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Presenting the BJF to the Federal Institute of Para’s students!

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The young generation is our future! A few weeks ago, we to presented our project to the Federal Institute of Pará’s (IFPA),  future environmental and agricultural, in Santana do Araguaia!

Our field team organized two sessions for the students to get to know the Black Jaguar Foundation, including a practical experience producing seedlings in the BJF nursery! Prior to this, our team visited students at the university and provided a general introduction to the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor and how we are realizing it – from rural partnerships to our processes of ecological restoration.

During the first session, students also had the opportunity to speak to our human resources sector, clarify any doubts, and receive a general overview of job opportunities at the Black Jaguar Foundation.

The second session took place in the following day, where we organized a practical overview of seed production in the BJF Nursery. Out Seedling production analyst, Norivania Diniz, welcomed the students in our nursery, showed them all the main activities of the BJF nursery, and put everyone to work!

Throughout all activities involving seeds and seedlings, the future environmental and agricultural engineers showed great interest in becoming a part of our project. It makes us very happy to see this and we hope to work with some of these wonderful minds in the future.

 Contribute to the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor by donating trees HERE or joining the First 600 Sponsors HERE

Have a look at the BJF planting season!

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With 2023 now fully in motion, we would like to share with you some of the planting action that is happening on the ground.

Watch the video below to meet our field team and have a brief overview of the Black Jaguar Foundation’s planting season!

Over the years, we have significantly expanded our team, which now includes over 135 people directly employed and another 35 indirectly employed by the BJF. We have also improved our ecological restoration techniques, created our very own Araguaia Seed Network, and built a BJF nursery that produces over 500,000 seedlings every year.

Together, we are creating a healthier planet for our future generations. 

Get involved to Preserve our Planet!

We are at the peak of the 22/23 planting season!

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After preparing the soil in most of our partner farms, the time has come to intensify planting in our restoration sites!

Since October, our team has been working hard to reach this moment. Soil preparation is a very important stage in the BJF cycle of ecological restoration. Invasive grasses in the restoration sites must be removed to prevent these from competing with the seedling and enable healthy trees to grow.

It is vital for the soil to be in ideal conditions for the planting of seedlings and direct seeding – which will be the focus of our operations for the next few months!

A closer look at what is happening on the ground…

The pictures above show semi-mechanized tree planting, a technique used to facilitate and speed up the process of ecological restoration. This is a technique that we have recently started using in our restoration sites at the Anaja farm.

Ecological restoration in our other partner farms

In all of our other active restoration sites, the BJF team has been very busy preparing the soil and digging many different holes, spaced at 2 meters apart on all sides, that are eagerly waiting for trees to be planted!

Given the rainy season, many of our restoration sites have flooded and the BJF team is focusing on carrying out ecological restoration in areas that are still dry first. The reason for this is that these areas will still receive rain, so we can save flooded areas for when we are closer to the dry season.

Watch our Field Operations Coordinator Tainan Balestrin explain the work being done on the ground in the video below:

Direct seeding is often used by our field team. The process consists of placing seeds of different species directly in the soil. Have a look at direct seeding in one of our partner farms below. You can already see some growing jatobá seedlings after just four weeks of sowing!

Before direct seeding can take place, the seeds have to be mixed. This mixture is what we call muvuca. Recently, our team prepared over 3 tons of muvuca – with more than 50 species of native seeds! Have a look at them below:

As we often say here at the BJF, ecological restoration is a lot more than planting trees. At the same time, we are also carrying out maintenance activities in our restored restored areas and already planning for the next planting season!

Araguaia Seed Network: achievements and future steps!

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Over the past year, our team has worked hard to make the Araguaia Seed Network a reality! There were months of planning, preparation and production of materials so that our Seed Production Analyst, Laís D’Isep, could visit communities, engage the local population, carry out training and, finally, start buying the collected native seeds.

We are very proud of our achievements so far! In just three months of purchasing seeds, we concluded 2022 with:

These excellent results surprised us and have already contributed to this planting season: the seeds collected by the Araguaia Seed Network were fundamental in the production of seedlings in our nursery and in the preparation of muvuca for direct seeding!

In 2023, we want to grow even more! This month we started the last training sessions for the module and we are planning several actions and meetings to make the Araguaia Seed Network the main supplier of native seeds to the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor. Have a look at some of our seed collectors participating practical training below:

We are very proud of the Araguaia Seed Network and the environmental and socioeconomic development that it is generating. Would you like to contribute to this initiative? Join the First 600 HERE or reach out to us at

BJF participates in training to take better care of our seedlings!

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Our seedling production analyst, Norivânia Diniz, was invited to participate in the second Integrated Academic Week organized by the Federal University of Tocantins!

During the event, Norivânia participated in several courses related to seed collection, recovery of degraded areas, legal aspects of Permanent Preservation Areas (APP) and forest seed pathology.

Course 1: Collecting, processing and storing native seeds from the Cerrado Savanna.

The following topics were explored in the course:

  • Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs) and Legal Reserves (RLs): the importance of ecologically restoring degraded areas how this relates to Brazilian law.
  • Ecological restoration techniques, including the following three methods which are used by the Black Jaguar Foundation: Natural regeneration, planting seedlings and direct seeding (muvuca).
  • Seed collection techniques: locating parent trees, collection methods, types of seed processing, breaking dormancy of seeds, and seed storage.

At the end of the course, Norivânia and the other participants visited one of the University’s tree nurseries. There, the class was able to get to know the space, equipment used, how it operates, and Exchange experiences.

The course was taught by students from the The Federal University of Tocantins’ nursery research group. It was made possible by the university’s agricultural residency program in partnership with Santana do Araguaia’s Ministry of Environment. A big thank you for the wonderful opportunity!

The nursery research group is currently starting a seed network in the South of Tocantins to meet the demand for seeds in the region and produce high-quality seedlings.

Course 2: Forest seed pathology

The following topics were explored in the course:

  • Importance of seed health.
  • Transporting seeds between regions.
  • The difficulty of obtaining high-quality seeds.
  • How the presence of pathogens affects the ability of seeds to germinate.
  • Parts of the seed which can contain fungi and how prevent/ control this.
  • Symptoms that appear after the seed has been affected by pathogens.
  • Regulations for Seed Analysis (RAS), as published by the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • Main methods for detecting pathogens in seeds.
  • Most common fungi that can be present in seeds

At the Black Jaguar Foundation, we are always looking to improve our processes of ecological restoration. Our motivation to keep on growing and learning, together with your support, will enable us to carry out the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor!

BJF presents at the NOAH conference in Zurich

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The 1st edition of the project stage took place during the NOAH Conference in Zurich last month, with 1500 attendees, 350 speakers and 24 partners. All in all, it provided the Black Jaguar Foundation with a wonderful platform to showcase the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor and learn from similar organisations working in the field of ecological restoration.

The project stage took place over the course of two days, and with this item we would like to give you a glimpse of the second day, where  Ben Valks explained our how the Black Jaguar Foundation will plant 1,7 billion native trees in the Amazon Rainforest and Cerrado Savanna over the course of 30 years.

A big thank you to the team for all their hard work and commitment to making the project stage a success and giving us the opportunity to share our work at the project stage and get together with restoration and conservation champions, tech companies, and impact investors.

To effectively tackle the great sustainability challenges of our time, we must come together and cut through silos and sectors. It was great to share our efforts and exchange with others on the frontlines of conservation and restoration.

Coming together with a collective call to action for funding and supporting nature-based solutions was urgent and necessary.

Watch Ben’s presentation below:

In Ben’s speech, he emphasizes the there is no competition when it comes to ecological restoration. With time, we hope more and more Biodiversity Corridors will appear on Earth, helping us create a more sustainable planet for our future generations! Would you like to become one of the First 600 to join us on our mission of hope and action? You can do so HERE or donate a native tree HERE.

Meet our long-term partner and friend: Smikkels

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Good nutrition is a key ingredient to child development. Sjoerd van Schaaijk and his wife Inge, owners of the Smikkels company, are very much aware of the importance of feeding young children frequently, with nutrient-dense meals including a variety of food groups. It all started about 14 years ago – when they first started feeding their own twin children their first solid foods. A lot of time was spent in the kitchen on Sunday mornings, with pans full of potatoes, pasta, rice and many different vegetables, which they would later put in small containers and store in the freezer. As their children discovered new flavours and textures, so did Sjoerd and Inge! All these recipes were collected on and shared with everyone who also prefers to make their own meal for their little ones.

Last year, Inge and Sjoerd took the next step by designing a collection of fun sustainable products that match the audience of with a focus on food and travel!

Smikkels: proud BJF partner

Smikkels is driven to contribute to a healthier planet for our future generations and that’s why they are proud partners of the Black Jaguar Foundation. Have a look at some of their packaged products below, which proudly display our logo!

With sustainability and durability being core elements to Smikkels as a company, they place great importance in ensuring that their products are made with more eco-friendly materials like stainless steel, wood, silicone, bio cotton, and recycled pet bottles. Smikkels also avoids plastics in their packaging.

Commitment to the BJF: Long-time friends

Many moons ago, Smikkels founder Sjoerd van Schaaijk helped design and create our website, so that out initiator Ben Valks could share his mission to restore the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor with the world.

Two years ago, Sjoerd also helped us design the new BJF logo!  We are incredibly happy with our logo and would like to take this opportunity to once again thank its incredibly skilled designer for dedicating so much time to help us realize our mission of hope and action.

When the BJF first started, our mission was motivated by the drastic destruction of the habitat which over 3 million known animal species, including the Black Jaguar, call home. One of our main goals is to focus on environmental regeneration, instead of destruction. That’s part of what the logo that Sjoerd designed transmits: a focus on bringing back new life.

Once again, a big thank you to Sjoerd and Inge for joining us on this journey to bring back biodiversity in the Araguaia Corridor connecting the Amazon rainforest and Cerrado Savana. We are excited to continue growing together!

Find out more about Smikkels at !

BJF Highlights 2022

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First of all we wish you a green and healthy 2023! Before we dig into the opportunities and challenges of this new year, we would like to reflect on all the wonderful milestones we achieved together in 2022.

You have enabled us to grow – in every sense. We expanded our team, improved our work of ecological restoration, made many new rural partnerships in the region, and generated more engagement with local communities. Thanks to your amazing support, we are planting and growing 5 times more trees this planting season, and our field-teams expanded to over 120 dedicated employees. We are working non stop on 12 farms as you read this!

Our achievements in 2022 for our planet would not have been possible without you. We hope we may count on your power-support again this year and wish you and your loved ones a wonderful start of 2023. For now, let’s dive in to a few of the milestones we achieved together over the past year:

We need your support more than ever this year, as the budget of our ecological restoration efforts have increased drastically due to inflation and ever-increasing prices. Our achievements in 2022 for our planet would not have been possible without YOU and we hope we may count on your power-support again this year.

Start 2023 by contributing to our mission of hope an action and become part of the First 600 to contribute to realizing the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor  HERE, renew your membership by reaching out to us at, or donate a tree HERE.

Get inspired by the new BJF documentary and give life this Christmas!

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As the holiday season is almost upon us, we have two amazing things to share with you!

First, we are honoured to share that we made our very own BJF documentary: A Lens on the Ground. In close collaboration with Nikon & Waterbear. And secondly it is time to get your BJF Christmas Tree Certificate.

A Lens on the Ground: A BJF documentary created in collaboration with Waterbear and Nikon

This year, our organisation was honoured to win a Nikon Europe camera kit and storytelling training from Waterbear to make a short film, directed by our Communications Coordinator Ana Paula Mendes, that gives you a glimpse of the inspiring people working at the frontline of The Black Jaguar Foundation.

Watch our documentary below:

“A Lens on the Ground” zooms into the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor and showcases the stories of our team – making it clear that ecological restoration starts with the communities on the ground! Through a visual story, we showed the faces behind our restoration processes, emphasizing the motivation of the BJF team to create positive change in their communities and how working with Black Jaguar Foundation is shaping their lives.

The documentary highlights the benefits that come with ecological restoration, focusing on local communities and Santana do Araguaia’s economy. As our Field Coordinator, Carlos Eduardo Oliveira, explains in the documentary, the social aspect of the BJF is a very important one for the region and beyond. Before the BJF started its operations in Santana do Araguaia, the city did not have a stable and evolving job market. Now, environmental engineers, forest engineers, and restoration professionals living in the region can find work in the area, next to the workforce we hire and train to help us realise the corridor in the region.

Are you still looking for that one thoughtful gift that does not involve waiting in long holiday lines….and makes us, and our planet happy? We hope our BJF Documentary inspires you to support our work.

Give the gift of life this Christmas!

Each donation directly supports the realization of the Araguaia Biodiversity Corridor, connecting the Amazon Rainforest with the Cerrado Savanna. This year, we have created a beautiful certificate of tree membership to celebrate the holiday season. Have a look at it below! Send an email to before the 21st of December to ask for your personalized tree certificate.

You can DONATE ANY AMOUNT, big or small, and contribute to restoring biodiversity in the Araguaia region. With a donation of € 5, you will already be supporting the growth of one native tree!


#TreesAreTheSolution #AraguaiaBiodiversityCorridor

Planting the first thousands of seedlings of the 2022 planting season!

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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