Reforesting Brazil's incredibly biodiverse Cerrado Savannah
By introducing hardy tree species, a sustainable forest is created on previously degraded farmland in the region of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. This encourages renewed vitality to an area of the Cerrado Savannah that is internationally recognised as a biodiversity hotspot, home many endangered and threatened species including the puma, ocelot and anteater.
Renowned as the world’s richest savannah in terms of life forms, the Cerrado is home to countless endangered and vulnerable species. Among these, more than 5,000 can only be found within the boundaries of this biome in Brazil. This means that the Cerrado protects 5% of all the species in the world and three out of every ten species in Brazil. Yet the area officially under protection is relatively minuscule and urgent measures are needed to create more federal, state, municipal and private protected zones.
The Fazenda São Paulo Forestry project covers 1,055 hectares of private farmland within the Mato Grosso do Sul region, primarily characterised by this environmentally significant Cerrado Savannah. Land previously degraded by unsustainable cattle farming is reforested with two Eucalyptus species with regenerative properties. To date, over 1,750,000 trees have been planted, establishing a sustainable forest with a range of long-term environmental and community benefits.
This project ensures a significant increase in tree productivity compared with previously degraded grassland. The regenerative, healthy forest improves soil quality and water flow, and reduces erosion by inviting significant vulnerable species to repopulate the area. Reforestation and upkeep of the project area also creates employment opportunities for 41 permanent employees, 18 technicians and 36 seasonal workers over 6 years of project, helping create a stable and technically skilled local labour force. Thanks to the specialisation of tasks and available qualifications, workers have experienced a wage increase, with consequent benefits for their families.