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23 November 2016

Meet Cisero Natercio

Cisero Natercio is a member of the Landless Workers Movement (Portuguese: Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra, MST), a movement for land reform in Brazil that pushes for secure access to land for rural workers.

Cisero is an “asentado” (or settler), which means his occupation of the land is legally recognized. After moving to the region of Pontal do Paranapanema, Cisero and a group of others, received a plot of land around 20 hectares from the government, which they manage and earn a living from through farming. They have also been in forest restoration work for an impressive 12 years.

When Cisero and his four other team members were contracted by the project to carry out restoration and planting activities for us, they became extremely valuable members of our team in Pontal. Many of the new areas of Pontal under restoration have required a restoration approach known as assisted natural regeneration and enrichment planting because they retain some degree of forest cover and Cisero organizes and manages a team that is specialized in this technique.

Through contracts with our project, Cisero's team can earn additional income to bolster their income from farming. They also have contracts with other private land owners as well to their income from forest landscape restoration is extremely secure. It's also substantial. The extra income that Cisero’s family takes home thanks to our project is around US$644 a month. To put that into perspective, that's roughly double their income from other sources.

For Cisero, the restoration work is important to him on a personal level as well because he sees the future of his children in Pontal’s forested landscape. In an area where people’s livelihoods rely heavily on the land, the availability of healthy soils and water systems is vital. Deforestation threatens these ecosystem services and we are working hard to reverse the trend and restore the forest landscape for people and nature. Pontal’s forests also play a substantial role in Making Earth Cooler through their role in carbon sequestration.

The project is an important source of income for Cisero and other members of the MST, but it’s also much more than that. We couldn’t be more proud of the amazing work that we have achieved so far with through their partnership, which has enabled us to bring the area of forest restored in Pontal up to an impressive 403 hectares since we began back in 2014.

We will continue to bring you more news of the valuable impacts our partnership with Cisero and his team are having on Pontal’s landscape. In the meantime check out our stories on the impact we're having on native animals, like the tapir, and keep checking back for more.

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