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

By | News Home

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!

The planting of native trees in the Corridor continues!

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It has been all hands on deck along the corridor as thousands more trees are currently being planted as part of our first pilot project. Finally the BJF dream is becoming a reality thanks to the immense work and dedication of our team.

We have used two different methodologies for planting in our Pilot project:

1) Direct Planting

Seedlings are grown in the nurseries and then planted in the field. The process involves removing invasive grasses, soil preparation, soil fertilization and finally the planting itself. We divide tree species in two groups: fast growing and diversity. The first group consists of a few species that grow really fast and provide good shade. The role of these species is to shade out invasive grasses and change the microclimate for diversity species. The second group consists of species of different functions within the ecosystem. These trees live longer, grow taller and feed the fauna.

2) Direct Seeding

This method involved putting seeds directly in the ground. We use tree seeds and legume seeds. Legume plants are nitrogen fixing and fast growing, thus helping in shading out invasive grasses and changing the microclimate for the trees to come.

Our forest engineers will soon be making videos to explain more about our planting process, we will keep you updated!

Ibiraú : new technical partner keeps us moving forward

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We are proud to announce that Ibiraú – the mapping and forest restoration engineers- have become a BJF technical partner. They have carried out an extensive mapping study and they have shared it with the BJF. This represents a breakthrough; we can now plan the next steps of restoration in the states of Tocantins and Pará.

The document analyses several aspects of the landscape of the region where we work: land limits, hydrography, state of the vegetation, connectivity potential… We can perceive in detail the localized needs of the regions we are helping to reforest. A great breakthrough for the BJF!

An example of the extensive mapping carried out by Ibiraú. 

New sponsor partnership: Seacon Logistics

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Mr. Hai Berden (founder of Seacon Logistics) and Mrs. Corrie Berden proudly receive their BJF Jaguar sculpture as a symbolic start of our partnership.

People, planet, profit – Seacon Logistics has always attached great importance to corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Seacon is a global logistical company with a presence in 75 countries worldwide. They are dedicated to running their operations in a way that reduces their environmental impact and limits CO2 emissions. We are very proud of our new partnership with Seacon! Their values beautifully align with our own, striving to create a better world for the next generation.

BJF roadshow at the University of Illinois

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Back in August, the Black Jaguar Foundation gave a lecture for students partaking in the Environmental Law and Policy course taught by Professor Heidi M. Hurd (Illinois University) at FGV Law School in São Paulo . After the lecture, Francisco Macedo (Partnerships Coordinator) was invited by Prof. Hurd to do a roadshow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The roadshow took place in November 2018. Its main objectives were to raise awareness around deforestation in the Brazilian Cerrado savannah and Amazon rainforest and promote the initiatives led by the Black Jaguar Foundation on its mission to realise the Araguaia Corridor, the largest biodiversity corridor on earth.

In Illinois, Francisco had the honor of (i) delivering an address at a Luncheon Seminar, attended by Environmental Policy students and some college of Law Faculty members, (ii) speaking individually to over fifteen local professors from different faculties in order to discuss potential partnerships between the University of Illinois and the Black Jaguar Foundation and (iii) deliver a keynote at the Land Conservation Foundation annual dinner

Apart from enlarging the BJF Community, Francisco’s trip was very productive and the outcomes range from financial donations to the establishment of scientific partnerships to be announced soon… We will keep you posted!

After the time spent at the University of Illinois, Francisco also flew to New York City to host a series of fundraising meetings. These meetings also turned out to have a great positive financial outcome for the BJF.

Meet Eloise: Our Communications Coordinator

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BJF’s core team keeps on expanding! We now have a dedicated communications coordinator, Eloise Moench, who takes charge of our internal and external communications. This involves ensuring our sponsor partners are up to date with the latest news, building our social media presence and making sure our whole team is aligned and informed about how our grand project is developing.

Eloise is from the UK but moved to the Netherlands almost two years ago to study a Philosophy Masters. She specialized in climate negotiations- exploring how philosophical ideas of distributive justice can instruct the ways in which we internationally share the costs of climate change. After completing her degree she decided to stay in the Netherlands and begin working for the BJF, promoting and communicating the importance of our mission. We are happy to have her on board!

BJF 2018: Some of our Highlights

By | Allgemein, News Home

2019 is already here, and we couldn’t be more grateful to have you with us. Thanks to your support, we’ve accomplished many milestones in 2018.  Together we:

  • Completed the Mapping Task of the entire 10,4 million ha Araguaia Corridor Zone thanks to our partner World Resources Institute (Brasil).
  • Completed the Biodiversity Planning of over 6,000 ha. 
  • Expanded our community of restoration & mapping partners in Brazil.
  • Constructed two nurseries for native trees and started our restoration work on the ground. The planting has started!

There are so many more milestones to share with you! That’s why we created a photo collage to get an impression.

Give the gift of life this Christmas

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The BJF is full of festive cheer! We have achieved so many milestones this year that would not be possible without the voluntary and financial help of all our sponsor partners and extended team. However, our mission does not stop here. In order to become one of the worlds largest reforestation projects, billions of trees still need to be planted and billions of funds still need to be raised. This holiday season give a gift to the planet, give a gift to the next generation and give a gift to yourself by donating towards our great cause.

You can get involved here.

Buy an Iguazu watch & support the BJF!

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Iguazu is the up and coming watch company dedicated towards conserving natural beauty. We have recently signed an exciting partnership with them. For each watch you buy from Iguazu, you indirectly donate to the BJF so we can plant three native trees along the corridor. Buying an Iguazu time piece is a great and stylish way of supporting our project!

Iguazu are named after the glorious Iguazu waterfalls bordering Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. These astonishing beauties are one of the Seven Wonders of Nature. The straps on Iguazu watches are also made with upcycled leather (material that would otherwise be discarded by the fashion industry). The company’s sustainable zero waste concept is fully in line with BJF values- making them a great sponsor partner!

You can view the Iguazu website and browse their watch selection here