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The Importance of Biodiversity

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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? Our Articulation Coordinator, Marcelle Grumberg, explains below: 

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.

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 and below:

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 saw an 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.

The above image shows Field Coordinator, Carlos Eduardo Oliveira, next to a tree after one year, and the growth of the same restoration site after two years.
At Black Jaguar Foundation we have just one, but ambitious goal: restoring biodiversity together!

11 years of The New Brazilian Forest Code

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The New Brazilian Forest Code – Law nº 12.651/2012 – was implemented 11 years ago today. This law is responsible for ensuring the preservation of part of the native vegetation present in rural properties in Brazil.  

Since the Black Jaguar Foundation was established on the basis of this law, we decided to take this opportunity to give you brief overview of how it enables the preservation of native vegetation in the Araguaia region.   

Let’s have a closer look at the Brazilian Forest Code together:

Legal Reserves: Percentages of native vegetation that should be maintained, restored, or compensated, in rural properties in Brazil:

Within the legal Amazon (Amazon regions in the states of Mato Gross, Pará, Acre, Tocantins, Amazonas, Roraima, Amapá, and part of Maranhão), the following percentages of the rural properties must be preserved:

  • 80% of the property when its vegetation belongs to a forest region.  
  • 35% of the property when its vegetation belongs to a savanna region (like the Cerrado Savanna, for example) 
  • 20% of the property when the vegetation belongs to a grassland.  

Outside of the legal Amazon (falling beyond the scope of the states listed above) 

  • 20% of the property regardless of the type of vegetation present (including forest, Savanna, Caatinga or grasslands) 

Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs) : These are regions that have been established by Brazilian legislation in which the conservation of native vegetation is mandatory.  APPs can be found on the marginal strips of any natural water course that is perennial or intermittent, as well as in other special situations, like hilltops, “veredas” (treeless grasslands on seasonally waterlogged soil), and in the borders of “chapadas”(tablelands).   

A perennial water course is one which naturally has a water flow throughout the entire year  while an Intermittent water course is one whose water flow stops at certain seasons of the year.    

These are different from Legal Reserves in that their demarcation is linked to specific characteristic of the landscape. 

 For instance, in the surrounding areas of rivers, at least 30 meters alongside each riverbank will be a Permanent Preservation Area. The issue here is that these criteria do not necessarily require restoration, only preservation. This may pose challenges and questions concerning how to realise ecological restoration in these regions. 

Keep in mind: Rural landowners are able to include Permanent Preservation Areas in the percentage of the Legal Reserve preserved for native vegetation to comply with the forest code, but only in specific situations. One of the conditions for this is that no deforestation will have ocured in the property after the 22nd of July of 2008.   

How does The Black Jaguar Foundation assist rural landowners in complying with the Brazilian Forest code?

It is important to follow the law, and ask for help from specialised professionals when needed.  

The Black Jaguar Foundation offers free support to landowners to assist them in the ecological restoration needed to comply with the Brazilian Forest Code. We asked our field team to explain how this works! Watch their video below and find out more: 

How are we carrying out our project?   

The Black Jaguar Foundation’s technical team is present in all stages that involve 

the environmental suitability of your property. Find out how we carry out the processes of ecological restoration below:  

Would you like to find out more about how we are working together with rural landowners in the Araguaia Region? Get in touch with us at and find out how you can contribute to aligning food production and environmental preservation!

The BJF Nursery is already producing seedlings for our next planting season.

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Already with the 23/24 planting season in mind, our team is continuing to grow many seedlings in the BJF nursery. 

We are starting early this year to ensure that we are able to plant as many trees as possible in the next planting season. At the end of 2022, when we were at the peak of the 2022/2023 planting season, we started searching for native seeds of species that we did not already include in our ecological restoration activities. So far, we already have over 1500 kilograms of purchased seeds!  

Thanks to the Araguaia Seed Network and some o four partner organisations and collectives, we are always on the lookout for native species to use in our project!  

The BJF nursery at full speed  

With the seeds in our hands, we are able to start producing seedlings. To ensure the growth of these seeds, our nursery team first sowed recalcitrant seeds, including: ingá-peludo, cafezinho, sombreiro, pau-preto and cupuaçu.  

 Afterwards, the team started sowing orthodox seeds – which can be stored for longer periods of time.  

Learning with new species of seeds 

At the start of this year, our team went out in search of some more species to add to our nursery’s seedling production. We found 7 different species that grow in flooded regions of the Araguaia Region. These can be used in our ecological restoration activities and will increase the biodiversity of our restoration sites!  

Finding these new species has been a great learning opportunity for our team. Over the past months, our seedling production analyst, Norivânia Diniz, has dedicated herself to getting to know how these species behave. Norivânia is determined to improve our restoration activities and continue to produce high quality seedlings for the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor 

The wonderful results seen in the BJF Nursery were made possible by the combined efforts of the Araguaia Seed Network, providing us with a large number of seeds, and our nursery team, who work hard to grow resilient seedlings for our restoration sites.  

Would you like to join our story of hope and action? Become part of the First 600 HERE and contribute to the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor!

Join us for some classical music on the 9th and 13th of June!

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Amsterdam’s oldest symphony orchestra will be promoting the Black Jaguar Foundation at their Spring concerts on the 9th and 13th of June! The UvA-orkest J. Pzn. Sweelinck, is full of talented young musicians currently studying at the University of Amsterdam. This year, the Orchestra would like to use its musical voice to raise awareness of  the importance of ecological restoration in maintaining our ecosystems. Together, we have created beautiful leaflets to promote BJF that will be distributed at the concert. You will be able to scan the QR code on the leaflet, and directly donate to BJF. At the end of the year, they will also dedicate a benefit concert to the Black Jaguar Foundation!

Have a look at the upcoming concerts and buy your ticket on the UvA-orkest J. Pzn. Sweelinck website:

9th of June

On the 9th of June, you can join us at 20:15 in De Duif. We are excited to listen to the wonderful program, consisting of the following pieces:

  • Igor Stravinsky – De vuurvogel (1919 Suite)
  • Paul Dukas – L’Apprenti sorcier
  • Maurice Ravel – Alborada del gracioso
  • Béla Bartók – Concert voor orkest
13th of June

On the 13th of June, you will find us at Het Concertgebouw. The concert starts at 20:15, and the program will be as follows:

  • Igor Stravinsky – De vuurvogel (1919 Suite)
  • Paul Dukas – L’Apprenti sorcier
  • Maurice Ravel – Alborada del gracioso
  • Béla Bartók – Concert voor orkest
About The UvA-orkest J. Pzn. Sweelinck Orchestra

The oldest symphony orchestra of Amsterdam is filled with 85 inspired and enthusiastic young musicians, all students. Through the years, Sweelinck has performed multiple great works, has accompanied the greatest soloists and most importantly, brought up the musical spirit among many people, young and old. The orchestra aims to bring music to everyone, not only the common music enthusiast, but especially those who have never been to a classical music concert before.

Watch their crowd funding video below:

How does the orchestra support BJF?

Every two years, the Sweelinck orchestra leaves the Netherlands for a new country, to bring music to all people there and to enhance the team spirit within the orchestra. Such tours are very important to the development of the students and to set our musical programme in a new light.

Nevertheless, the tours also involve some travel by plane. This year, Sweelinck Orchestra will travel by train as much as possible, and compensate for their travel by planting some trees with the Black Jaguar Foundation!

Find out more about the Sweelick Orchestra and get tickets to the concerts HERE.

We hope to see you at the concerts!

Meet our valued BJF First 600 Sponsor and Friend: Franck Fielemon!

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We are very excited to introduce you to Franck Fielemon: the founder of! 

Franck has been helping us by carrying out fundraising campaigns and providing his vast social media and sales expertise to engage a wider audience to participate in the Black Jaguar Foundation’s mission of hope and action. 

Fundrasing campaign: calling for a better future

In December 2022, Franck Fielemon organised a fundraising campaign, where he spent his entire day calling clients to raise money for the Black Jaguar Foundation and the Boes Bos Foundation. He put together a dedicated team of colleagues including Hans Boxman, Koos Scholtens, Charlotte Krielaart, Anneke Siemons, Jonathan Fokker, Mark Vos and Carlijn ten Bos.  

At the end of the day, they managed to raise 7.600 euros! Impressive right? This amount increased to 8.350 the next day. 

We are grateful to Franck and his team for their contributions to the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor and very impressed by all that they managed to achieve within just one day!  

Helping us grow the BJF community

Franck has continued to support the Black Jaguar Foundation over the past months by providing us with a free LinkedIN for business course. Through this, we are building more long-term relationships and spreading the Black Jaguar Foundation’s mission as much as we can.  

The course is being taken by our communications team, who are currently on its second module. Right now, their focus in on optimising different team members’ profiles and growing the BJF network. We are all very happy to have this opportunity to grow!  


Once again, a BIG thank you to Franck for all his efforts. We are excited to see where this partnership goes moving forward.  

Find out more about HERE. 

As you can see from the example above, there are many different ways of contributing to the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor! You can of course always join our community of First 600 sponsors HERE but you can also reach out to us at with any ideas you may have to raise support for our mission. 

3 ways of showing your mom just how much she means to you!

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How are you celebrating Mother’s Day this year? At the Black Jaguar Foundation, we know that our mothers would like nothing more than to see their kids healthy, happy and safe. Still, it does not hurt to show them some appreciation from time to time!

For Mother’s Day, we created a list of three thoughtful ways of honouring our mothers while ensuring a healthier planet for future generations:

1. Donating Trees

Give your mom the gift of life! Doesn’t that seem fitting? This gift will make for a funny anecdote and keep giving for generations to come. When you donate trees, you receive a personalised tree certificate, showing where your trees will be planted.

Your donation will contribute to a cycle of 17 steps of ecological restoration and ensure that your mother’s tree becomes resilient and grows strong in the years to come. As the trees grow, they also contribute to:

  • Increased biodiversity
  • Revitalised ecosystem services
  • Improving the livelihoods of local communities
  • Helping to mitigate climate change

A gesture your mom will certainly appreciate! Donate a Tree HERE. 

2. With a special gift by TreeLove

Celebrate the future with a present – carefully designed by TreeLove. Have a look at their beautiful array of gifts, all of which plant native trees along the Amazon’s Araguaia Biodiversity corridor. From their gorgeous necklaces to their selection of handmade sculptures by carefully chosen artists from around the world, each gift represents your personal contribution and commitment to the planet.

3. By sharing the beautiful gesture you made for your mom on social media! 

Nothing speaks louder than honouring the moments you have shared together. So, how about sharing the beautiful gesture you made for your mom? This ways you can celebrate Mother’s while promoting biodiversity in the Amazon Rainforest and Cerrado Savanna!

We prepared instagrammable certificates for you to download and share! Find them by clicking on the links below:

We wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day, and hope this list helps you come up with a wonderful way of celebrating your mom!

How does ecological restoration of non-forest ecosystems differ from forest ecosystems?

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The above image shows soil preparation of one of our restoration sites

After receiving many questions on the topic, our Project Coordinator, Dimitrio Schievenin wrote a blogpost for the BJF about how the ecological restoration of forest ecosystems differs from non-forest ecosystems including grasslands. Dimitrio is a forest engineer with a Masters in Forest Science from São Paulo State University and a bachelor’s degree in Forest Engineering from São Carlos Federal University. We are proud to have him coordinating, organising, and implementing the ecological restoration that is needed to realise the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor! 

 Ecological restoration is often associated with planting native trees. However, not all natural ecosystems are forests – some do not even have trees. Therefore, all ecological restoration must consider the composition and structure of the original ecosystem in the planning and implementation of projects.  

Map illustrating the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor

The Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor covers the two largest biomes in Brazil: the Amazon Rainforest and the Cerrado Savanna. The Amazon consists mainly of forest environments which vary depending on flooding, seasonality, and type of soil. This is not the case for the Cerrado Savanna. Though this biome does have many forested areas, it consists mainly of open patches of land that may or may not contain trees. The so-called “typical Cerrado” (cerrado strictu-sensu) is made up of smaller trees, spaced to the point that they are not able to form shade over the ground with their leaves, and have full canopy closure, but do contain bushes and native grasses.  

 There are also grasslands, which may not contain any trees at all. All these native non-forest environments play a very important role in ensuring ecosystem services. This is especially true when it comes to replenishing groundwater and enabling biodiversity to thrive. When there is a need to restore an ecosystem that was originally not forested, planting trees may not be the best strategy, as it modifies the environment and harms the ecosystem services and fauna that do best in open areas. In this case, the reintroduction of native grasses and shrubs, as well as the control of invasive exotic grasses, is what could really help in the recovery of the ecosystem. 

 So far, the Black Jaguar Foundation’s efforts have focused on the central and northern portion of the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor, which has mostly forests. Nevertheless, once we start restoring savannah and grassland areas, we will of course be sure to use the best practices and always take into account the area’s previous vegetation. After all, the reason we are carrying out ecological restoration is to revitalize our ecosystems for the long term. 

Would you like to join us in realizing one of the longest biodiversity corridors on Earth? Become one of the First 600 to join our mission of hope and action HERE.

BJF team demonstrates the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor!

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At the start of this month, the BJF team presented the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor to some of our loyal sponsor partners! Over the course of three days, we organized visits to the BJF nursery, ecological restoration sites, and seed collection activities with the Araguaia Seed network. We even collected seeds in flooded areas, from a canoe! 

Amazing, isn’t it? Check out the “logbook” that we have prepared for you:

During our first day in Santana do Araguaia (PA), we visited the BJF Nursery, which is already full of seedlings for the next planting season! 

At the nursery, our Seedling Production Analyst, Norivânia Diniz, explained the entire process of seedling production. Afterwards, our visitors got their hands dirty by carrying out the direct seeding of andiroba and sombrero seeds, and then transplanting annatto and guanandi seedlings from the sand beds where they were originally sowed, to tubes. 

See the visit in action:

In the morning of the following day, we visited our ecological restoration sites on one of our partner farms! We visited an area where we carried out ecological restoration just 11 months ago. See how our trees have grown 

Our visitors took the opportunity to plant some trees themselves:  

During the afternoon, our Seed Production Analyst, Laís D’Ísep, talked about the Araguaia Seed Network and the positive impact that it is generating for the communities that live in the region. 

At the end of the day, our Articulation Coordinator, Marcelle Grumberg, answered our parner’s questions regarding the Brazilian Forest Code and explained how the Black Jaguar Foundation works with landowners in the region.  

Marcelle Grumberg, BJF Articulation Coordinator, next to an Urucum tree in our 11 month old restoration site
Meeting the Araguaia Seed Network

On the last day of the trip, we were excited to introduce our loyal BJF partners to members of the Araguaia Seed Network. Our Seed Network 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! One of the families that is currently collecting seeds for Black Jaguar Foundation invited us to their house, which borders the Araguaia River. We collected seeds in surrounding areas however needed a canoe to do so given that many sites flooded during the rainy season.  

After fully immersing themselves in the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor, our BJF sponsors left with a very clear picture of the socio-environmental impact that our project is promoting in the region. They were also very please to see how much we have grown in past years.  

We are very proud of all that we have seen in the past few days and hope that, after reading this account of their visit, you feel closer to our mission as well!  

Some of our valued partners with members of the BJF team
Would you like to join us in realizing one of the longest biodiversity corridors on Earth? Become one of the First 600 to join our mission of hope and action HERE.

BJF partners with local government in Pará to restore native vegetation!

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A big thank you to the state of Pará’s Secretary of Environment and sustainability for inviting the Black Jaguar Foundation to become part of the working group that will be responsible for building Para’s plan to restore native vegetation!  

The plan, which is part of the program “Amazônia Agora” (PEAA), aims to restore 5.4 million hectares in Pará until 2030. It will be a collaborative effort, to be delivered at this year’s UN Climate Conference (COP 28). This will further the goal of neutralising Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by the year 2036, as outlined in the PEAA plan.

The Working Group will be responsible for holding meetings, identifying obstacles and opportunities, mapping ongoing restoration activities in the state of Pará, promoting workshops for building the state of Pará’s restoration activities, among many other activities.

Around 50 institutions are currently participating in this working group, including governmental agencies, research institutions, NGOs, indigenous peoples, quilombolas, and traditional communities. 

The Black Jaguar Foundation was present in the working group’s inauguration cerimony

On the 17th of March, part of our landraising team, led by Marcelle Grumberg, traveled to Belém to represent the BJF at the opening ceremony of the Working Group. 

Have a look some pictures of our team with Raul Protázio Romão, Pará’s Secretary of Environment and sustainability (left), and Mariana Iguatemy (right) at the event:  

We are very proud to be part of a project based on dialogue between such a diverse group of people and organizations. We hope this collaboration will contribute to the creation, integration, and promotion of projects that contribute to the ecological restoration of the Earth. Additionally, we are certain that increasing restoration efforts will also benefit the local economy by providing new jobs and income 

Would you like to join us in realizing one of the longest biodiversity corridors on Earth? Become one of the First 600 to join our mission of hope and action HERE.

De Heus Brazil visits the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor!

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Watch the inspiring video of our long term partner De Heus visiting the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor.It was great that their devoted team could experience all the 17 steps of the BJF-Cycle of ecological restoration that allow us to make long-term positive impact together!

The visit lasted three days, and included trips to the new BJF nursery, our restoration sites, and meeting the Araguaia Seed Collection Collective. Read more HERE for an in-depth overview of their trip.

Together with local farmers and sponsor partners including De Heus, the Black Jaguar Foundation is working to plant 1.7 billion trees to realize the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor.

Get inspired by the video above and become one of the First 600 to join us on this story of hope HERE!