As a travel agent, the world is our business, and we love Latin America. We love the interesting history of the pre-Columbian societies such as the Incas and Mayans, the imposing nature featuring lush rainforest, roaring waterfalls, majestic mountains and volcanoes as well as wonderful sandy beaches, the diverse wildlife and, not least, the many exciting cultures.
It is therefore only natural for us to work to preserve and improve the conditions on the continent that gives us and our customers so many wonderful experiences.
We plant trees in Brazil. For every tour you buy from us, we plant 10 trees in collaboration with the Global Climate Institute in the Pontal do Paranapanema area of Brazil, which is located in the state of São Paulo.
Our planting of trees won’t cost you a penny, however. We cover the costs because we want to give a little back to the world we live in. We believe that travel basically contributes to a better world, both for those who return home many wonderful experiences the richer and for those who make a living from the guests. We believe that our – and your – presence makes a difference to the local environment. We actively choose to do our bit to make a positive contribution.
Brazil’s coastal rainforest (Mata Atlantica) is in the top 5 of the world’s most important areas when it comes to biodiversity. At one time, the area of 130 million hectares stretched across much of south-eastern Brazil. Sadly, due to heavy deforestation, only small, isolated areas of forest remain today. In Pontal do Paranapanema, only around 3% of the original forest remains, which is why the tree planting project is so important. The aim is to recreate and connect the remaining forest through forest corridors and bring back the abundant flora and fauna. The goal is to be able to recreate forest corridors all the way from Morro do Diabo State Park to Iguaçu National Park. The project has already documented that animals such as anteaters, ocelots, pumas and the endangered black lion tamarin have returned to the area.
A new Brazilian law requires landowners to set aside at least 20% of their land for permanent forest. This positive initiative means that the trees planted are protected by law.
Many different types of trees are planted in the project to recreate the abundant flora that the Brazilian rainforest once consisted of. All of the trees planted are good at absorbing carbon monoxide from the air and reducing the CO2in the atmosphere.
The trees are cultivated in local nurseries, primarily run by women from the local community. They are then planted by members of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST), giving some of society’s poorest valuable skills and financial independence.
The forest restoration project in Brazil not only makes a difference to the biodiversity of the area, but also benefits our common climate, creates jobs for the local population and thus benefits the local economy.
We know that one tree does not make a big difference, so we started by planting 10,000 trees in Brazil. By 2021, we expect to have planted another 20,000 trees.
In this one forest restoration project alone, around 890 hectares of forest have been restored and almost 1.8 million trees have been planted in total. You can follow the development of the project here: https://www.weforest.org/project/brazil
You can also watch a fascinating video about the project here: