WeForest Project



Connecting the Atlantic Forest through wildlife corridors
Area restored
890 ha
Trees planted

Project Summary

The Atlantic Forest, is among the world’s top five biodiversity hotspots. Trees are planted with the purpose of reconnecting remaining forest patches and grow new forest corridors and thus making more space for wildlife to thrive and reproduce. Animals such as the black lion tamarin, ocelots, anteaters, and even pumas have now returned to the area. Restoring the Atlantic Forest is also of high importance for the climate, as second-growth forest has a big potential for carbon storage. In the Brazilian Forest Law, every landowner is obliged to register a minimum of 20% of rural land as permanent forest, meaning that the trees planted there will be protected. The tree seedlings are grown in community-based nurseries run by local women, whereas members of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement plant the trees. This way they are not only helping to restore the Atlantic Forest, but also learning valuable skills and earning a living.

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    Drone footage of a wildlife corridor, allowing wildlife to return to their habitat.
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    Native seeds collected from the standing forest.
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    Empowering women at community-based nurseries.
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    The nursery produces a wide range of native trees and plants are then sold to farmers.
  • Agroforestry system is key since it increases crop productivity.
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    Jaguar returning to their habitats (camera trap footage) in one of the forest corridors.
  • BRA_Agroforestry


Pontal do Paranapanema, western São Paulo state

Project Status


Restoration Approach

Framework planting
Assisted natural regeneration

Target 2019

303,000 trees

Planting Period

November to March

Project Partners

IPE received the 2017 Award of Excellence from the Society for Ecological Restoration.
Laboratório de Silvicultura de Florestas Tropicais (LASTROP), Universidade de São Paulo; Instituto de Energia e Ambiente Universidade de Sao Paulo; Federal University of São Carlos; Instituto de pesquisas e estudos florestais.

The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.


Acacia polyphylla, Anadenathena spp., Cedrela fissilis, Cordia trichotoma, Colubrina glandulosa, Enterolobium contortisiliquum, Guazuma ulmifolia, Inga laurina, Inga uruguensis, Jacaranda cuspidifolia, Peltophorum dubium, Tabebuia spp.

Project Goals

Restore native forest
Reconnect the Morro do Diabo State Park to the Iguaçu National Park
Conserve biodiversity
Promote economic development
Build livelihood resilience

Latest Project News

Brazil Amazon fires
Help protect the Amazon forest - Emergency Fund
| 10 September
10 September 2019
Towering above restoration
| 13 June
13 June 2019
Brazil as an agricultural powerhouse
| 10 June
10 June 2019
The Brazilian Forest Code
| 12 February
12 February 2019
Teaching for Trees
| 25 October
25 October 2018

Why is intervention needed?

Brazil’s Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlantica) is one of the world’s five most important biodiversity hotspots (UNESCO). Once stretching 130 million hectares across Brazil's southeastern coast, now there are just small isolated fragments left, and in our project site in Pontal de Paranapanema only 3% of the original forest is standing. Despite this extreme level of deforestation, the Atlantic Forest still harbors a wealth of biodiversity and has a large potential for carbon sequestration.

Ecological restoration

Trees are creating forest corridors between the Morro do Diabo State Park and the Iguaçu National Park. This way, wildlife, such as the black lion tamarin, can move to new areas of forest once again and breed with other populations. Here, we use the succession-based model, which means that we plant those species that help with the natural process of ecological succession. Furthermore are ecological surveys carried out to keep track of the different tree species, tree growth and other indicators of the health of the forest corridors. Finally, camera traps are used to track whether wildlife is indeed coming back. The project also collects data on the ecological and socio-economic impact to create a certification standard for forest landscape restoration.

Livelihood development

Community-based nurseries, which are established and run by local people, collect the seeds and provide the seedlings for planting and with this, local people, many of them women, as well as members of the Brazil's Landless Workers Movement can become financially independent.

A growing Team

Together with our local partner we employ 25 people, working in the 8 community nurseries.

* Carbon calculation methodology

This carbon figure is based on research conducted in the region of Pontal do Paranapanema. The total above-ground and below-ground biomass is estimated to average a sequestration of 317.24 tons of CO2 per hectare over a period of 30 years.

Ditt, E.H., Rocha, M. T., Padua, C.V. Estudos de viabilidade de projetos de carbono para mitigação climática, redução de pobreza e conservação da biodiversidade no Pontal do Paranapanema, São Paulo. In: Carlos Klink. (Ed.). Quanto mais quente melhor? 1ed. Brasília: Peirópolis, 2007, v. 1, p. 139-154.

The Benefits of Planting 1 Million Trees in this Project

Ha restored
Tons of CO2 sequestered*
Families engaged
Community-based nurseries
People trained in plant propagation
Ha of land benefitting from improved water quality
Annual income from nurseries