Less than one tenth of one of the richest bio-diverse tropical forests in the Western Hemisphere remains: the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. This is one of the world’s most threatened biomes and it once covered a million and a half sq km – an area about three times the size of France. Today it covers less than 120,000 sq km (the size of the state of Louisiana). It is still being cut: from 2018 to 2019 an equivalent to 6.000 football fields were cut from the state of Minas Gerais alone, where Iracambi is located. The reason is that smallholder farmers are pushed by economic necessity to maintain their income levels in the only way they know: to increase their area of cultivable land they cut the forest. Iracambi aims to confront this threat by working with the community to make the conservation of the forest more attractive than its destruction.

Iracambi is located in the Serra do Brigadeiro, in the highly endangered Atlantic Forest area of Minas Gerais. Their vision is to see communities living sustainably in a thriving landscape, and everything that they do is directed towards maintaining a healthy balance between the needs of their forest environment and the people who live in it. Iracambi’s main areas of applied research are: managing and restoring areas of protected forest land; promoting and implementing sound environmental policies; research and education. All these activities are closely linked and complement one another.

This TIE project will help the NGO generate organic revenue to ensure continuity of their preservation efforts in the endangered Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The organisation hopes to build corporate partnerships leveraging Iracambi’s existing resources and networks. The objective is for these resources to cover their operational costs, leaving their other income streams such as money from fundraising or their volunteer program available for their core initiatives. These initiatives include reforestation efforts in the region, educational programmes to both landowners and the young people of the area, and their medicinal plants programme.