce high-quality seedlings.

Course 2: Forest seed pathology

The following topics were explored in the course:

  • Importance of seed health.
  • Transporting seeds between regions.
  • The difficulty of obtaining high-quality seeds.
  • How the presence of pathogens affects the ability of seeds to germinate.
  • Parts of the seed which can contain fungi and how prevent/ control this.
  • Symptoms that appear after the seed has been affected by pathogens.
  • Regulations for Seed Analysis (RAS), as published by the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • Main methods for detecting pathogens in seeds.
  • Most common fungi that can be present in seeds

At the Black Jaguar Foundation, we are always looking to improve our processes of ecological restoration. Our motivation to keep on growing and learning, together with your support, will enable us to carry out the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor!

BJF presents at the NOAH conference in Zurich

By News Home

The 1st edition of the project stage took place during the NOAH Conference in Zurich last month, with 1500 attendees, 350 speakers and 24 partners. All in all, it provided the Black Jaguar Foundation with a wonderful platform to showcase the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor and learn from similar organisations working in the field of ecological restoration.

The project stage took place over the course of two days, and with this item we would like to give you a glimpse of the second day, where  Ben Valks explained our how the Black Jaguar Foundation will plant 1,7 billion native trees in the Amazon Rainforest and Cerrado Savanna over the course of 30 years.

A big thank you to the team for all their hard work and commitment to making the project stage a success and giving us the opportunity to share our work at the project stage and get together with restoration and conservation champions, tech companies, and impact investors.

To effectively tackle the great sustainability challenges of our time, we must come together and cut through silos and sectors. It was great to share our efforts and exchange with others on the frontlines of conservation and restoration.

Coming together with a collective call to action for funding and supporting nature-based solutions was urgent and necessary.

Watch Ben’s presentation below:

In Ben’s speech, he emphasizes the there is no competition when it comes to ecological restoration. With time, we hope more and more Biodiversity Corridors will appear on Earth, helping us create a more sustainable planet for our future generations! Would you like to become one of the First 600 to join us on our mission of hope and action? You can do so HERE or donate a native tree HERE.

Meet our long-term partner and friend: Smikkels

By News Home

Good nutrition is a key ingredient to child development. Sjoerd van Schaaijk and his wife Inge, owners of the Smikkels company, are very much aware of the importance of feeding young children frequently, with nutrient-dense meals including a variety of food groups. It all started about 14 years ago – when they first started feeding their own twin children their first solid foods. A lot of time was spent in the kitchen on Sunday mornings, with pans full of potatoes, pasta, rice and many different vegetables, which they would later put in small containers and store in the freezer. As their children discovered new flavours and textures, so did Sjoerd and Inge! All these recipes were collected on and shared with everyone who also prefers to make their own meal for their little ones.

Last year, Inge and Sjoerd took the next step by designing a collection of fun sustainable products that match the audience of with a focus on food and travel!

Smikkels: proud BJF partner

Smikkels is driven to contribute to a healthier planet for our future generations and that’s why they are proud partners of the Black Jaguar Foundation. Have a look at some of their packaged products below, which proudly display our logo!

With sustainability and durability being core elements to Smikkels as a company, they place great importance in ensuring that their products are made with more eco-friendly materials like stainless steel, wood, silicone, bio cotton, and recycled pet bottles. Smikkels also avoids plastics in their packaging.

Commitment to the BJF: Long-time friends

Many moons ago, Smikkels founder Sjoerd van Schaaijk helped design and create our website, so that out initiator Ben Valks could share his mission to restore the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor with the world.

Two years ago, Sjoerd also helped us design the new BJF logo!  We are incredibly happy with our logo and would like to take this opportunity to once again thank its incredibly skilled designer for dedicating so much time to help us realize our mission of hope and action.

When the BJF first started, our mission was motivated by the drastic destruction of the habitat which over 3 million known animal species, including the Black Jaguar, call home. One of our main goals is to focus on environmental regeneration, instead of destruction. That’s part of what the logo that Sjoerd designed transmits: a focus on bringing back new life.

Once again, a big thank you to Sjoerd and Inge for joining us on this journey to bring back biodiversity in the Araguaia Corridor connecting the Amazon rainforest and Cerrado Savana. We are excited to continue growing together!

Find out more about Smikkels at !

BJF Highlights 2022

By News Home

First of all we wish you a green and healthy 2023! Before we dig into the opportunities and challenges of this new year, we would like to reflect on all the wonderful milestones we achieved together in 2022.

You have enabled us to grow – in every sense. We expanded our team, improved our work of ecological restoration, made many new rural partnerships in the region, and generated more engagement with local communities. Thanks to your amazing support, we are planting and growing 5 times more trees this planting season, and our field-teams expanded to over 120 dedicated employees. We are working non stop on 12 farms as you read this!

Our achievements in 2022 for our planet would not have been possible without you. We hope we may count on your power-support again this year and wish you and your loved ones a wonderful start of 2023. For now, let’s dive in to a few of the milestones we achieved together over the past year:

We need your support more than ever this year, as the budget of our ecological restoration efforts have increased drastically due to inflation and ever-increasing prices. Our achievements in 2022 for our planet would not have been possible without YOU and we hope we may count on your power-support again this year.

Start 2023 by contributing to our mission of hope an action and become part of the First 600 to contribute to realizing the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor  HERE, renew your membership by reaching out to us at, or donate a tree HERE.

Get inspired by the new BJF documentary and give life this Christmas!

By News Home

As the holiday season is almost upon us, we have two amazing things to share with you!

First, we are honoured to share that we made our very own BJF documentary: A Lens on the Ground. In close collaboration with Nikon & Waterbear. And secondly it is time to get your BJF Christmas Tree Certificate.

A Lens on the Ground: A BJF documentary created in collaboration with Waterbear and Nikon

This year, our organisation was honoured to win a Nikon Europe camera kit and storytelling training from Waterbear to make a short film, directed by our Communications Coordinator Ana Paula Mendes, that gives you a glimpse of the inspiring people working at the frontline of The Black Jaguar Foundation.

Watch our documentary below:

“A Lens on the Ground” zooms into the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor and showcases the stories of our team – making it clear that ecological restoration starts with the communities on the ground! Through a visual story, we showed the faces behind our restoration processes, emphasizing the motivation of the BJF team to create positive change in their communities and how working with Black Jaguar Foundation is shaping their lives.

The documentary highlights the benefits that come with ecological restoration, focusing on local communities and Santana do Araguaia’s economy. As our Field Coordinator, Carlos Eduardo Oliveira, explains in the documentary, the social aspect of the BJF is a very important one for the region and beyond. Before the BJF started its operations in Santana do Araguaia, the city did not have a stable and evolving job market. Now, environmental engineers, forest engineers, and restoration professionals living in the region can find work in the area, next to the workforce we hire and train to help us realise the corridor in the region.

Are you still looking for that one thoughtful gift that does not involve waiting in long holiday lines….and makes us, and our planet happy? We hope our BJF Documentary inspires you to support our work.

Give the gift of life this Christmas!

Each donation directly supports the realization of the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor, connecting the Amazon Rainforest with the Cerrado Savanna. This year, we have created a beautiful certificate of tree membership to celebrate the holiday season. Have a look at it below! Send an email to before the 21st of December to ask for your personalized tree certificate.

You can DONATE ANY AMOUNT, big or small, and contribute to restoring biodiversity in the Araguaia region. With a donation of € 5, you will already be supporting the growth of one native tree!


#TreesAreTheSolution #AraguaiaBiodiversityCorridor

Planting the first thousands of seedlings of the 2022 planting season!

By News Home

The rains have finally arrived in the Araguaia region! This means that our field team can finally start planting trees for the 22/23 planting season. At the moment, we are finalizing soil preparation. All of the seeds have already arrived and are being mixed so that they can be transported to our partner farms.   

We have also finalized the logistics planning for distribution and transport of the seedlings, which will first be taken to the rural properties that are furthest away from our nursery and then to farms in Santana do Araguaia (Pará).  

Have a look at some of the BJF team planting below

Throughout this planting season, we will work in 14 different partner farms, which are spread out between Santana do Araguaia (TO) Marianópolis (TO) and Caseara (TO). Nevertheless, in the first stage of the season, we will start carrying out direct seeding and planting seedlings in 6 farms.  

The rains have arrived in the Araguaia region!

Despite our extensive preparations over the past months, there are a few variables that are out of our control, like the rain!  

Admittedly, we do not have much to complain about with regards to rain this season. Besides a small delay, we have already had two zones of convergence of humidity!   

Zones of convergence of humidity refer to different masses of cold air that move from North to South. When there is a hot air mass in the way, it prevents these cold masses from reaching their destination. As a consequence, this may mean that there is a delay in rain, or in some cases that it might rain more or less than expected. 

In addition, this year is a year of La Niña, which means that it is likely that more convergence zones will form and that we will have an incredibly productive rainy season!  

Ecological restoration is a lot more than planting trees, however we are very happy that, after months of preparation, we can start sowing this planting season’s first seedlings and seeds!  

Watch our Project Engineer Dimitrio Schievenin explain the growth of our native trees below
Today is Giving Tuesday! Find out more about how to support the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor HERE

Many new BJF members are part of the 22/23 planting season

By News Home

 To realize the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor, we need many dedicated individuals! In the past few months, we have strengthened our team by hiring 82 field assistants, 3 field supervisors and 3 ecological restoration analysts to work from Santana do Araguaia (PA), Marianópolis (TO) and Caseara (TO). 

With the scaling up of our operations, the current planting season is certainly the most challenging one we have had yet! Our goal is to plant the largest quantity of high quality seeds possible, so that these can grow into resillient trees along the Araguaia biodiversity Corridor. Alongside the people directly hired by the BJF, we also have a team of 18 seed collectors, who make up the Araguaia Seed Collection Collective. These are members of local communities who sell seeds to the BJF that they have collected in their farms or surroundings. Find out more about the Araguaia Seed Collection Collective HERE. 

Acknowledging our team’s great work and development 

Besides hiring new members, we also ensure that they are able to grow within and together with our foundation.  

Throughout the past month, the following members have been promoted: 

  1. Renan Martins Moura Lacerda is an agricultural engineer who joined the Black Jaguar Foundation as a Field Assistant. After a few months of dedication and great development, he has been promoted to Seed production supervisor, under the leadership of Norivânia Diniz (Seed production analyst) and Carlos Eduardo Oliveira (Field Coordinator)! 
  2. Tainan Balestrin is a Forest Engineer and was part of our landraising team, as an articulation analyst. It is with lots of joy that we are now presenting him as out new Forest Operations Coordinator!  
  3. Finally, the most recent promotion was in Human Resources. Rafael Pedro Marques, former BJF Human Resources Analyst, has been promoted to Senior Human Resources analyst. Currently, he leads all of our human resources activities! 


Today is Giving Tuesday! Find out more about how to support the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor HERE

Brazilian Ministry of Environment visits the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor!

By News Home

In October, we had the pleasure of giving a tour of some of our project regions to two members of the Brazilian Ministry of Environment’s technical team: João Raphael Oliveira (Manager of the Amazon state’s secretariat) and Rosiane Pinto (Manager of the Secretariat of Protected Areas.  

We invited the ministry to visit our after our visit to the Brazilian Ministry of Environment in July, hoping to present our mission and work towards realizing it together.  

The visit consisted of two whole days full of planting activities, visits to the BJF office and tours of the BJF nursery and restoration sites in Santana do Araguaia. The Brazilian Ministry of Environment’s team was introduced to the BJF’s cycle of ecological restoration, from seedling production in the BJF nursery, to some of our ecological restoration sites at different stages, to the conclusion of planting in permanent preservation areas.  

 As a means of symbolizing their commitment to the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor, they also planted seedlings in one of the areas we are currently restoring in Fazenda Santa Fé!   

Have a look at some images of the Ministry of Environment visiting our restoration sites and BJF nursery below

Finally, to celebrate this important milestone, we invited our partner landowners and the members of the Brazilian Ministry of Environment to a dinner, so that they could meet and get to know each other. It was a great moment to show that agriculture and environment can – and must – go together.  

We are very happy to have been able to share our project with João Raphael and Rosiane and we hope it will be the start of a long Journey together!  


Today is Giving Tuesday! Find out more about how to support the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor HERE.

5 reasons to join the Black Jaguar Foundation today!

By News Home

Today is #GivingTuesday, so we are sharing with you five reasons to join our mission of hope and action today, if you haven’t already!

The Black Jaguar Foundation is working to restore 1 million hectares of degraded land by planting 1.7 billion native trees in collaboration with local landowners in the Araguaia Region. What does this mean and how will it benefit our planet?  

Planting native trees on a massive scale will…
1. Restore biodiversity

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. 

Planting 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! In that way, planting trees is the first step to encourage nature to take over and biodiversity to flourish again. 

Here at the Black Jaguar Foundation, restoring biodiversity is one of our main goals. We are always very happy to hear when our team finds wildlife in our restoration sites. Have a look at some of the wildlife below! 

Healthy ecosystems provide us with critical services and natural products necessary for international human survival. It brings us great joy to see these come back to life!  

2. Support the preservation of our water systems and aquatic life

The vegetation that is found on river margins is vital for the preservation of different processes that occur naturally in and around rivers. Some of these processes are: the purification of water, stabilizing riverbanks and reducing bank erosion and providing shelter to aquatic animals! Find out more about these processes by having a look at the piece that we shared a few weeks ago, highlighting the importance of the Araguaia River here

Here is some footage of the Araguaia river flowing!
3. Provide employment opportunities for the communities in which we opperate

In 2019, we conducted an impact study that concluded that, upon completion, the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor will provide over 20 thousand jobs to local communities in the region.   

Within these jobs, we do our best to create opportunities for growth. Many workers that started with us as field assistants, with little to no training in ecological restoration, are now being promoted to field supervisors! The training they have received also allows them to work with different ecological restoration efforts in a similar capacity, if they ever choose to move anywhere else. Have a look at the item shared above to find out more about how our team is growing as well as some of their experiences with the BJF.  

4. Promote community engagement

As you may have heard, the Araguaia Seed Collection Collective is in motion and growing faster than ever!  

The restoration of the Araguaia Corridor relies on planting native trees. To do this, we need native seeds to produce seedlings for the restoration process! That’s why we started the Araguaia Seed Collection Collective. A few years ago, individuals from local communities took the initiative to start collecting and providing us with seeds from their gardens, plots of land, and farms.    

This year, the BJF team engaged in many courses in organazing Seed Collection Collectives provided by Rede de Sementes do Xingu, the biggest seed collective in Brazil. After learning from this highly experienced initiative, we carried our various training sessions with local communities.  

We are happy to share that many members of these communities are now regularly collecting seeds, which we purchase by the kilo!  

5. Bring agriculture and environment together 

The Black Jaguar Foundation is realizing the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor together with rural landowners in the region. We do not own any of the land where we carry out ecological restoration, and instead use the land granted to us by our partner farmers.  

Our partner farmers choose to partner with us for many different reasons, and you can find out more about them HERE 

Watch the video-compilation below and experience what some of our existing and potential partner farmers and political representatives on federal, state and municipal level have to say about our mission of hope & action in realising the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor in Central Brazil.
We sincerely hope that this Giving Tuesday you take part, in some shape or form. You can find out how to do so HERE. Contact info@black-jaguar for more information about how you can help. Thank you as always for your continuous support!