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You made BJF’s first Celebration Event… a great success

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The 12th of September was a very special day for the BJF team as we celebrated our first milestones together with over 100 of our close friends and sponsor partners. We would like to especially thank our honorary ambassador HRH Princess Basma Bint Ali for her inspiring closing speech, and Scelta Mushrooms for being the best possible hosts! The positive energy we received from our guests has energized us to keep on fighting for our mighty mission. Now we are all set to work hard to achieve our next milestones. With your continuous support we can make it happen!

Ivan Nisida, Francisco Macedo and board members Caspar Burn and Guilherme Fleury of our team based in Brazil traveled to the Netherlands for the event.  Several rousing speeches were given and all the Milestones of the past years were shared with the audience. First Scelta’s CEO Jan Klerken, then several of our own team and then one of the Brazilian landowners – Guilherme Tiezzi- stood up to speak and present. Tiezzi is the man who enabled us to build on of our first pilot nurseries. It was encouraging to hear about how (transition) landowners in Brazil are dedicated to working with us to make a change.

After a short break our honorary speaker HRH Princess Basma Bint Ali of Jordan gave an inspiring speech about the importance of preserving our planet and becoming more sustainable for future generations. Listening to this incredibly accomplished woman talk with such passion about the importance of projects like the BJF was extremely heartwarming for all who attended the event.  

We would like to say a huge huge thank you to everyone who attended and celebrated with us, it was truly special to see such an amazing network of conscientious people supporting our mission. Please enjoy looking through our collection of photos from the event, in case you missed out. Until next year, when we will be celebrating our next milestones in Amsterdam!

Our fieldwork with Bioflora scientists is on track!

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The last two months have been extremely important for the BJF pilot project as Bioflora’s specialists have paid two visits to the farms that have partnered with us: Guaíra, Santa Juliana and Santa Fé.

Director and Forest Restoration Specialist, Dr. André Nave, was there in June to carry out  field visits on site alongside our Forest Engineer- Carlos Eduardo. It was a great opportunity for all parties involved in the process (nursery carers, seed collectors, farm managers) to understand their role better and to plan the actions for the planting activities in the end of the year (intensification of seed collecting and field activities to receive the seedlings). You can learn more about Dr André Nave and watch his video testimonial here.

In August, Mr Guilherme Faganello’s, Bioflora’s Nursery Manager, also visited. His knowledge and input was invaluable for us to fine-tune our nursery activities with landowners and their teams and to understand which tasks in the project should be prioritized.

With both nurseries finalized, all of our focus today is on reaching the goals determined for BJF’s pilot project:  to plant the first batch of seedlings by the end of 2018 and ignite large-scale restoration projects in 2019 in Caseara and Santana do Araguaia. It’s only the beginning, but the small steps we are currently making will be essential as the base for further expansion in the coming future!

BJF lectures at FGV Law School in São Paulo

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In August our team in Brazil had the honor to deliver a lecture to students partaking in the Environmental Law and Policy course taught by professor Heidi M. Hurd (Illinois University) at FGV Law School (Faculdade Getúlio Vargas) in São Paulo. Apart from being a professor, Prof. M. Hurd is also one of the Board Directors at the prestigious Land Conservation Foundation in Illinois, United States. You can find out more about the foundation here.

Prof. M. Hurd was hired by FGV to deliver a short-term course at São Paulo University to their undergraduate students as part of their Global Law module from August the 6th to the 10th. Our very own Francisco Macedo (Partnerships Coordinator) joined the course himself as an audit student.

Francisco introduced the BJF to Prof. M Hurd, who was very interested and inspired by the project and offered the BJF the opportunity to deliver a lecture in the last class of her course.

The lecture was delivered on August the 10th by Francisco Macedo and Ivan Nisida (Project Coordinator) and focused on the success case of Black Jaguar Foundation in using Brazilian laws and policies as one of the core instruments in our nature conservation strategy.

BJF’s Francisco Macedo and Prof. M. Hurd are still in touch and shall soon bring great news… we will keep you posted!

Scelta paves the way for BJF sponsors to go CO2 neutral

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A moment of recognition is in order for Scelta Mushrooms and the myriad of ways they have dedicated themselves to becoming a more sustainable business through our joint partnership. Other than being our long time friend and sponsor partner, Scelta has recently started to analyse the CO2 output of all their factories, with the goal of becoming a carbon neutral business through carbon offsetting.

Carbon offsetting is when a company or individual calculates how much carbon is produced through their operations or lifestyle choices, and then ‘offsets’ this carbon by investing in a mission like ours that reduces the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Scelta Mushrooms intends to further support the BJF to enable us to plant native trees in large numbers in the Araguaia Corridor. With the ultimately long term goal that all of their carbon output will be cancelled out by the amount of CO2 our trees absorb!

Would you also be interested in reducing your carbon footprint by financially supporting our mission? Don’t hesitate to get in contact with us by email at:

New strategic partnership: Climate Smart Group

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We are proud to announce our recently signed partnership with the Canadian based Climate Smart Group (CSG). The Brazilian branch of CSG helps farmers optimize their land, producing more and implementing best practices that lower GHG emissions. This results in higher economic returns for the farmer as well as avoiding the need to deforest to meet the growing demand for food. Both CSG and BJF have developed a ‘Farmers’ Kit’ to support farmers to transition to climate smart agriculture. BJF’s role will focus on regeneration of degraded areas and connecting pristine forests. Creating a Win-Win-Win situation for farmers and conservationists alike!

BJF Diamond team trip 2018: A true experience!

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This August some of our dedicated team members went on an official BJF expedition to the Araguaia Corridor: the 2nd BJF Diamond Team Trip to date.

The Diamond team was made up of our great supporters Natascha and Floris Wouterson and their children, Camille and Cédric. Natascha and Floris are the owners of the bedroom furniture store, sleepwise. You can learn more about them and their involvement with the BJF here. The trip was organised as a thank you for their continued support over the last few years and to show them the reality of our grand mission. Our founder, Ben Valks, our Forest Engineer, Carlos Eduardo Batista, our Partnership Coordinator, Francisco Macedo and Project Coordinator, Ivan Nisida also went along on the trip to remind themselves of the beauty of the Araguaia and the importance of the mission we are undertaking

This trip had a few goals: (1) visit our new nurseries in two farms (Guaíra and Santa Fé) (2) to present the pristine nature of the Araguaia river and Cantão State Park to our Dutch colleagues, the very nature they try to protect by supporting the BJF (3) team-building sessions to strengthen the bond between BJF Brazil and Holland.

We planted seeds and seedlings, installed camera traps, made trekking trails in the jungle and went on sunset boat rides. Greeted with the sight of river dolphins and emas, we had the chance to apprehend the beauty that lies within the Corridor and the challenges that need to be faced in order to make the Araguaia Corridor a biodiversity corridor once more.

Meet Paco: Our new junior fundraiser

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We are excited to have Paco join our team! Born in the Netherlands, Paco will spend the next 9 months in Brazil, spreading the message of our mission to potential sponsors. He has just finished high school and has dedicated his gap year to BJF Brazil, which is an incredible example of how the younger generation can take action to create a positive impact on our planet.

In his own words, Paco discusses why he decided to embark on this incredible journey:

“My name is Paco, I am 18 years old and I believe in the mission of Black Jaguar Foundation. Having recently graduated from high school, my dream has been to embark on a gap year and see the world from a different perspective. I feel like my life has always been easy growing up in The Netherlands- one of the wealthiest and most organized countries in the world. I intend to gain a better idea about what life looks like outside of this.There seems no better way to gain this new perspective than going into the middle of the jungle, where not many people speak english, and working on contributing my part towards the ecological restoration mission that The Black Jaguar Foundation intends to achieve. The organization is very positive about what many perceive to be a very pessimistic subject- global warming. This is a subject that humanity often chooses to avoid because in order to resolve the problem, we would need to give up a lot of our current comforts.The BJF skips this avoidance and takes action. This year I will live in Brazil, with the aim of helping the BJF in any way I can and experiencing a different world to the one I have always known. I am immensely grateful to The Black Jaguar Foundation for allowing me the opportunity to see a new world and realize my dreams.”


Next month: The 2018 BJF Celebration Event!

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Please click here to view your online Invitation.

We are delighted to be organizing our first ever BJF Celebration Event on the 12th of September, to share our first milestones with you; our current and future sponsor-partners and official suppliers. The event will be held at the headquarters of Scelta Mushrooms, one of our great friends and long-time sponsors. You can learn more about Scelta on their profile page 247/600 here

It is also our pleasure to announce that Her Royal Highness Princess Bint Ali will be an Honorary Speaker at the event. She was chosen as Hero of the Planet by Time Magazine and is a strong advocate for biodiversity conservation and a valued Ambassador of the BJF.

If you haven’t received your personal invitation as of yet and would like to attend, then please click here to view your online invitation  and confirm your attendance by e-mail to Joël Boele at


Seedlings have begun sprouting in our first nursery

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Thanks to many years of tireless effort from the whole team and the unstoppable work of our local partners and Forest Engineer, Carlos Eduardo, the first thousands of seedlings have begun sprouting at our San Fé Nursery.

These first trees will serve as pioneering trees, which will grow tall and create an initial shaded canopy for other plant species to flourish underneath. The tree pictured here is a jatobá tree, which can grow to colossal heights of 30 meters! These trees will ultimately absorb large amounts of CO2 as well.

The first day of planting is scheduled in December this year. This important milestone could only be achieved thanks to your financial support! We are very pleased to see our ecological restoration dream starting to materialize into a reality.

Exciting new Partnership: The Nature Conservancy

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We are proud to announce our new partnership with one of the world’s largest nature organizations: The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Brazil. Both TNC Brasil and BJF are developing reforestation projects along the Araguaia Corridor and have now joined forces! The new partnership will unfold into institutional cooperation, joint fundraising campaigns and the creation of a pilot project for ecological restoration in the state of Mato Grosso.

The Nature Conservancy is a large global charity with a clear mission of conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. They operate in over 72 countries, aiming to realize their vision of a world where the diversity of life thrives. They are truly an accomplished organization and it’s our privilege to be working in partnership with them for now and the future.