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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!

Read our feature in Valor Econômico!

By News Home

The Black Jaguar Foundation was featured in Valor Econômico, one of the biggest and most relevant newspapers in Brazil!  

Read the piece below: 
Keep reading for some highlights from the piece!

The piece, written by Timóteo Camargo, begins by highlighting the importance of realizing the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor, emphasizing that the Cerrado is:   

“The second biggest biome in Brazil, covering almost a fourth of the national territory present along 12 states”. 

The Black Jaguar Foundation plants trees on a massive scale in collaboration with local landowners in the Araguaia region, connecting the Amazon Rainforest and Cerrado Savana. In doing so, we are bringing back biodiversity and working towards a healthy planet for future generations!  

Realizing the corridor not only brings clear benefits for the planet, but on social and economic terms as well. In 2019, we conducted an impact study together with 11 renowned scientists from the University of São Paulo and the university of Illinois. The study analysed the total investment needed for the project and compared this with the eventual benefits for the planet and costs that would be spared to rural landowners. You can access it HERE.

 Ultimately, the Black Jaguar Foundation will plant 1,7 billion trees to ecologically restore 1 million hectares of degraded land. Camargo sees this as a bold and ambitious initiative, adding that:  

“This area alone represents 8% of the commitment Brazil has made with regards to reforestation and conservation, that has been registered in the Paris agreement”.  

Nevertheless, to make the corridor a reality, we need the support of many motivated companies, individuals and landowners dedicated to bringing back our planet’s biodiversity. It is too late to be a pessimist – the time to act is now!  

In the article published by Valor Economico, Carlos Felix, our landowner partner and owner of the Bela Vista farm, provides a beautiful example of an individual working hard to ensure the future of agriculture and food production. Carlos talks about why he joined our mission of hope and action, focusing on how the ecological restoration of degraded areas “contributes to the increase of water in the farm and to the preservation of fauna and flora”.   

Without water, there is no agriculture. It is that simple. The future of our planet is something that directly impacts every one of us, regardless of where we live. It is also something that we all have the power to change.  

 

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

4 ways to support the BJF today!

By Invisible on news page, News Home

Giving Tuesday is here; a great opportunity to support a cause you, our planet and our future generations need.

The movement began in 2012, aiming to create one day with the purpose of supporting causes close to our hearts. It is now celebrated worldwide, at the start of the festive season every year. This year it will take place next week Tuesday, on November 29th.

It  motivates us to see so many organizations and individuals united to promote a culture of giving in Brazil and around the world. The Black Jaguar Foundation is happy to join this movement, and you are all invited to join us.

 

To support the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor, you can contribute in many different ways:
Donate a Tree HERE 

Give the gift of life on this Holiday season! Why not gift your loved ones some trees for Sinterklaas or Christmas? They will receive a personalized tree certificate showing where their trees will be planted along the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor! So, in addition to spreading joy, you will also be contributing to a greener planet.

Sponsor your window and join the first 600 community HERE 

Join our first 600 community HERE and become one of The First 600 to sponsor one of the largest reforestation projects on earth. Your partnership and support is invaluable and will help to preserve our planet. Take this opportunity to help the BJF and its partners accomplish our ambitious mission of hope and action. You can join us on your own, with a company or as part of a group effort!

In our first years, we built a healthy base for our foundation, and our team grew to include over 140 professional volunteers from 14 different countries. With the passion and dedication from this team, we were able to start planting in 2018 and have since scaled up very quickly.

Buy a copy of No Risk, No Life – the origins of the Black Jaguar Foundation HERE

Did you know that our initiator, Ben Valks, launched a book together with Brenda Smeenge, explaining the origins of the Black Jaguar Foundation? It is an incredibly motivating story that will certainly inspire you, or whoever you choose to gift it to, to follow your dreams!

100 % of the book’s royalties are donated to the Black Jaguar Foundation, to complete the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor!

Help to promote the Black Jaguar Foundation’s mission of hope and action!

We understand that for many, donating is not an option. In this case, there are still many different ways for you to help us spread our mission. One of the most important ones is your very valuable voice. Feel free to share our content, tag your friends on our social media posts, and talk about the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor at family dinners. That’s what the BJF team does 24/7! It will make a difference and the planet will thank us for it.

We hope that you choose to participate in this Giving Tuesday in some way. Do not hesitate to reach out to us if you would like some more information about how you can help. As always, thank for your continuous support!

Landraising: More farmers are joining the BJF mission!

By News Home

Rural landowners are at the forefront of our ecological restoration project! They are an integral part of successfully realizing the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor.

Our landraising team is always looking for new partnerships and with each new contract that is signed, we continue to strengthen our community of rural landowners who believe that agriculture and the preservation of our ecosystems can – and must – grow together!

We are very proud to annouce the following landowner partnerships:

A big thank you to these food producers for trusting our mission!

We hope to celebrate many milestones with these landowners, in the construction of the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor.

WHAT DOES A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN A FARMER AND THE BJF ENTAIL?

The Black Jaguar Foundation understands that ecological restoration can be an expensive and complex activity for farmers. That’s why we work together with landowners to create a restoration model that works for them. By providing technical, legal, and financial support, we assist farmers in complying with the Brazilian Forest code, and incentivise restoration.

Are you a landowner in the Araguaia region? Contact us via contato@black-jaguar.org if you would like to join the Black Jaguar Foundation’s mission of hope and action!

BJF team participates in celebration event for the largest seed-network in Brazil!

By News Home

The Araguaia Seed Collection Collective is an initiative started by the Black Jaguar Foundation to provide seeds for our mission of ecological restoration that has already shown great benefits to local communities and the Araguaia Biodiversity corridor. The initiative is relatively young, and we would like to develop it so that it can reach its full potential in generating a positive impact for society and the planet. That’s why we take pride in learning from the Xingu Seed Network (Rede de Sementes do Xingu), which is the biggest seed network in Brazil, and has already been collecting seeds for 15 years! The Xingu Seed Network focusses on collecting high quality diverse native seeds while bringing together different communities and valuing their land and culture. Their collectors include indigenous groups, small-scale farmers, and those engaged in urban agriculture. Most of the collectors are indigenous women, and the network prides itself in how it brings together different groups.

With this in mind, our seed production analyst, Laís D’Ísep, participated in the 15 year celebration event for the Xingu Seed Network!  The festivities brought together seed collectors, representatives of organizations, journalists and supporters from all over Brazil, eager to share experiences and knowledge to accomplish one common goal: restoring our planet’s socio-biodiversity.

The event was held at the Pavuru Pole and at the Moygu village, Xingu Indigenous Territory (TIX), Mato Grosso, on the banks of the Xingu River. The Ikpeng indigenous people live there and it is the base of opperations for the Yarang Women’s Movement – a group that is part of the Xingu Seeds Network along with 24 other communities.

Some highlights from the 15 year celebration event

On the first day of the event, 210 participants listened to speeches by leaders of the seed collection groups organized by Rede de Sementes do Xingu and other organizations. They spoke about how the seed collective is inspiring different groups to work together. Indigenous cultural presentations were also performed, including a celebratory dance by the Ikpeng community that was present.

On the following day, participants were invited to collect amescla seeds from the forest’s floor. The activitity was carried out together with women belonging to the Yarang community, who are usually responsible for this job, and conduct it while singing.

Afterwards, some of Rede de Sementes do Xingu’s most successful initiatives were presented, including their work with youth groups and other initiatives generating a positive social impact. In the afternoon, everyone came together to carry out muvuca and each participant was allowed to take some seeds home.

At night, a forró contest was organized to close the celebration and, the next day, everyone returned to Canarana (MT).

The First Encontro do REDÁRIO

The Araguaia Seed Collection Collective has also recently participated in the first Encontro do Redario!

The Encontro do Redário is an initiative that aims to bring together different seed collectives in Brazil, as well as associations of collectors, academia and other organizations that offer technical, legal and commercial support to seed collectives.

The first edition of this event took place at Aldeia Multiétnica, in Chapada dos Veadeiros – Alto Paraíso de Goiás. Its main objective was to create a space where participants could exchange experiences and build what they believe Redário is and can become.

Instituto Natureza do Tocantins visits the new BJF nursery

By News Home

To celebrate the Brazilian Nature Day on October 4th, Instituto Natureza do Tocantins (NATURATINS)’s technical team visited our new native seedling nursery in Santana do Araguaia!

 The organization is responsible for the implementation of public policies aimed at preserving and conserving natural resources in Tocantins. They visited our nursery to understand the processes involved in seedling production and use this to re-operationalise the nursery in the Cantão State park (Parque estadual do cantão).

During the visit, Norivânia Diniz, who is responsible for coordinating the Black Jaguar Foundation’s nursery team, explained the different areas of our nursery, the machinery that we use and the processes involved in seedling production. Seedling production starts with the substrate and sowing of the seeds, to ensuring the seedlings have become resilient enough to be planted, and finally the transporting of seeds to our ecological restoration sites.

In addition to monitoring the day-to-day work in our nursery, the NATURATINS technical team was also able to ask the BJF team all of their questions. “Since they would like to re-operationalise a small nursery, like the one we had at Fazenda Santa Fé, I was able to share my experiences and explain how we carried out the activities there”, explains Norivânia.

We are very proud to provide an example of the successful production of seedlings in the Araguaia region and hope to that our contribution to the ecological restoration of our forests grows a little bit more every day!

Find our more about how NATURATINS celebrated Brazilian nature here

The BJF presents the closing Keynote speech at the Esri Netherlands GIS conference 2022

By News Home

The 29th edition of the Esri Netherlands GIS conference that took place in Rotterdam’s World Trade Center last month welcomed almost 1400 participants and was a big success. With companies from a variety of different sectors coming together to share how they use Esri’s software, it provided a wonderful opportunity to promote our mission of hope and action and learn from other organisations.

A big thank you to Esri Netherlands for inviting our initiator Ben Valks and Community Outreach Coordinator Joël Boele to explain how we are making use of their geo-information software to restore the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor and work towards a healthy planet for future generations.

The conference took place over the course of two days, and with this item we would like to bring to you some of the second day’s highlights, where the BJF gave the closing presentation.

The Black Jaguar Foundation presented the closing Keynote speech! 

We were honoured to provide the closing presentation for the Esri Netherlands conference. Joël Boele (Community Outreach Coordinator) and Ben Valks (Initiator) explained our how we plan to plant 1,7 billion native trees in the Amazon Rainforest and Cerrado Savanna over the course of 30 years.

As Ben beautifully put it : “We have no plan B because there is no planet B“. The time to act is now and it is definitely too late to be a pessimist. It is safe to say that the entire conference room was inspired by Ben and Joël’s drive and inspiring words.

Joël dove into how we are currently using Esri to realise the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor. She explained that first, we use Esri’s software to create maps, showing which areas are available for ecological restoration, and giving us an idea of how simple they are to access. These observations, together with satellite images and field visits, allow us to validate different areas for restoration, decide on which restoration methods are needed, and which species of trees should be planted in the designated areas.
Finally, the room was left in an atmosphere of hope. With the message that nature CAN be restored, if we listen and work with it. Thank you Esri for all of your support, and for organizing this wonderful event!

Finally, the room was left in an atmosphere of hope. With the message that nature CAN be restored, if we listen and work with it. Thank you Esri for all of your support, and for organizing this wonderful event!

Have a look at how the presentations went via the following video (please be aware that it is in Dutch!)
How is Esri supporting our mission?

Currently, Esri Netherlands is providing both financial and technical support to our grand mission of restoring the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor. Esri’s ArcGIS Platform supports the BJF in gathering data of all sorts, so that we can reach objective answers to difficult challenges.

More recently, Esri released a podcast of our initiator Ben Valks and Community Outreach Coordinator Joel Boele, recorded during the conference. You can access this in their podcast “Something Spacial” , via this link.

We are determined to build a greener planet, together with our partner farmers, and sponsor partners like ESRI who are incredibly motivated to help us realise our mission.

Find out more about our partnership with Esri on their first 600 page here! Together, we are stronger.
A closer look at the rest of the sessions, which were full of innovation!
Data driven work

Bas Bijtelaar (Esri’s senior manager business development) started the second part of the plenary program with “Footprints”, a beautiful song he played on his saxophone to highlight the importance of leaving positive footprints on our planet. Bas emphasised the importance of data driven work and the role that geo information systems play in this. We were grateful to be given the opportunity to follow his great performance and insights.

The morning sessions
Vitens

The second day of the conference was opened by Esri’s directors, Ed van Ingen en Jurgen ten Siethof, and revolved around the theme : “innovating together”. During the plenary session that followed, two of Vitens’ key members, Matthijs Zwart (Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer) and Tyrza Niemeije (product owner Digital Twin distributie), explained how Vitens uses Esri software to ensure the sustainable distribution of drinking water.

As Matthijs beautifully put it: “A mission creates a team”. This is very much something we relate to, here at the Black Jaguar Foundation. It was great to see a drive to preserve our planet’s resources, present in other companies making use of ESRI software as well.

VolkerWessels

Together with Jan Peter ter Maaten (service owner and product owner GIS), Paulus Eckhardt, Volker Wessels’ director of digitization explained how the company is making use of ESRI software to to manage their clients’ information and deal with every-day challenges.

A big thank you to Esri Netherlands for organising this wonderful event!