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Webinar: Ecological Restoration & the future of Brazilian Agribusiness

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On Wednesday 9th September we hosted the first BJF webinar.

At the start of this year, 11 internationally renowned scientists completed an in-depth IMPACT STUDY of the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor and we are delighted to share the results with you!

During this webinar, we explored the results of the study and held a discussion around the impact for Brazil, and the world. In a year where deforestation in the country is set to reach an all-time high, we chose to focus on how ecological restoration can become part of a more sustainable future for Brazilian Agribusiness.

During the webinar we hear from Chief Researcher Andrea Lucchesi who provided a summary of the extensive impact study, before she was joined by expert panelists:

– Rachel Biderman – Executive Director, WRI Brasil
– Marcello Brito – President ABAG (Brazilian Agribusiness Association)
– Ingo Isernhagen – Forest Conservation Researcher, EMBRAPA

Each provided a new perspective on the prospects and challenges associated with looking to large-scale restoration as a catalyst for changing how land use is approached in Brazil.

We are so grateful for all who participated, helped to explore a topic that has the potential to change the environmental landscape in Brazil, and beyond.

If you weren’t able to join us on the day, watch the recording here…

The new Black Jaguar Foundation Logo!

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After many months of collaboration, we are proud to present to you the new Black Jaguar Foundation logo! In particular, we would like to name and thank the incredibly skilled designer of the logo, Sjoerd van Schaaijk, dedicating so much time to help and the progress of this re-green mission. We cannot thank him enough for this!

We love our old logo and we’re sad to see it go, but as the Black Jaguar Foundation develops, so must our logo. Our mission is simple. To plant 1.7 billion trees and create the longest biodiversity corridor on earth. Our new logo is a more accurate representation of this!

In our infancy, we were motivated to act by the drastic destruction of the habitat which the Black Jaguar once called home. Now, rather than focusing on the destruction, we focus on new life. The urgent and rebellious has made way for the constructive and healing. 

The Jaguar eyes remain to reinforce our name and to keep some continuity with our previous logo. However now, where there was once a footprint, representing the damage left by mankind, we now show a tree. Representing the potential for mankind to change, to learn and to create new life, where previously there has been only destruction. You may even notice the Araguaia Corridor dividing the two parts of this tree; representing the old degraded land, and the new revitalised forest. 

This new logo reflects the evolution of the foundation and embodies the hope of our mission. It represents the instrumental work being done by all of the BJF team and our community of loyal and committed supporters. 

We all have the power to change and our new logo is just one small indication of this. We are excited for you to join us in the next crucial phase of our mission, with more hope and determination than ever.

Here’s a look at one of our recently re-greened areas, restored via the direct seeding method just months ago…

One Tree Planted join the BJF for Landmark partnership

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One Tree Planted is partnering with the Black Jaguar Foundation! At One Tree Planted, their mission is simple – to make it easy for people to plant trees and help the environment. More people planting trees means more life and more hope for the future!

Partnering with local communities and people planting trees around the world, OneTreePlanted is building a global community, committed to creating positive. The Black Jaguar Foundation is now part of this Global Community and OneTreePlanted has committed to helping realise the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor with the co-financing of our first million trees!

As part of this partnership, we are honoured to have been matched with Arsenal football player Héctor Bellerín, to be the recipient organisation for his campaign to donate £3000 per arsenal win this season. This is an amazing example of how people from different places and different walks of life can work together to preserve our planet and we are so excited to welcome Héctor Bellerín on board this epic reforestation mission!
Read more about the campaign…

Bellerin

Thanks to Arsenal Football Club’s Hector Bellerin, One Tree Planted will plant 3,000 trees for every game the team wins starting in June, 2020! Fans can further contribute to this goal in order to make the biggest possible impact for the environment.

See some of the seedlings that will make up this million trees…

OneTreePlanted knows that the impact of reforestation is extensive. It’s crucial to rebuild forests after fires and floods, it has a major impact for the creation of jobs, and it restores biodiversity preserving our planet and it’s vital resources. This is to name just a few of the impacts we see when we plant trees.

These first million trees will be planted predominantly in the state of Para, in the transition zone between the Cerrado savanna and the Amazon rainforest. This is the region where our nurseries are currently located and where we are already building a close community of landowners and partners, working with individuals and groups from the local region to help stimulate local economic growth and nurture sustainable alternatives to traditional agricultural practices.

In the recent Green Capital study, which looked at the total impact that the complete restoration of the Araguaia Biodiversity study will have on the local and global community, job production and revenue gained by the landowner were among the major social impacts predicted. These are in addition to the major environmental impact for our planet.

See some of the preliminary results below, full study to be released soon!

We are thrilled to be working with such an innovative, committed organisation that shares our dream of a much, much greener future!

The miracle of Natural Regeneration

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Degradation of a given area may happen in different intensities, according to land use. A forest or a savanna that was cut down to be used as pasture land has more potential of recovery than an area where grains are cultivated, for example.

Therefore, there are some conditions in which an ecosystem can recover itself with little or no human interference. If degradation hasn’t destroyed the seed bank in the soil, for example, it can germinate and re-establish the ecosystem, at least partially.

Our technicians are trained in detecting which sites have higher potential of recovering. In some cases, all it takes to restore one given site is to remove the degradation factors themselves. If degradation is being caused by cattle grazing for example, we must build a fence to keep cattle away. Once we detect sprouting trees, bushes and native grasses, we must assist them by controlling competing plants and even fertilizing the soil.  All interventions aim at accelerating the recovery that would otherwise take much longer. Monitoring will indicate if other actions should be necessary.

Natural regeneration is, then, an effective and low-cost restoration technique. However, it should only be applied in sites that haven’t gone through severe degradation, in these cases we must prepare the land intensively so it is ready for us to plant new seeds and seedlings! 

These are more areas located in the Cerrado savanna that our forest engineers have assessed and concluded that they need minimal intervention from our restoration teams. These sites presented all the necessary elements to restore themselves naturally, so we will simply remove any clear degradation factors, monitor the progress, and let nature do the rest!

Marina Cançado becomes part of the BJF community 

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Marina Cancado is leading the way in the impact investing arena in Brazil and has been a great supporter of the Black Jaguar Foundation! She is one of the pioneers of design thinking, systemic and complex thinking, behaviour science and design, and, more recently, she has been integrating futures thinking and strategic foresight into the world of investing.

Nr. 136/600 Marina Cançado – Black Jaguar Foundation

I have worked for a decade as a consultant to the most relevant Brazilian enterprise families on projects related to philanthropy, next generation education and ESG/Impact investing. I have also built a trajectory with the public sector, as a consultant for strategic and innovation projects and, later, as member of the advisory Board of the Brazilian Presidency from 2016-2018.

Named a talent in the Forbes Brazil “Under30” list in 2018, she supports the BJF because we ‘address two of the most critical issues of our time – climate change and biodiversity’. Marina also arranged the 2020 Converge Capital Conference in Rio, at which the BJF were part of the ‘forest solutions’, where the environment was discussed as a crucial area for impact investing.

“Business leaders now have an incredible opportunity. By giving stakeholder capitalism concrete meaning, they can move beyond their legal obligations and uphold their duty to society. They can bring the world closer to achieving shared goals, such as those outlined in the Paris climate agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda. If they really want to leave their mark on the world, there is no alternative.” 

– Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder of the World Economic Forum, at the 2020 Converge Capital Conference

After working for a decade as a consultant to the most relevant Brazilian enterprise families on projects related to philanthropy, next generation education and ESG/Impact investing, Marina has now joined XP Inc., one of the largest Brazilian financial institutions, to be Head of Sustainable Wealth. This means working with wealthy clients to transition their portfolios from traditional investments to sustainable and impact investing.

With such an impressive history working in the world of impact investing and her passion for creating sustainable change through venture philanthropy, we could not be more excited to have Marina as part of our community, and we’re excited about what the future may hold!

Agronomist Carlos Willyan expands our core-team in the field

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With the implementation of our plans to plant our first million trees, it’s fair to say we need to expand our field team, and we could not be more excited to have Carlos Willyan on board as our first Field supervisor!

Trained as an Agronomist Engineer at the Federal Rural University of Amazônia, Carlos Willyan believes that together we can work and develop in a way that respects the land as a source of natural resources. Through this mindset, we can then integrate sustainable agriculture with practices that preserve our environment. Creating a future where we all can thrive.

Originally from the state of Pará, Carlos Willyan joined our team in June and will be helping to expand our operations in the states of Pará and Tocantins, where our work is currently based. Supervising the planting of your new native trees, not to mention the crucial job or monitoring and caring for these new trees for 3 years after they enter the ground!

The BJF team go on virtual retreat

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Last month, the Black Jaguar Foundation’s extended team took some time to calm our minds. After working so hard for the planet, we saw Covid-19 clearing some space in our schedules, as an opportunity to reset and rebalance. 

This was truly a global online retreat, with team members from Brazil, Denmark, England, France, Romania, Scotland, Switzerland and the Netherlands, many of whom had never participated in a retreat before.

We were gladly being led for a week of re-energizing classes by the wonderful Ingrid Valks, founder of the power of time off. As we know, the forest never sleeps, so this time off was mixed with time on, however, as a team we’ve emerged with a newfound respect for taking time to step back, and consider the actions that will help us move forward in our reforestation mission and in life! 

The results and feedback showed that all of our team felt more self-aware and more connected. Almost all felt we had learned new insights, techniques and exercises to integrate into daily life for easier rest and relaxation. In addition, we’ve also noted increased concentration and ability to manage stress, among so many other impacts. 

Our global core team is now re-energised and we’re ready to take on the coming challenges! 

Read more about our week on retreat and the Power of Time Off here…

Online retreats with childcare organization Op Stoom and with the Black Jaguar Foundation – the power of time off

Thanks to Covid-19 we designed an online retreat to reset, rebalance and re-energize. No pre-produced videos but live stream experiences with impact including space for personal guidance. We never thought of producing a retreat online. But it worked! Here you can read some personal stories from the online retreat participants in May and June this …

Re-greening in action: the astonishing growth of your trees!

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In amongst the chaos, there is hope! While taking precautions in the field, we have managed to get some updates on the progress of your new native trees…and the results are better than we could have expected!

We monitor the trees regularly to nurture their progress and learn lessons for the many planting seasons to come. With your help, these beautiful baby trees were planted in 2018, now see them here in their first and second year…their growth has been astonishing!

We have also seen amazing first results from the seeds that were planted by the direct seeding method this season. For this reforestation technique, rather than first being grown in nurseries, these new trees were seeds when they entered our restoration sites. In the space of a couple of months, we
already see strong growth from these powerful little seeds…

New trees planted in 2020 via the direct seeding method.

This method when used correctly can help minimise costs and quickly create a denser ecosystem. With the help of new partner Caminhos da Semente we’ll be able to maximise the potential of this technique.

We’re excited to keep you up to date on the progress of your trees as they continue to grow and replenish the biodiversity of these crucial biomes!

Published 18th June, 2020. 

The impact of Covid-19 for the BJF

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Your update on what’s happening in the field! Our work continues but of course, some plans have needed to be changed and adapted…

At the moment we are in preparation season, planting season will start again in October/November. This means working to prepare the seedling and collect that seeds that we will use to plant our next round of trees. While access to our partner farms and restoration sites is restricted, thankfully we still have limited access! In our nurseries this means operating with a small team, all of whom are following a strict safety protocol. This means all the required seedlings are still being produced for when the rains come and we are able to start planting.

Another major challenge during this time is how to connect with rural landowners. In our model, we don’t buy land. We partner with local landowners who are obliged by Brazilian Forest code to leave areas of their land to allow nature to return. This works by creating strong, trusting relationships with these stakeholders. As we’re no longer able to have the same level of personal interaction, we’re finding new solutions. This includes creating a series of virtual materials to allow these landowners to continue to engage with us and see how the project will work for them. This includes local radio advertisements, videos, animations and utilising our local network to build trust without the need to meet face-to-face.

This period has brought many new challenges, however, thanks to the ingenuity of our team, so far, each has been met with a solution and we are still on track to plant our first million trees! Thank you for your support during this time – you make it all possible!

Published 18th June, 2020. 

Meet the newest members of the BJF community – age 7 and 10!

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As two of the newest additions to this epic reforestation mission, Mickey (aged 10) and Juultje (aged 7) are filling us with hope!

Their Auntie, Brenda Smeenge, is a long-time friend of the BJF and co-author of No Risk, No Life, an inspiring story about the adventures that led to the creation of the Black Jaguar Foundation. Click here to find out more about what started this journey to complete one of the largest reforestation projects on earth.

Brenda introduced these two young environmentalists to the BJF and joined the first600 campaign in their honour. Becoming some of the first 600 individuals and companies to sponsor the completion of the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor, the longest nature corridor on its kind on earth.

Before even learning of the BJF, Mickey and Juultje were passionate about our planet. As Mickey so earnestly stated,

“We don’t own planet earth. Please take care of her instead. We need to act now, or else we’ll not survive. Take action for our climate, the animals and our environment!”.

We are inspired by Mickey and Juultje, they reaffirm our hope that together, we can progress with increased consideration, respect and unity. It is amazing to have such young individuals as part of this mission. It is for their generation, and the many more to come, that we do what we do.

Looking at these two young BJF members, we hope you too will feel inspired! We thank these three wonderful individuals for their support and look forward to them joining us on this reforestation journey.

Published 18th June, 2020.