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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.


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 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

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.


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!

Get to know the World Rainforest Day community

By News Home

While conducting our grand mission of ecological restoration, we cannot forget that we are not alone. Many other organizations are also engaged in beautiful projects to protect and restore our planet. That’s why we have joined the World Rainforest Day community, which is a branch of Rainforest Partnership.

About the World Rainforest Day Community

The World Rainforest Day community was founded in 2017 by Rainforest Partnership, aiming to create a global movement to protect and restore healthy forests. They connect forest-focused organizations with new partners, including non-environmental sectors, and aspiring rainforest guardians.

At the moment, their community consists mainly of rainforest organizations, indigenous groups, policy representatives, youth leaders, the private sector, and creative guilds.

About Rainforest partnership

Rainforest Partnership protects tropical rainforests by working directly with local and indigenous communities, organizations, and governments at all levels in community-centered conservation projects.

In addition to founding World Rainforest Day, Rainforest Partnership also works on the ground with local and indigenous communities in Peru and Ecuador. The images below show the Rainforest Partnership team at work! In the first image, they are at the at COP26 in Glasgow, UK , while the second image shows the Rainforest Partnership team and advisors (including Niyanta Spelman, founder & CEO, and Raina Chinitz, Ecuador projects coordinator) with their partners on the ground (Sani Warmi, a women-led organization) in Sani Isla, Ecuador.

Why protect rainforests?

As the World Rainforest Day Community explains, Rainforests are a type of forest where rainfall is continuous and abundant all year round, commonly found in temperate regions. Though they only cover around 6% of the Earth’s surface, they provide a habitat to around 50% of all terrestrial biodiversity found in the world!

Rainforests provide the world with natural resources, including fresh air, filtered water, and medicine. They are also the source of many of the products we use daily, including coffee, cacao, spices, common fruits and vegetables, to name a few. Notably, products like beef and the palm oil found in shampoo and many common hygiene and food products are directly related to rainforest deforestation worldwide. This makes it pertinent for consumers globally to look into where their products come from, and how they are produced.

The Black Jaguar Foundation aims to show that agriculture and ecological restoration can walk together, and we are happy to be part of the World Rainforest Day community.

With the support of likeminded individuals and organizations, we can work towards a healthy planet for our future generations!

Find out how you can join the World Rainforest Day community here.

Support the Araguaia Seed Collection Collective!

By News Home

The Araguaia Seed Collection Collective is currently in the running for a grant, financed by Global Landscapes Forum (GLF)! The first stage of the challenge involves online voting, until the 15th of October, and your help is needed! Watch the video linked below and get to know the project.

To support our application, click on the link below, register in the GLF platform, like and comment on our video. Each like is worth 3 points and each comment 5 points. Navigating the platform will take a few minutes of your time but will greatly help our team and the communities they support daily!


To support us, you can:

✓ Register in the GLX platform

✓ Like the video

✓ Comment on the video

✓ Share with your friends!



The Araguaia Seed Collection Collective is an initiative started by the Black Jaguar Foundation’s team together with local communities in Caseara and Marianópolis, in the state of Tocantins. The initiative started as a means of providing our project with seeds however also shows great potential to complement the income of local communities living near the Araguaia River.

This year, we have started training sessions for communities living in settlements in the Araguaia region! We have germinated many of these seeds in the new BJF nursery, and some of the seedlings will be planted during this planting season. Further, our field team is currently visiting many different communities, providing training sessions and technical equipment, to incentivise individuals to become a part of our project.

We need your help to expand and strengthen this initiative in 2023! Will you join us in supporting communities with a complementary income and promoting the conservation of forests?


It’s too late to be a pessimist, and we need your support to realise the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor!


The 22/23 planting season has started!

By Invisible on news page, News Home

Our field teams are in full preparation mode, preparing the soil and putting this planting season’s first seedlings in the ground!  

As always, the team has been incredible this year, adapting and creating solutions to plant as many native trees as possible despite the challenges we have faced. 

During the last planting season, we observed incredibly positive results when planting via direct seeding. For this reason, we have decided to use direct seeding as a restoration method for around half of our restoration areas.  

What is direct seeding?

Direct seeding refers to planting native seeds directly in the area to be restored. Have a look at how this technique looks below:  

Our team usually grows during the planting season, so that we can plant as many native trees as possible. This makes safety measures especially important during this time. To ensure the well-being of the team, our dedicated work safety engineer, Matheus Monteiro dos Santos, has been working hard to develop health and safety measures and ensure that these are in place at all of our restoration sites and nurseries. 

Health and safety procedures

Before our team starts carrying our ecological restoration, they go through different medical exams, as well as practical and theory training sessions in work safety, and safe operation of machinery.  

Have a look at some of the BJF team after their first theoretical and practical training sessions:

Join us on this mission of hope and action to realize the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor by donating a tree.