WeForest Project


Wildlife Corridors, Brazil

Restoring the Atlantic Forest to bring back wildlife
Area restored
1,141 ha

Project Summary

No other large tropical forest has suffered as much loss as Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. We’re working with IPÊ to restore the forest and bring back wildlife, as well as helping communities make a living from restoring and protecting the forest. By reconnecting the Morro do Diabo State Park to the surrounding forest fragments, we’re creating more space and migration routes so that endangered species such as black lion tamarins, jaguars, tapirs and macaws will thrive again.

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    Black Lion Tamarins are returning, thanks to the forest corridors.
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    Drone footage of a wildlife corridor, which will allow wildlife to return to their habitat.
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    The nurseries produce a wide range of native trees and plants which are then sold to farmers.
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    Empowering women at community-based nurseries.
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    Native seeds collected from the standing forest.
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    HIdden camera footage of jaguars in one of the forest corridors.
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    Agroforestry systems are key, since they increase crop productivity.


Pontal do Paranapanema, western São Paulo state

Project Status


Restoration Approach

Framework planting
Assisted natural regeneration

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.


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 second largest Protected Area in the Interior Atlantic Forest to the surrounding forest fragments
Conserve biodiversity
Promote economic development
Build livelihood resilience

Why is intervention needed?

The Atlantic Forest has been reduced to green fragments due to agricultural expansion. It used to be 6 times the size of the United Kingdom, but it is now only a forest in name. Over the course of 20 years, it has lost over 80% of its original forest cover. No other large tropical forest has suffered this much loss, which has affected the rich biodiversity in the area.

Ecological restoration

The project aims to reconnect the forest patches, creating more space for animals such as the endangered black lion tamarin so that they can thrive again. We combine several restoration methods (i.e. assisted natural regeneration, framework species approach and farmer-assisted reforestation) which are chosen based on land ownership, level of degradation and the amounts of seeds present in the degraded soil. Agroforestry, yet another system, is also used when farmers are eager to directly improve their diet or increase their income.

Livelihood development

We will win this battle against deforestation when people start making a living from restoring and protecting forests, and not from cutting the trees. Community-based nurseries around the restoration sites are run by local female entrepreneurs, and enable them to become financially independent. Transplanting the produced seedlings to the final planting site provides another opportunity for income: members of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra) are hired, and learn valuable skills to finally make a decent living. Various training sessions in forestry techniques are provided to the people of the community several times a year.

A growing Team

Together with our local partner we employ 25 people 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.